With his world-leading M60-64 Javelin throw of 54.99m (180’-05”) at the USATF New England Track & Field Championships , Zane Rodriguez (Thor’s Stone/Norwich, VT) ) is the USATF-NE Athlete of the Month for July 2023.
Zane is a regular at throw’s events held throughout New England. Last year, with a throw of 51.02m, he took home a bronze medal from the 2022 World Athletics Masters Championships in Tampere, Finland.
What were your expectations coming into the New England Championship meet?
You’ve been throwing for a while, how did you get started?
First [time] throwing was Rutland HS, Vermont, then Bates College. After a 25 year hiatus, I picked up a javelin again at 47. I was around track because my daughter Grace was a middle distance runner at Hanover HS in New Hampshire and later for Boston College. At Hanover, I met Kent Womack (Yale javelin) and he introduced me to Masters track and field. Kent was coaching javelin at Hanover and I took over the volunteer job in 2009.
You’ve traveled the world to compete; what were some of your favorite meets?
Traveling to Tampere, Finland for the 2022 World Masters with USATF was certainly a highlight, and I still communicate with several javelin friends I met there.
What tips do you have for traveling?
I called Olympian Sean Fuery for advice and he said to try and time the competition within the first three days or after the sixth day to help with the jet lag.
How have you been able to keep throwing for so many years?
Yoga for mobility, moving light weights fast, and practicing on the runway until I can forget my steps. I also try to follow my advice to high school throwers that to beat your competition, one should try to out eat them and out sleep them. My wife Tracy and I also enjoy pursuing a healthy lifestyle together with nutrition, movement and daily habits.
What’s your favorite throws facility in New England?
I really enjoy the USATF-NE Open and Masters meet and the venues they choose. They are well run and fun to go to.
What’s next on the competition schedule?
We are very fortunate to have many opportunities to throw as masters here in New England way into the Fall.
Is there anyone you'd like to give a shout or thanks for this accomplishment?
I would like to thank Carl Wallin, Dartmouth’s field event coach (retired) for starting the Thor's Stone Athletic Club. We have over 50 members now and run the TSAC Throwing Series of 10 meets from June to October for all ages. Carl is out there every day teaching and coaching throwers from our Lebanon, NH area.
I would also like to thank Sean Furey and Furey Athletics for the content he produces online and for making himself available to talk technique and increase the interest and excitement for throwing the javelin. He constantly shares ideas to improve throwing, and when I return home, I will be setting up a Zoom session with him for two of my high school throwers.