Vergennes thrower brings home gold

VERGENNES — A Vergennes resident who brought home four gold medals from the recent regional track and field championships has in the process qualified to compete in the nationals next week.
Ron McConnell won four gold medals in the USA Track and Field Eastern Regionals meet on June 21 at the University of Albany.
McConnell, who is fitness director at the Swimming Hole in Stowe, won the men’s open javelin with a throw of 179 feet, good enough to quality for the USA Track and Field Club Nationals meet in Tacoma, Wash., July 11-12. He also won the shot put with a throw of 43 feet, 9 inches; the discus, with 133 feet, 9 inches; and the hammer, with 149 feet, 10 inches.
Although he could compete in the nationals in Washington, McConnel said this week that he will bypass that meet and instead compete at the USATF East Regional Throwing Pentathlon in Chelsmford, Mass., on July 12, where he hopes to make a mark on both the national an world stages.
The throws pentathlon is a five-event contest in which point are awarded for the distances the competitor heaves the hammer, shot put, discus, javelin and 35-pound weight. Last August, McConnell won gold in the USA Masters Throws Championships with an overall score of 3,749 points.
“Since my right arm and neck are healthy again (finally recovered from the disc herniation two years ago) I feel I can approach the 4,000-point mark at the throws pentathlon,” McConnell, 52, said of his reason for bypassing the javelin nationals.” Four thousand points would rank third in the world and first in the U.S. masters. Some good throwers will be there so it should be a fun meet.”
Editor’s note: The Stowe Reporter contributed to this story.

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