Ozaukee school record falls

Richards breaks state indoor mark in shot put with eyes now on discus

OZAUKEE’S EMMA RICHARDS set a school and indoor state meet record in the shot put Saturday at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Track Online and by Sam Arendt
By 
MITCH MAERSCH
Ozaukee Press staff

Ozaukee senior Emma Richards has already broken her own school records in the discus and shot put.

Now, she’s shattering marks belonging to other track and field stars.

At the Wisconsin Track and Field Association Indoor State Championships at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on Saturday, Richards won shot put with a throw of 46 feet, 3 1/2 inches.

That broke her school record by three feet and topped the 28-year-old state indoor meet record by half an inch. Julie of Tomah set the mark in 1990 and ranks 16th by a female in the history of Wisconsin.

Richards broke the record on her second throw in the preliminary round. Distances carry to the finals, where nobody topped it.

Richards beat Brianna Leahy of Benton-Scales-Mound-Schullsburg’s throw of 43-2.25, the only other of the 30-plus throwers to eclipse 40 feet. Richards’ teammate Caryn Hamm threw a 35-7.75 for 14th place.

Richards’ father Bill, who doubles as her throws coach, knew she set the record, along with her brother Keegan, a member of the UW-Whitewater track team and leader of Ozaukee’s weights program.

“We were trying to be quiet and see if she could better it,” Bill said.

But as Emma was warming up for finals, Bill motioned to his daughter to take off her headphones and listen. The meet announcer informed everyone the record had been broken.

“She had a big smile on her face,” Bill said. “It was well received by the crowd,” Bill said.

Emma competes in Division 3, but this meet doesn’t separate competitors by school size, so she beat out throwers from school populations many times the size of Ozaukee.

“Things all lined up magically. As they say, it only takes one throw,” Bill said.

But it took years of hard work leading up to that throw.

“She’s put a lot of time and effort in weekends on throws camps,” Bill said.

Additional weight lifting and watching how college throwers prepare and execute at UW-Whitewater helped, Bill said.

Emma’s father encouraged and guided her but never forced her to practice.

“If she wants to throw, I’ll go with her,” he said.

“At the end of the day, it was her drive and determination.”

The family celebrated by going out to dinner in Whitewater and on the way back stopped at the mom-and-pop ice cream shop Frostie Freeze in Fort Atkinson.

“She got a treat for the ride home,” Bill said.

 With the outdoor season attempting to get started, Mother Nature pending, Emma continues her focus on shot put and again will throw discus.

“It could be a big season,” Bill said.

Ozaukee was scheduled to compete at a quadrangular against Reedsville, Elkart Lake-Glenbeulah and St. Mary Central at Reedsville on Tuesday and at an invite at Random Lake on Friday.

In 2016, Richards won discus at the Division 3 state meet in La Crosse and was second in shot put with a throw of 41-7.5. Last year, Richards went for broke and fouled on five of her six throws between the two events and didn’t medal.

Richards last year signed a letter of intent to attend Grand Valley State.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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