Telegram & Gazette’s: “Worcester State’s Sam Weeks, area athletes head to NCAA track and field championships”

Photo Credit | Frank Poulin
Photo Credit | Frank Poulin

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By Jennifer Toland
Telegram & Gazette Staff

If Sam Weeks wasn't in class over the last four years, his Worcester State friends would likely find him near Coughlin Field or inside Lancer Gymnasium lifting, squatting, spinning, or throwing.

"Every athlete here knows how much time I put into perfecting my craft," said Weeks, who will wrap up his outstanding collegiate track and field career this week.

Weeks came to Worcester State four years ago as a self-described "average" thrower from Methuen High School who joined the track and field team to stay in shape for football, his No. 1 sport in high school.

He will leave Worcester State as an elite performer.

Weeks qualified for the NCAA Division 3 Outdoor Track and Field Championships in three events — shot put, discus and hammer — and will represent Worcester State with three teammates, freshmen Edward Boamah of Worcester (400 meters) and Justin Lewis (high jump), and sophomore Stephanie McFadries (javelin), this week at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.

Weeks competed in the NCAA Division 3 indoor championships in March and finished 11th in the weight throw.

"Having competed in indoors will definitely help me out this week," Weeks said Tuesday, a few hours before the Worcester State contingent departed for the NCAAs. "I won't be as nervous because I already have the experience of competing at that level."

Weeks is ranked 10th in discus (165 feet, 7½ inches), 12th in the shot put (54-9½) and 18th in the hammer throw (185-3¼).

He owns the school record in the 35-pound weight throw at 59-10½.

The 5-foot-11, 215-pound Weeks is most consistent in throwing the shot, but discus is his favorite event.

"I have this certain love for discus," he said. "It's hard to explain. Discus is all about technique, and I'm always trying to perfect my craft, so I fell in love with trying to perfect the craft of throwing the disc.

"I never won in high school," Weeks added, "so that motivated me at the college level, and then putting in all the hard work and effort and time, I just started winning."

Weeks was this year's MASCAC indoor champion in the shot put, and he won the shot and discus at the conference's outdoor championships earlier this month. He helped lead the Worcester State men to the team title at both meets.

Weeks also played football and as a defensive lineman this past season totaled 79 tackles, 6½ sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Weeks captained all three of his teams.

He was recognized as Worcester State's Male Athlete of the Year at the school's recent athletics banquet.

"It was amazing, and it meant a lot to me," Weeks said.

Weeks, who graduated May 13 and earned his degree in health education, also served in Worcester State's Athlete Mentor Program, providing guidance for freshman student-athletes.

Local schools will send a strong group to the NCAA Division 3 Championships.

The school-record setting 1,600 relay team of junior Andrew Kelly, freshman Alex Rus, sophomore Ryan Wittenberg, and junior Warren Staver leads WPI into the event.

WPI junior Lea Strangio and freshman Sydney Packard qualified in the 800.

From Fitchburg State, sophomore Cameron Stalters (javelin) and junior Annie Woolley (100 hurdles) will compete.

Additionally, Holy Cross junior Zoe Matherne qualified for the East Preliminary Round of the NCAA Division 1 Championships on Thursday and Friday at the UK Outdoor Track and Field Complex in Lexington, Kentucky.