Dartmouth high shot putters throw their way to nationals

Mar 27, 2024

High school track athletes junior Audrey Kertscher and senior Andrew Capataz threw their way to the Adidas Track Finals over the March 16 and 17 weekend — a rare occurrence for shot putters in Dartmouth, according to Shot Put Coach Wesley Lima.

“It's extremely rare,” Lima said. “They represent the best in their sport and we're very lucky.”

He added, “It's a testament to their hard work.”

Lima highlighted how both athletes worked hard to improve over the year. 

Kertscher and Capataz are relatively new to the track event as well, making this a unique opportunity for the two. 

Both believe they performed well at nationals, and enjoyed the experience of attending, commenting on how fun it was to see different events that aren’t at their typical meets.

They said the team itself has played a big part in keeping them motivated.

“It's kind of like a big family here,” Capataz said.

Kertscher said, “Everyone just really lifts each other up. I feel like being able to go to a meet and get first place or second place and just make everyone proud. I feel like that really motivates me.”

Lima said the athlete’s inexperience with the event is hard to see given their seemingly natural ability. 

“I'm just really so proud of how hard they worked and that they were able to accomplish this and the moments where both of them qualified and that their personal bests were just some of the best moments I've had as a coach because they were both so excited,” Lima said.

Shot put in Dartmouth hasn’t been the most popular event to new athletes, but Lima said he has seen growth in the last few years being the only non-running based event for indoor track.

“It's really a pleasure coaching people that are that talented and that willing to work,” he added.

Head Boys Coach John Breault said, “Andre is probably one of the most invested, hardest working kids we've had in the last couple of years as a thrower, and I mean, all of what he's accomplished in these last couple of years is really a testament to like that hard work and the effort.”

He added, “With Audrey, I mean she is just such a great kid overall, that it's great to see someone that is such a leader and puts in the effort, similar to Andre.”

Breault said Kertscher’s improvement, including a six foot increase to her personal record, were certainly points of celebration this year.

The two thanked their coaches for the support throughout the season, including to Lima, who Kertscher says, “really pushed us to do our best.”