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Polar Bear of the Week: Corinne Ahern ’24

April 25, 2024

Courtesy of Brian Beard
THROW FOR A LOOP: Corinne Ahern ’24 won the hammer and javelin throw at the Pine Tree State Classic meet at Whittier Field last weekend, placing second in the NESCAC and throwing a personal best in both events. Ahern's mark in the javelin throw also currently ranks 22nd for Division III.

In a stellar performance at the Pine Tree State Classic last weekend, Corinne Ahern ’24 threw a personal best in the hammer and javelin competition not only for herself, but also for Bowdoin, winning both events. Ahern’s 46.49m hammer throw and 39.60m javelin throw put her second in the NESCAC for both events.

Despite her performance, Ahern admitted she had some concerns going into the meet.

“I was really hesitant because we hadn’t been practicing the outside events. I was a little nervous, it started out slow, it was raining every meet…. It’s really hard to throw in the rain, so that was really discouraging,” Ahern said.

Ahern drew confidence from her success in the indoor season, where she threw a personal best in the weight throw (15.37m).

Ahern maintained a mindset of giving her best shot at each and every event.

“When I threw my personal best … it was my last throw of the whole entire meet. In my head, I was thinking, honestly, ‘Corinne, just hit your positions,’ and then it just happened to go the farthest I ever thrown, which is the greatest feeling,” Ahern said.

Despite recovering from a concussion in the winter season, Ahern’s determination never wavered.

“Winter season started off slow because I had a concussion until the beginning of the season—until literally two days before the first meet—so I got cleared to compete in the first meet of the winter season, which was awesome,” Ahern said.

As a senior on the team, Ahern hopes she was able to support newer members this season, especially the first-year throwers.

“It’s a very young team. Most of our throwers are [first-years] so they’ve never been to  NESCACs.… What ends up happening is just trying to get a good throw at one event to score some points and then just sprinting to the next one,” Ahern said. “You might not throw as far as you want to, but it’s for the team, and you want to score points.”

Ahern acknowledged that track and field events can be seen as more individualistic, but added that it involves more team involvement than one would think.

“It’s hard because you go from a ‘wanting to throw as far as you can’ mindset to ‘we’re trying to score points for the team’ mindset,” Ahern said.

Ahern’s interest in running growing up ultimately set her on the path to javelin throwing.

“I started running for field hockey in middle school. We had to do a [timed mile], and I ended up running really fast. I ran it in under six minutes, which I didn’t know was really good. My gym teacher told me I absolutely needed to run track and cross country, so I ended up quitting field hockey and joining cross country as a distance runner my freshman year,” Ahern said.

Seeing a group of javelin throwers while running track left her in astonishment of the sport.

“I was running around the track, and I saw the team throwing javelin. I thought it was the coolest thing ever,” Ahern said.

Her coach told her that the team didn’t have that many throwers and encouraged her to give it a shot.

“I actually ended up not being half bad. I think it was because I played softball, so I had a throwing arm…. I think I threw over a hundred feet in the javelin my freshman year—that’s when I was like ‘Wait, I could actually do this,’” Ahern said.

Ahern noted that throwing and lifting became more important to her as she continued in her career.

“I actually fell in love with lifting too, so I ended up making a little switch. I still ran cross country, but I started running the 400[m] and throwing. It was a slow decline of running until more throwing. By junior year, I was basically just throwing,” Ahern said.

Through the Dartmouth engineering exchange program, Ahern enjoyed running track her junior year at Dartmouth and looks forward to tapping back into that in the future. An avid skier, nature and spikeball lover, she’s not sure how javelin fits into her future yet, but reflects on a teammate whose father got him into javelin early.

“There was someone on my team last year and his dad threw in college, so he started throwing when he was eight. Obviously he’s really good now. After ten years he’s really ahead of the game,” Ahern said. “Maybe one day, I’ll have kids and say, ‘Oh, you should throw javelin.’”

Ahern and the track and field team will compete at the NESCAC Track and Field Championships this weekend.


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