Local athlete competes in field competition

Brandie Richardson
Sorrento resident Tanya Whitney during the 50th USA Track and Field National Masters Championship.

Over the weekend the USA Track and Field National Masters Championship was held at Bernie Moore Stadium in Baton Rouge. Competing in the event was Ascension Parish resident Tanya Whitney.

The championship, which consisted of athletes 30 years old and up, was held July 13-16 at the LSU track. Whitney competed in the 55-59 division in five different throws.

The Sorrento veteran said she did much better than expected, as she placed fourth in the the weight throw, fifth in the hammer throw and shot put, sixth in the discus and eighth in the javelin.

Whitney first began competing in late 2014 in the Senior Olympics in Baton Rouge with the shot put and discus, though eventually was able to add more events as she continued competing.

"I wanted to just see if I could do it," she said. "I am a 100 percent disabled veteran so there's a lot of restrictions on what I can do and some of these events, it's not merely just going out and throwing something, there's technique that goes to it."

When she began three years ago she started off doing a few meets a year and now does dozens. Since the 2017 season kicked off in March, she has done roughly three meets a month.

"I traveled a little bit more. Normally I do local meets, this year I have traveled a little bit into Florida, Alabama, Texas, but normally it is a regular type of meet. I knew the event was coming to Baton Rouge this year so I wanted to get a bit more practice in with the meets."

In order to modify her throw style to fit her physical restrictions, she works with various people to pick up pointers, has gotten tips from East Ascension and St. Amant coaches and even watches YouTube. She said she plans on competing regularly in various meets.

"We are all amateurs, that's what's so fun about this. As long as I can keep doing it I plan on doing it."