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MCGILL: From Weight Room to Weight Throw, Clark Astonishes

Hasana Clark.
Jan. 25, 2017

By Chuck McGill

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – When the Marshall University track and field team hosts the Thundering Herd Invitational this Friday (3:30 p.m.) and Saturday (9 a.m.) at the Chris Cline Athletic Complex, there might be a record or two fall for the home team.

Why not? In three events this season – a dual meet against Ohio University and trips to the Kentucky Indoor Invitational and Virginia Tech Hokie Invitational – Marshall has broken five school records, at least one in each meet.

Sophomore thrower Hasana Clark has been one of those record-breakers … and she has eyes on doing it again.

“Her strength levels are astonishing,” said Travis Coleman, a Marshall track and field assistant who coaches the throwers. “That’s what you need to throw the weight far. She’s crazy strong.”

Clark, who attended Southeast Raleigh High School in Raleigh, North Carolina, took down a 13-year-old school record in a dual meet against Ohio on Dec. 1, 2016. Clark recorded a throw of 60 feet, 5 and one quarter inches in the weight throw, breaking All-American Erin Compton’s 2003 throw. Clark’s throw was 18.42 meters, while Compton’s was 18.02.



“To have a sophomore break a record speaks very highly for her potential,” Coleman said.

The secret is in Clark’s strength. She maxed out at 405 pounds in the squat as a freshman, but pushed it to 455 pounds as a sophomore.

“That’s a big jump,” she said.

She recorded 250 pounds in the hang clean.

“I haven’t even been lifting that long,” Clark said. “Only since my junior year of high school. I just went in there and started picking up weights and it was easy, so my strength and conditioning coach said we’d just add weights until I got tired. It started showing on the field.”

Indeed. Clark placed sixth in the invitational events at the University of Kentucky and Virginia Tech this month, nearly cracking 60 feet against in Lexington, Kentucky, earlier in January (59 feet, 8 inches) and putting a strong showing together in Blackburg, Virginia, last weekend (58-4.75). All three throws are better than any performance during her freshman season.

Clark said she initially didn’t think she had a high ceiling in the throws, but she thought she could garner some college attention so she stuck with it. That is when Coleman called her high school athletic director and started the recruiting process.

“He is why I am here,” Clark said of Coleman. “He’s the best coach ever.”

Now Clark is etching her name in the record books and setting her sights on career goals she never thought attainable.

“Before my goal was to break the school record before I graduated," she said, "but since I broke it this early my goals are now to break the school record again, my own record, and be No. 1 in the conference in weight and in the hammer.”