With its roots dating back to approximately 2000 BC and the Tailteann Games in Tara, Ireland*, the hammer throw is one of the oldest athletic sports. It is also one of the four throwing events in regular track and field competitions (along with the discus throw, shot put, and javelin). It isn’t necessarily a glamorous event and thus rarely gets much publicity but that’s changing – at least at St. Thomas Aquinas High School.
Freshman Cameron Cassidy is making his mark in the Track and Field sport of hammer throwing. This past summer, Cameron competed in meets throughout the New England region and trained extensively in this particular event with Coach Ed Arcaro, 1980 Olympic team member. At the end of July, Cameron competed at the USATF New England Outdoor Championships and the Junior Olympic Region Championships where (as a then 8th grader) he placed 7th against rising sophomores and juniors. He finished the 2017 season as the best 8th grade Hammer Thrower in the United States, throwing the 12lb hammer a distance of 159’06”- the sixth furthest hammer throw for an 8th grader of all-time.
When asked about his success and his future, Cameron quickly responds, “I look forward to throwing for STA during the indoor and outdoor seasons this year and expanding the throwing community here at STA.”
The current men’s hammer world record is held by Yuriy Sedykh, who threw 86.74 m (284 ft 6 3⁄4 in) at the 1986 European Athletics Championships in Stuttgart, West Germany. At STA, we think that the idea of a new record holder will happen sooner rather than later; it it is definitely no longer a long shot.
*Legend has it that the Celtic warrior Culchulainn gripped a chariot wheel by its axle, whirled it around his head and threw it a huge distance.