PreRaceJitters’ Q & A Interview: Louisville’s D’Ana McCarty takes it to the Next Level
May 22, 2009 by Jay Hicks
Photo courtesy of University of Louisville’s Sports Information Office.
She is a breaker of boundaries. Last year, D’Ana McCarty arrived on the Louisville campus as a moderately recruited thrower and during the 2009 season, elevated her own game while at the same time elevating Louisville’s status on the collegiate track and field scene.
Success. A tradition starts with one action. One individual.
McCarty won the women’s track and field program’s first-ever NCAA championship and the schools first NCAA title with her win in the weight throw in the 2009 NCAA Indoor Championships on Friday at Texas A&M’s Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium in College Station.
Last weekend, McCarty won the hammer throw with a toss of 190-04 (58.02m), placed third in the shot put with a throw of 50-05.50 (15.38m), improving her national ranking. The Indianapolis, Ind. native also took third in the discus with a distance of 158-07 (48.35m).
PreRaceJitters’ caught up with D’Ana McCarty and here is what she had to say:
PRJ: You threw 72-05.75 (22.09m) in College Station. How did it feel to win an NCAA title in your first trip to an NCAA meet, whether indoors or outdoors?
DM: It felt great since it was my first time ever making it to indoor nationals or any nationals.
PRJ: Have you had time to absorb the historical nature of your feat, as the women’s track and field program’s first-ever NCAA championship and school’s first women’s NCAA title?
DM: I still don’t think it has sunk in. For me to win the first ever NCAA women’s championship in school history and track and field after only throwing weight for two years is just way over my head. I just stay level headed and only look into the future.
PRJ: Recently, you threw 192-03 (58.61m) in the hammer at the Big East Outdoor Championships and you also threw 49-10 (15.19m) in the shot put, setting personal best marks with each event. What do you account for your progression in the throws.
DM: I just finished with two finals right before we flew down there the day before and I was feeling free and excited. I wanted to win and score points for my team. In doing so I reached two goals for my outdoor season. I threw a season PR in hammer and discus. Shot put came out good and just a little under my goal for the season of 50 feet.
PRJ: After winning the weight NCAA title as a sophomore, what keeps you from complacency? What motivates you to continue improving your skills?
DM: Well what keeps me from being complacent is the fact that I have other goals that I want to reach. I mostly focus on myself and my teammates can attest to that in how when they say a top thrower I will just blank out and be like who threw what? I try not to let other people’s marks scare me since that is their PR and not what they throw at every meet.
PRJ: Last year you finished 21st in the hammer throw at the IAAF Junior World Championships in Poland. What if anything did you learn from that international competition and do you feel that experienced has transferred to this years success?
DM: I just had fun and did what I was trained to do. I guess it transferred over to this year in the sense that I didn’t feel pressure from others or let others scare me.
PRJ: Looking forward to the Outdoor NCAA Championships, what events will you compete in and what marks do you think it will take to win the events at the NCAAs.
DM: So far I don’t know if I’ll make it to the NCAA Outdoor championships, it’ll take about 53 meters in discus and 60 to 61 meters for me to make it in the hammer. I have a meet this weekend and I hope that my practices will help me get there.
PRJ:Have you felt any additional pressure since becoming an NCAA Champion?
DM: No I haven’t since weight is only thrown indoors and hammer is thrown outdoors. I don’t really focus on others like I said earlier.
PRJ:What will you training consist of with remaining weeks left in the collegiate season?
DM: Just the usual practice and lifting. The only thing I’m adding now is a painting job I do to pay for things.
PRJ: How did you originally become interested in competing in the throws?
DM: My Dad was a thrower back in the day and so he kept trying to get me to go out for it and my old freshman basketball coach was the track head coach. With those two working me over I finally gave in and joined the team.
PRJ: Between the hammer, weigh throw, shot put and discus – which is your favorite event and why?
DM: Well my favorite is the weight throw since I won nationals with it and then second is the hammer. I like these events because even when I was a kid I liked to just spin in circles. Ha and they said it would never be useful.
PRJ: Off of the track, what are you studying at Louisville and what are your career goals?
DM: Right now I am in Arts and Sciences as undecided. I’m taking classes that would have me minor in business management and major in communications.
PRJ: What are the top five songs on your iPod?
DM: Many Moons by Janelle Monae, You Found Me by The Fray, Give It All by Rise Against, Welcome Home by Coheed and Cambria, and Fences by Paramore.
PRJ: What is your favorite television show and why?
DM: My favorite show is Family Guy and I just find it hilarious.
PRJ: Thank you for taking time for PreRaceJitters.com and good luck with the remainder of your season.
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