It’s all in the throws for Mount Si juniors Abby Triou and Jenae Usselman.
Discus, javelin, shot put — the girls are all over them like a wildcat on a feeding frenzy. At press time, Triou was atop the 4A KingCo list in the discus with a throw of 103-7 and Usselman was second with a 100-7. Usselman topped the KingCo javelin list with a 141-08, which is third in the 4A state rankings. Triou was also sixth in the shot in KingCo with a 33-8.5.
They join Mount Si boys runners Jesiah Irish and Joe Waskom in the spotlight. Waskom, a junior, is first in both the KingCo and 4A state rankings in the 3,200 meters (8:58.87) and Irish, a senior, is first in KingCo and ninth on the 4A state list in the 100 meters (11.00).
Triou picked up on the discus in seventh grade and has never looked back.
“It was really awkward at first. I was like, ‘Oh, this is new,’ but you get the momentum and you get the feel and it just all comes together and it’s all fun,” she said before throwing at practice last week.
She met Mount Si throwing coach Christopher Jackson when she was in sixth grade and he pointed her in the discus direction.
“I think it’s just focus and practicing every single day and having good coaches, just hearing both what they have to say and their encouragement to want us to go farther,” Triou noted as to what drives her to succeed.
Usselman has thrown the discus and javelin for the last three years and thrives within the track and field community. Practices are fun, she said, and involve a lot of working on technique, weightlifting, stretching and jumping.
“It was something different,” she said about why she tried her hand at the throws. “I’m big into sports and just trying something new, just to see if I could do it, I thought it would be a lot of fun and it ended up being a good choice.”
She feels that staying calm and focusing on technique are important aspects of throwing when it’s her turn in the events.
“I never thought I would get where I was this year. I thought maybe next year, but this was kind of a surprise hitting this big of a PR, and then more to come hopefully for state,” Usselman said.
The Reporter asked Usselman and Triou a series of questions for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into their lives.
Reporter: What’s your favorite restaurant in the area?
Usselman: Ooooh, a favorite restaurant. It would probably have to be something like MOD Pizza because you get to put whatever you want on it. Because I’m kind of a picky eater.
Triou: I like Bai Tong on the Highlands. Some good Thai.
Reporter: What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Usselman: A lot of things. I’m a big rule follower, so when people don’t follow the rules, it really bothers me.
Triou: I get really picky when things aren’t in a straight line. Just organization.
Reporter: What’s something unique about you that somebody might not know?
Usselman: That I am actually super introverted. I spend a lot of time at home. When I’m out in public, I’m not very shy.
Triou: I love school. I’m kind of a nerd at heart. History and LA (language arts), man, I’ll tell you everything.
Reporter: What’s your favorite kind of music?
Usselman: Elton John, Beatles type of era. Billy Joel. Oh yeah, that’s some good music.
Triou: I like pretty much any genre, but country is by far my favorite.
Reporter: What’s the last movie you saw?
Usselman: “Only the Brave.”
Triou: I saw “Avengers: Infinity War,” it was pretty good.
Reporter: Who’s your favorite idol?
Usselman: It would have to be my family. I just look up to my family a ton.
Triou: My mom and my dad. They’re just really encouraging and have the same family (qualities) that I want to have when I grow up.