By Christopher Hunt
NEW YORK – It is fact that Shelby Ashe is the best in the country in the weight throw. She’s the best ever.
But when the senior gets in the cage she’s still handcuffed by her own thoughts. A slave to perfection. But Sunday at the New Balance Indoor Nationals, she decided to free herself.
Ashe, of St. Pious X Catholic (Ga.) ditched the three-turn approach that she hoped would bring her a national record and went back to two-turns. Back in her comfort zone.
She found perfection anyway. Ashe broke her own national record in the weight throw, tossing 68 feet, 2.50 inches (20.79 meters) to beat her old record of 19.93 meters.
Ashe is the only high school athlete in the country to throw beyond 20 meters. She did so three times Sunday. Ashe tossed 20.39 on her second attempt, 20.79 on her fourth and 20.08 on her fifth.
“After (the 20.39) it was just fun,” Ashe said. “Honestly there was no pressure. I really have a problem with over-thinking and analyzing things but after I got that first one out I could just let it rip.”
Ashe fouled on her first attempt, which is way she switched back to her old technique so quickly. She didn’t want to waste any attempts trying to work on things she could fix in practice.
“I guess I’ve kind of had a mediocre indoor season,” she said. “I know I didn’t want to leave here with any unfinished business.”
Reach Christopher Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org.