Western High School student-athlete Lily Kucharek is the school record holder in the shot put and discus throws. Photos by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports.
By Jeff Steers
(May 4, 2021 11:46 AM) Western High School athlete Lily Kucharek does not look like a typical thrower.
She is smaller in stature than most but makes up for it in speed and determination.
A willingness to get better at her craft has the WHS senior near the top in the state in the discus and shot put throws.
Kucharek is beginning her second full season in high school track and is already the school record holder in the shot and the discus. She threw the shot put 40 feet, 1.5 inches to start the season – throw that would have been third best at the state meet in Division 2 two years ago.
A couple of weeks later, Kucharek broke the discus record a couple of times. She threw the discus 125 feet 3 inches at a home meet on April 23. That throw would have put her fifth in the state in the Division 2 state meet in 2019.
Kucharek became interested in track and field in 10th grade and has blossomed since then. Despite not having a season in 2020, she got better at both events.
“After the cancellation of the season I started working with former Western Michigan University throws Coach Bill Griffey,” Kucharek said. “My mom worked with a former athlete of his and she got me in contact with him.
“Working with Coach Griffey has made all of the difference this season.”
Griffey also had an added benefit for Kucharek. The coach video tapes his throwing sessions with athletes and posts on his Facebook page.
Indiana State took notice of Kucharek and she recently signed to attend the University.
The school – known as the college of choice for Larry Bird – is a Division 1 program.
Kucharek took off from there, setting the school record in the shot in the first meet of the season but having a little trouble in the discus.
“I scratched all of my attempts after setting the record in the shot put,” Kucharek said. “I’m good now.”
The senior has an odd combination of speed and power. She can squat 230 pounds, bench press 125 pounds, and is a member of the team’s 400-meter relay team.
“Speed is what makes her a great athlete,” WHS Coach Taylor Belote said. “When we run our 30-meter flies, Lily was always in the top four.”
Kucharek has a best time of 14.6 seconds in the 100-meter dash this season.
Kucharek expects to throw the discus, hammer throw, and possible the javelin at ISU. She would like to study in the health sciences field.
She is currently attending on-line classes at Western.
“I tried on-line classes the first week of school and they are so much quicker,” Kucharek said.
She maintains a 3.68 grade point average at WHS, although she has produced straight A’s since 10th grade.
She is the daughter of Kristen and Jeff Kucharek.
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