Cam Connell Has a Bright Future in Holliston Track

Christopher Tremblay
Issue Date: 
June, 2018
Article Body: 

When Cameron Connell entered the Holliston Middle School, he found out that they offered track and field, and he thought that trying the different events would be interesting. However, after trying a bunch of events, he just wasn’t thrilled with anything – that was, until he got to the shot put. He found that the event really peaked his interest, and it was very satisfying to him.
At the time of joining the track team, he was also playing baseball in the spring. Eventually, Connell passed on playing baseball, because the throwing in both sports was starting to take a toll on his arm.
Concentrating on only throwing the shot put Connell saw his distance rising and by the following year he was putting his name in the record books.
“As an eighth grader I ended up setting the school record with a throw of 49 feet – 11 inches and then I broke the State Meet record with a throw of 46 feet – 5 inches,” Connell said. “It felt really good. I wanted to continue to improve so between eighth grade and high school I took part in the Junior Olympics where I took first place in the shot put and then again finished first in both the shot put and discus at Regionals.”
Following the Regionals, Connell got to participate in the Nationals, where he was upset in his 16th place finish in both events.
“I was highly seeded going into the Nationals, my finish was disappointing to me,” he said. “Although I finished 16th in the discus, I did throw a personal best at that meet.”
Entering high school, Connell struggled at first, as the he found the weight difference of the shot put (8 lbs. to 12 lbs.) and the discus (1 kilo to 1.6 kilos) from middle school not as easy to throw. The freshman also found himself going up against kids 3 to 4 years older than he was.
The freshman also found that his height was giving him some problems with throwing, so throwing coach Manny Alves had to switch his throwing technique.
“Cam had himself a nice Middle School career, although he was tall and uncoordinated. I could see potential in him to do big things as a thrower, but it was going to take time both physically and emotionally,” Alves, a former high school state champion shot putter said. “Last year during the indoor season, I had him using the rotational style instead of the glide he was used to. I knew that if he could get the spin down and start getting stronger he could throw into the 50’s, and with some hard work he could possibly break the 60 foot barrier, an amazing feat for a New England high schooler.”
Having difficulty in keeping up with the older and stronger throwers during both his winter and spring seasons his freshman campaign, Connell started to work out as much as he could to get a lot stronger. Thus far this season, his sophomore year, Connell has drastically improved his throwing. Thus far he has tossed the shot put 46 feet-11.75 inches and the discus 125 feet-1 inch; both tops in the Tri Valley League.
“Cam is a very hard working individual and is currently undefeated in the shot put this season. He has also scored 36 points thus far, the highest on the team” Holliston Coach James Levasseur said. “I have high expectations for him in the future. As already one of the top throwers in the TVL, I hoping to see him as one of the top throwers in the state.”
While the Panther head coach sees Connell as a state champion, his throwing coach sees him doing better.
“Cam is only 16 years old, and I have him for another 2 plus years to coach and develop him into a great thrower and possibly a State Champion or better, a New England Champion,” Alves said. “Cam is a great kid and a hard worker, and I am looking forward to him becoming a great team leader and student athlete.”
Although it was some of his friends that pushed him a bit to try out track and field, Connell believes if it wasn’t for his coaches, there would be no way he’d be having the success he has enjoyed so far.
“My coaches have been amazing and have encouraged me to improve. I was blessed to have Peter Vigue as my Middle School coach; he taught me all about throwing and trained me to take part in the Junior Olympics,” Connell said. “Coach Vigue also told me to keep it up and I would become very good. My high school throwing coach Manny Alves told me to stick with it as well, and if I did, he’d help turn me into someone who could throw far.”
At the freshman/sophomore meet, Connell captured the shot put with a throw of 46 feet. Coking into the season his goal was to top 50 feet and currently he’s not that far off. He also wants to improve his discus throw to over 150 feet.
“Right now, I’m throwing 125 feet, but with a lot of hard work by the end of the season, I should be able to accomplish this,” he said. “As only a sophomore, I’m hoping that throughout my high school career I will continue to get better and eventually get some notoriety so that some colleges may be interested in me as I really would like to continue throwing after high school.”
As the young sophomore thrower continues to improve, he can only imagine what his future holds for him. If he continues to excel at the pace he has, there should be no issues with colleges looking for him to join their teams.