Through his hard work, Harold Connolly left a lasting legacy on hammer throwing in America and throughout the world. More than two years after his death, his legacy continues to be felt directly by the top youth throwers in the form of the USATF Foundation Harold Connolly Youth Hammer Throw Grants program he started.
Since 2005, these grants have handed out over $24,000 to help cover specified training and competition expenses for some of the most promising youth hammer throwers in America. Last year featured a record 22 recipients from 11 different states. Among them were established champions like US junior champion and world junior championship finalist Rudy Winker (Sand Lake, NY) and Nike Outdoor Nationals champion Avana Story (College Park, GA). There were also some up-and-comers like freshman Jacob Beene (Gilbert, AZ) and Sabrina Gaitan (Kennesaw, GA). A complete list of recipients is found here. On average, they improved their personal bests by 30 feet among the boys and 12 feet among the girls. While we cannot take credit for the hard work and dedication that led to each athlete’s success this past year, we would like to think that the grants helped motivate and support each athlete and made their efforts even better.
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