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April 11, 2022
Tarik Robinson-O'Hagan is March 2022 Athlete of the Month
Woonsocket thrower earns 5 National titles in shot, weight
Earning multiple National titles in a two week span, thrower
(Woonsocket RI/ Ocean State Hammerheads) is the USATF-NE Athlete of the Month for March 2022.
On the March 11-13 weekend, the senior thrower won three golds over the two National high school meets held in New York City. He spun the weight 81-11.5 at New Balance Nationals and 85-00.25 at the Nike National Scholastic Athletics Foundation Meet for golds.
He doubled back with a win in the shot put at Nike NSAF in 68-3.25 and finished second - just 2 centimeters behind shot winner Max Klein of Newton MA - at New Balance, his fourth event of the weekend that included plenty of travel between the NYC Armory and Ocean Breeze on Staten Island.
The following weekend at the USATF Youth Championships in New York, Robinson-O'Hagan won another pair of throws in the Boys 17-18 division. He launched three 20-plus meter throws to capture the shot with a best of 20.41m/66-11.5, and 25.81m/84-8.25 on his last attempt to win the weight.
He had opened the month by winning the New England High School Championship in the shot put, and ended the season with the nation's leading performances in both the shot and weight. He's headed to Ole Miss for his collegiate career in the fall.
Learn a bit more about Tarik and Coach Piette
How did you get into throwing? Did you play any other sports leading up to ultimately specializing in track?
Coach Piette had my good friend Logan Coles approach me during our football season. I played football since I was 8 years old up to my senior year.
You showed some incredible consistency this season in both the shotput and weight throw. How were you able to steadily perform at such a high level for so many meets?
I practice multiple times a week getting enough reps in each event.
: Walk us through the experience of competing at two national championships. How did it feel to bring home multiple titles?
It was a very fun experience competing against all the top guys in the country for a gold. Taking home 3 gold medals is a big accomplishment because I've been training the past 3 years for 1 medal so to take home 3 is huge for me.
You have had a plethora of accomplishments and accolades. What was your most proud achievement in your high school throwing career?
This indoor season as a whole was my most proud achievement because I broke all my records in the shot put and the weight throw.
How did you decide on University of Mississippi for your collegiate career? What do you hope to accomplish at the NCAA Division 1 level?
The school was best fit for me.I felt most comfortable choosing Ole Miss for academics but also me and coach have a good bond. I hope to keep competing the same way I do in high school breaking records then taking gold one day.
What are some hobbies you enjoy outside of track?
I like to play different sports like bowling and soccer.
Questions for Coach Marc Piette
What do you see as the key factors for the steady improvement Tarik had over 4 years in high school?
I think that the overall improvement with Tarik over the 4 years of high school was the fact that he absolutely fell in love with the sport, fell in love with the grind of practice, it has become his main passion. He strives everyday to learn something new or try something different to better his throws. Whether it be from me, a youtube video, studying the professionals throws and try to find something that we can utilize to be better.
How did he work through the "Covid year" of limited training and competition opportunities?
The Covid year was hard mentally, to lose all of your championship meets that you worked so hard for. Our district did not allow us to get together to practice from March to July, I was able to see them between July-August with my club team, and then back off from September to December. We talked frequently about what they could do without me being there, and he went out and threw on his own 4-5 days a week and this is where he really became a true student of the sport, found that true passion for it. He didn't lose any ground but actually gained during this time which was amazing considering no work out facilities were available.
Did coaching change after he made his big jump in performances this season?
The coaching has never changed. I have formulated a very specific throws program over the years which has generated a lot of success. One main thing I always preached was we will not chase numbers, stick to the script, don't change what's not broken. That philosophy has seemed to work really well, and a lot of our goals have been met because of it. If I changed things - who knows?