LINCOLN, RI (WPRI) — This week’s Cardi’s Furniture & Mattresses Hometown Sports Hero is Jillian Leahy.
The Lincoln High School Senior took home Gold in the Weight Throw at the RIIL State Indoor Meet, then finished runner up at the New Balance Nationals, earning her first All-American honor in a sport she found as a Sophomore.
“My first day of practices, I was really nervous, and I was looking up what a Weight was, and I saw Deanna Price’s Hammer Throw and I was like, ‘Oh my Gosh, there’s no way I can do that,” Leahy said. “It was really scary. It was a different sport, something I never tried before because it was Individual, so it was really cool and I’m just so happy I did it.”
“The first year they get into it, they try and figure it out, and last year we figured she’d be pretty good at this and this year she proved that,” said Lincoln Trach Coach Brian Grant. “State Champion, All American, so going in the right direction.”
Her success earning her an opportunity to throw at Brown University, where she will join three other Rhode Island natives who currently throw for the Bears.
“I think it’s exciting,” Leahy said. “The Rhode Island throwing community is so close and so great that I’m excited to have a piece of that at college. I’m so close, but I don’t go to Providence much so it’s still far enough away from home.”
Before she heads to Brown, Jillian has a list of goals in mind, including breaking the school Hammer Throw record and earning another gold at the State Meet. Becoming the Lions first even National Champion is her ultimate dream.
“Seeing how I was able to battle at the New Balance Indoors this year, back and forth for the 1st place spot, unfortunately losing the 1st place spot by 1.5 inches and PR’ing on my last attempt, I think it gives me a lot of confidence in myself as an athlete,” Leahy said. “And I know that in the competitions, even when it goes wrong at first, I can battle it out.”
“It would mean so much to me. I think the girl who started this sport in Sophomore year wouldn’t believe where she is now. And it’s all due to my Coach and I want to be able to make him proud so I think it would be amazing.”
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