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Different path, same goal: Somerset throwers hope to compete at state meet

Freshman Eve Goldstein (left) and senior Aly Meath (right) form one of the strongest throwing tandems in girls track in western Wisconsin.

One was seemingly born to compete in the throwing events.

The other didn’t have track on her radar until a football coach saw her sheer strength while she was playing basketball.

Combined, senior Aly Meath and freshman Eve Goldstein form the most formidable pair of girls throwers in western Wisconsin track circles. They’ve finished 1-2 in nearly every shot put competition and they’ve done nearly as well in the discus throws. They are Somerset’s best chances to make a major impact at the 2017 WIAA State Track Championships.

Meath was a softball player as a freshman. Then assistant football coach Joe Hutter saw her play basketball. Meath and another girl grabbed a rebound simultaneously. Meath tossed the girl several feet as they wrestled for the basketball. Hutter saw that raw power and suggested to the track coaches that they recruit her. She was an instant success. She qualified for the 2015 state meet in her first year as a shot putter.

While Goldstein is a freshman, she is one of the most seasoned throwers in this area. Last year, she won the USA Track and Field Junior National Championships, winning the national title in the shot put for the 13-14 age bracket. Genetics play a part in Goldstein’s success. Eve’s dad, Chad, was a Minnesota state high school champion in the shot put at St. Louis Park. His winning distance in 1989 was 61 feet, 11.5 inches, which still ranks as the eighth best distance ever reached at a Minnesota state meet. He threw for the University of Minnesota, earning a Big Ten championship and twice he was named an NCAA All-American.

Meath and Goldstein rank as the two top shot putters in this WIAA Division 2 sectional bracket. Goldstein ranks second in the discus in the sectional, behind defending state champion Destinee Haas of Baldwin-Woodville, with Meath also among the top eight in the sectional.

The two standout Somerset throwers have developed a quick rapport. Throws coach Tyler Rosa said they are quick to give each other advice after each of their throw attempts. While Meath is the older of the two, she is the one who gets more nervous for meets.

“Aly gets nervous for every meet, that’s who she is,” Rosa said. “After her first throw in warmups, she’s ready to go.”

The girls have different ways in preparing to compete. Goldstein said she likes to find a place where she can be alone with her thoughts. Meath said she likes to talk with her coaches until it’s time to throw to help alleviate any nervousness.

The coaches said the pairing of the two throwers has helped both of them. Tapping into the knowledge of the Goldsteins has helped Meath perfect her form and Meath has helped Goldstein adapt to the high school level of meets and competing in a team setting instead of individually.

While the girls have high hopes for the season, Meath has the experience to know that nothing can be taken for granted. After reaching state as a sophomore in the shot put, she was expected to return last year. But she didn’t have her best day at the sectional meet and fell short of qualifying.

The Spartans begin their WIAA tournament schedule Monday, May 22. They will compete at the Osceola Division 2 regional, which begins at 4 p.m.

The Spartans ran their final regular season meet Thursday, May 11 at Glenwood City. In the running events, the Spartans concentrated on the relays, looking to hone their skills before this week’s conference meet. The coaches wanted to make sure all of the younger team members got a final chance to compete in open events.

Somerset coach Terry Otradovec said the best news from the boys team was continued improvement in the middle distances, especially in the 400 and 800. The best results for the girls came in the field events. Meath and Goldstein both had marks beyond 40 feet in the shot put and Kat Praschak notched her best distances of the season in the long and triple jumps.

Dave Newman

Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for more than 30 years.

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