WA Ghostwriter

Mark Dunne leaves a legacy at WA

Anthony Cammalleri, Managing Editor

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Stepping onto the Lowell High School field, 2017 graduate Mark Dunne picked up the shot put and gazed into the distance at the yellow 50 inch line painted onto the grass. Spinning, and throwing with all his might, the sight of a shot put flying into the horizon passed his eyes. In an instant, he had transformed from a talented athlete, into a part of WA’s athletic history.

At the state finals for track and field last May, Dunne had set out not only for a successful game, but to beat WA’s indoor and outdoor shot put distance records. His goal had originated at the beginning of Dunne’s season when he gained confidence that he could beat the twelve year standing record of forty-nine feet and six inches. Dunne eventually threw fifty-one feet and ten inches.

“It hadn’t really been a goal until the beginning of this season for indoor, when I knew I could throw that distance,” he said.

The outdoor record of Jim Curley’s fifty-one feet, on the other hand, which had been kept since 1985, seemed further out of reach to Dunne, until the morning of state finals, when he surprised himself with an exertion of unimaginable strength, throwing the shot put fifty-two feet and half of an inch.

“The outdoor one [record] was a little bit more of a reach for me. It has always been a goal to hit it but […] I was warming up and everything was feeling good, I was feeling fast, I was feeling strong and I threw my first throw in the competition and it was half an inch below the school record, so I was very anxious. I knew I could get it, I was right there, and in my first throw of the final round, I beat it by a foot and half an inch,” Dunne said.

Having graduated from WA on June 2nd, Dunne does not wish to end his triumph at WA. Next year, Dunne will be attending UMass Lowell, where he will be in the division one program for track and field to throw the shot put as well as the javelin. He plans on training endlessly so that he can compete at higher and higher levels in the future.

“It’s definitely going to be more intense, you’ve got to lift more, get stronger and quicker, [get] better mechanics. It’s a challenge I’m waiting to achieve and take on during my college career,” he said.

Although his ambitious goals lie ahead of him, as of now, according to Dunne, he is simply enjoying the thrill of his success.

“It’s kind of indescribable. I remember, I threw it, and they have the fifty foot line out in the sector, and I saw beyond it, and when I saw the tape measure read ‘fifty-two’, I immediately felt elated […] I was freaking out,” Dunne said.

 

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