Hoosac thrower Provost aims for New Englands

Saturday May 12, 2012

DALTON -- Hoosac Valley's Liz Provost has a simple goal: to return to the New England Scholastic track meet at the end of the year.

As a junior, Provost finished sixth in the state meet in the shot put last season to qualify for New Englands. She also finished 11th in the discus.

"I'd like to get back there," she said. "That's the plan."

Provost, last year's All-Eagle Track and Field co-MVP, is already the Hurricanes' record-holder in the girls' discus, with a distance of 111 feet, 11 inches, set last week. She is also within striking distance of the Hurricanes' girls shot put record of 37-7, held by Paula Wojcik. Provost's best effort is 36-11, accomplished against Pittsfield on May 1.

Provost won both events Friday against Wahconah, but the Warrior girls used their superior depth to dominate the meet, 96-45. Marisa Sprague was a triple winner for the Warriors, with first-place finishes in the 100 (13.34 seconds), triple jump (34-2 1/2) and long jump (17 feet).

The Warrior boys made it a sweep with a 77-64 win. Wahconah accomplished this without its best sprinter, Nick Virgilio, out with a hamstring injury. Virgilio will be out for the rest of the year, according to Warrior coach Pat Cullinane.

"He wants to come back, but I don't want him to reinjure [the hamstring]," said Cullinane. "He's disappointed. But we shifted some people around today, and it worked."

Joey Szczpaniak set a school record with a toss of 151-11 in the javelin for Wahconah.

A 2-3 finish in the high jump, with Kevin Boino's second place finish in 5-6 and Jackson Alberti's third-place finish of 5-2 put the Warriors over the top in a close meet.

The Warrior girls dominated on the track to win their fourth meet of the year.

"They work very, very hard," said Wahconah girls' coach Jeff Pike. "They put in the time. I can't take credit for that. I'm just on the sidelines."

The Hurricanes held their own in the field events, in part because, led by Provost, the Hoosac shot putters went 1-2-3.

"We've got the top three throwers in the county," said Hoosac girls' coach Greg Lucia. "Miranda Gajda is second in the county and Shauna Lefebvre is third."

Should the Hurricane senior set the shot put record, she would become the second such record holder in the Provost family. Her father, Jon Provost, still holds the school record of 47-6, set in 1983.

It's something of a family affair, as Liz Provost's mother, Lisa, was also a shot putter at Hoosac.

Jon Provost said he and his daughter speak after every meet about her performance. Does he offer any advice?

"Advice? She doesn't listen to me," he said with a laugh. "[Assistant Hoosac] coach [Jim] Fassell has helped her a lot with her form."

"She's a self-starter," said Fassell of the younger Provost. "She has that work ethic. She's a throwback to the old days. You only get someone like her once every few years."


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