Who: Lindsey Barton
Sport: Track and field.
Events: Hammer throw, shot put, discus.
High school: Loudoun Valley, 1998 graduate.
College: William and Mary.
Update: The former Group AA Northwestern District and Region II champion in the discus has made a smooth transition into collegiate throwing circles. Placed fifth in the shot put at the Colonial Athletic Association outdoor championships this past spring and improved her discus throw by eight feet over her high school best. Also learned a new event, the hammer throw, which she and her college throwing coach feel eventually could be her best event. Plans to major in business. After graduation, aspires to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla., and become a commercial pilot.
Are you pleased with your college choice?
I love Williamsburg. The beach is not far, and it is close to Richmond; it has become my second home. Training started as soon as I got there, and my new teammates became my family almost immediately. It really took the pressure off when it came to meeting people and making new friends at college. And I was the only freshman thrower this year, so it was fun being the baby with everybody else trying to look out for [me].
Has it been a difficult adjustment from high school competition to competing against Division I college athletes?
I was considerably smaller than the girls I competed against, which was kind of intimidating. But as a freshman, I was not expecting too much out of myself and realized that it is going to take time to get bigger and better. As long as you keep that in mind and have a coach like I do who is supportive, you can adjust fine. It took a while, but I got used to competing against girls who are my father's size.
How is academic life at college?
It is much more challenging than high school, and you really have to achieve a balance between classes and sports. We train at least three hours a day, and two days a week we train for six hours, but the athletics department at William and Mary still emphasizes that academics come first. I did very well, but it took a lot of time and effort. I sat in the library for many hours pondering how I was going to pass my next test.
What are your goals in track and field?
Qualifying for the NCAA championships seems like such a faraway goal that I can't see it right now, but I want it. My coach thinks I have a good shot at it in the hammer. Next year, I want to qualify for the [Eastern College Athletic Conference] championships. I think that is a reasonable goal.
What has appealed to you the most about collegiate athletics?
Traveling to a lot of neat places. We spend whole weekends away at meets. We travel in really nice buses, all of our meals are paid for, and we stay in hotels and get to room with our buddies. It is a lot of fun and is very nice compared to the yellow buses we had to bum around in when we went to meets in high school.
I also think the bond you form with your teammates is one of the best things there is. You work so hard with these people constantly, and they make it a lot easier for you to deal with the stress of school and competition.
CAPTION: Lindsey Barton practices discus, but in college she has learned to hammer throw, too. Barton and her coach feel it could be her best event.