Fitch’s Figueroa leads nation in hammer throw

Not many high school athletes have put together a better college resume than Austintown Fitch senior Gabby Figueroa.  She’s already a three-time All-American, and currently ranks #1 in the country in her sport.

Gabby Figueroa can swing a hammer.  Her toss of 62 feet 8 inches over the weekend ranks #1 in the nation by nearly four feet, and it makes her one of only five female athletes ever to reach 60 feet in high school.  Figueroa is now one the prized recruits of LSU, one of the top ranked track and field programs in the country.

“They have an entire room dedicated to their trophies, all for NCAA titles,” says Figueroa.  “And seeing that really hit it home, like wow, all these shiny pretty things are not just shiny pretty things.  Athletes worked really hard to get them, and I want to be part of that.”

Figueroa’s coach, TJ Koniowsky puts into perspective just how good the Fitch senior is.  “We coach one day a week in this.   You’re seeing it right now.  This is our one day.  She’s going to go to six days a week.  So if she’s number one in the high school nation with one day a week training, I can only imagine with six days.”

Figueroa first picked up the hammer as a freshman.  Four years later, it’s paying for her college education, with a scholarship worth nearly 150 thousand dollars.

“It’s mind boggling,” says Figueroa.  “I didn’t even know this sport existed five years ago.  When he told me you might be throwing the hammer, I thought he meant a literal hammer, and I didn’t know how that worked into track.

Since then, Figueroa has become one of the most decorated female throwers in state history, with an opportunity to get even better by specializing in the hammer throw at LSU.

“At first, it wasn’t how elite their program was, but how competitive the atmosphere would be.  And that’s what I wanted,” continued Figueroa.

Koniowsky concluded, “Money was never a motivating factor for her, she just wants to be good, and that’s what drives her.”

Figueroa’s throw of 62 feet 8 inches that Gabby had over the weekend is a new indoor record in the state of Ohio, and the 4th best ever in the United States.

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