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McNally among throwers at Jamestown

Moira McNally in the middle of her 20-pound weight throw during her freshman season with the Jamestown Jimmies. (Photo by Tom Nord)

McNallyChokio-Alberta graduate Moira McNally knew playing a college sport was something she wanted to pursue, and the University of Jamestown in Jamestown, North Dakota, gave her that opportunity.

“When I decided to attend Jamestown, I knew it was possible for me [to play a sport],” McNally said. “It was a toss-up between playing basketball and track and field. Ultimately, I decided to throw because it is a more individual, flexible sport that I enjoyed. Track also allows me to focus more on my education, which is my priority.”

McNally is pursuing a biology major.

“I haven’t decided what I want to do with it in the long run, but I’m leaning more towards the research aspect of the field,” McNally said.

Minnesota prep track and field has only shot put and discus. In college however, there are several more. McNally got her feet wet in the new events. Some went better than others.

“The weight throw and javelin were two events I struggled with,” McNally said. “They were fun to throw, and I hope I can continue to get better at them. Moving outdoors this spring and getting to try hammer went surprisingly well, I felt that the footwork just clicked, so I have been somewhat competitive in that event, at least more than I thought I would be for freshman year.”

Her personal best in the hammer throw is 121-09, which was third best mark on the team. Her best discus throw of 114-01 led the Jimmie throwers. That mark also beat her high school best by six feet.

“My favorite highlight was finally beating my discus personal best at our home meet and being the top discus thrower on the team as a freshman,” McNally said. “[Discus] is my favorite event, so it felt good to finally beat my high school record. Another highlight was winning the indoor conference.”

The North Star Athletic Association Indoor Track and Field Championships were held at Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex on the campus of South Dakota State University. It was the third consecutive indoor conference championship for UJ’s women's track and field team.

McNally decided to attend Jamestown before her senior year of high school began. Associate head coach Jim Clark was able to learn more about her through Morris/C-A assistant track coach Tim Cannon, a past alum of Jamestown and the Jimmie track program.

“I was able to learn more about Moira because of Tim and Vicki Cannon, who are both Jamestown alums and past Jimmie track and field athletes,” Clark said. “Tim was her throwing coach and he said wonderful things about Moira. The first thing that stood out before I met her was that she was a fabulous student.”

Throws coach Kathryn Lemm had five freshman throwers this season. Her key expectation for them was to figure out college, she said.

“We had five freshman throwers this (past) year, they all meshed really well with our program and group chemistry,” Lemm said. “I always tell the freshmen that the major thing I expect out of them the first year is to figure out college, how to go to class and get good grades, manage living on their own, and how to get to practice and meets. If they can get comfortable with all of that, their meet performance will be a bonus. Moira has a great work ethic and was really positive at practice. She worked hard at learning new events, and she did a great job in the classroom with some challenging classes and labs. She was on the dean’s list for the spring semester.”

Next year, Lemm expects more of the same out of McNally.

“Doing a good job in the classroom and continued improvement with her throws,” Lemm said of her expectations for McNally. “Moira has a good steady personality, and I really enjoy working with her. We’ll look to keep improving her discus and hammer and weight throws with drills and improving technique.”

McNally hopes to continue re-besting her personal records in all four events next season.

“I also hope to make it on the Jimmie Top 10 list in hammer,” said McNally, who is currently 11th on the list.

McNally will be joined by Morris Area graduate Katie Cannon, who will join the Jimmie track team in 2018.

Brooke Kern

All photo inquiries to bkern@morrissuntribune.com or photos@morrissuntribune.com.

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