Junior thrower Lara Boman’s switch from her 16-year soccer career to throwing for track and field has been a successful transition, after making nationals and breaking the USD hammer throw record her first meet of the outdoor season.
Starting from scratch
Boman played soccer at USD for three years before having to sit out due to a hip injury.
From then, Boman decided to give up her 16-year soccer career.
“I really enjoyed the experience I had, I mean, I learned a ton, I grew a ton as a person,” she said. “I’m really, really happy it happened, so I have a lot of positive things to say about that. Just really enjoyable, really great memories and I made a lot of friends.”
Boman was approached by alumna thrower Meghan Dennis one day about her future as a USD athlete.
“One day she came up and was like, ‘Have you ever thought about being a thrower?’ and I was like, ‘No, but why not?'” she said. “So, she took me out in November and went out on the field and threw a hammer and I just really enjoyed it.”
A.G. Kruger, the assistant coach for throws, said he was confident in Boman walking on.
“I kind of just started that way, giving her a chance to be able to keep doing athletics in college with having to go get surgery on her hip and keep on playing soccer and she didn’t want to do that, she wanted to keep on training and doing some fun things,” he said.
Brooke Ireland, a senior sprinter and Boman’s roommate, said she had high hopes for Boman as a thrower.
“I kind of brought up what throwing is and encouraged her to meet with Meghan,” she said. “I knew she would fit in well with who A.G. is and what the program is.”
Breaking a record
Boman said her favorite event is throwing the hammer.
“It’s very rewarding when you can figure something out and feel like what your body’s doing to make the ball go farther, because you can’t really force it and muscle it, you have to do things the right way,” she said.
Boman threw the hammer 194 feet, 10 inches at the Baldy Castillo Invitational in Arizona on March 16, breaking the school record by almost three feet.
“It almost didn’t happen, I was kind of nervous,” she said. “I kind of went off and I was pretty frustrated. Watching second flight, I ended up making finals by like, not a lot of centimeters, so I was like, ‘Whoa I have another chance.’ It really helped me calm down and relax a lot more and then kind of just did what A.G. told me to do, which was just try to relax and let it happen, and I was able to get a good throw after that, so that was exciting.”
Kruger said he told Boman at the meet to “have fun and throw far.”
“She’s still got more in the tank and more to go the rest of the year so it’s gonna be a lot of fun,” he said. “Her biggest thing is just being able to relax and let the throw come to her.”
Ireland said Boman was able to break the record because of her dedication to throws.
“I think she’s the most dedicated female athlete I think I’ve ever met just because she has a passion for always improving and always never settling for anything less,” she said. “I didn’t think she thought (she) was going to (break) the school record or going to nationals the first round, but that’s where it’s going, which is amazing.”
Growing as a thrower
Boman said she was thankful Kruger allowed her to walk on.
“I don’t think (any other) coach would have said yes, because I didn’t have any background, but he gave me a chance and he really does that with a lot of us,” she said.
Ireland said Boman has many strengths as an athlete.
“Definitely I think the strongest woman at USD physically and mentally, emotionally. Even though she doesn’t usually see herself like that, everyone else does,” she said. “Even though she’s new to the sport and new to the team, that she’s still one of the leaders. She’s leading on the scoreboard, but also leading at practice as a person.”
Kruger said Boman is an “absolutely amazing” thrower and teammate.
“She’s one that comes in every morning and does extra drills to be able to make sure she keeps on learning,” he said. “She’s absolutely amazing to be part of this team and we just love that she’s a part of this team here.”
Since her first few meets and practices, Boman said she’s improved a lot.
“As a thrower, I have the video of me coming out there my first day, and it’s pretty funny because I had no idea what I was doing,” she said. “I still a lot of the time don’t really know what I’m doing sometimes, but just trying whatever it is you’re trying to work on every day and just trust that the next day you’ll be a little better.”