Throwing to new Haights

Chandler Haight ‘18 is an extraordinary student and and a very accomplished thrower. Her sister has been her coach for the last four years and developed her passion for the sport.

Haight participates in discus during a track meet

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Chandler Haight ‘18 was introduced to throwing in fifth grade in the beloved “track and field days,¨ which were filled with oversized school t-shirts, eraser-runs, and tug of war. Haight also threw in middle school, but she didn’t really find her passion or technique for the sport until high school, where with the help of her older sister, Coach Danicah Haight— Chandler flourished.

Throwing has always been somewhat of a family thing for Chandler. All three of her siblings were throwers, and both sisters have thrown at the collegiate level. While they are all very supportive, having a three-time state champion in the shot put as a sister and coach definitely piles on the pressure. “Everyone is expecting me to beat her record and all that kind of stuff but it’s not that simple,” Chandler said. “We’re completely different sized people-we’re different people. Our bodies? Yeah they’re similar but they’re not the same and not every thrower can throw the same thing.”

The most difficult thing about throwing shot put and discus is the technique, along with  the mental aspect of it. “If you get mentally upset with yourself,” said Chandler, “It can throw you off, pun intended.”

Throwing is hard both physically and mentally. “It has a lot to do with technique,” Danicah said. “A lot of things could go wrong, and you have to figure out how to get past it and pick and choose what to focus on.”

The Haight Family throwers are all about tradition. Danicah was a 2010 West High graduate and part of the throwing team. “I love throwing,” Danicah said. “I wanted to continue to be around it and hopefully coach kids not only the fundamentals and techniques of throwing, but also the importance of responsibility, commitment, hard work, self-confidence, self-discipline, motivation, and positivity that can carry on to their lives after high school track.”

Chandler said the sport has definitely changed her for the better, and that it pushed her out of her out of her comfort zone in a good way. “It’s made me more social, honestly,” Chandler said. “I’m more of an introverted person, but with throwing—the team becomes more of a family thing. Like you’ll be friends with people even from the other team, which is a really cool thing that doesn’t always happen in other sports.”

Chandler is the only upperclassman on the throwing team, so she sees herself taking on the role of the leader or “the mom” of the group. “She’s always there if you need her. She’s like a mini Danicah,” said teammate Lexie Little ‘20. “I was so nervous for high school, but once I met her, she made it a lot more enjoyable whether it’s during track season or not.”

Having your sister as a coach definitely has its benefits. “She can push me harder in some ways because she knows my limits.” said Chandler, “I get more of a trustworthy relationship than I think I would have with another coach, because I’ve known her my whole life.”

Chandler is not only one of the best throwers in the state, placing fourth in shotput and seventh in discuss, she was also one of the two girls on the track and field team to be awarded all-conference academic honors.

Being on the same team has changed the bond that the sisters share, and part of that is watching each other change. Danica has witnessed Chandler grow up in many different ways, “Chandler has really learned not only to trust me as her coach,” Danica said. “But also to trust herself while gaining confidence throughout the years.”

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