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Hello, My Name Is: Lauren Bird

Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 10:08 PM CDT
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AMHERST, Wis. (WSAW) - When Amherst thrower Lauren Bird first started throwing in seventh grade, she did so at the behest of a coach. Little did she know, it would lead her to college.

In her senior season, Amherst thrower Lauren Bird is eying the podium at the WIAA state track and field meet in her senior year. To get to the point of a potential state medalist, she had to go from seventh grade Lauren to learning the art of the shot.

“I was okay at it, seventh grade and eighth grade I was pretty good, but freshman year I really started to take it more seriously,” Bird said about her start in throwing.

Her talent first emerged in her first meet as a freshman, which was at Wausau West. Bird threw the shot 36 feet, and six inches, easily earning the top spot at the event.

“Everybody was looking at me like ‘where the heck did you come from?’ I don’t know. I just did,” Bird said with a laugh.

From that moment forward, confidence continued to build, and people took notice.

“The ability is there. Now, can we put it together and can we stay consistent with that,” her head coach Gary Fitzgerald said.

She knew she had the strength. But it was during her freshman year when she understood technique was what will push her to the top.

“I was like ‘yeah, this is what I need to do here, this is what I need to do here,’” Bird said.

Consistency began to take shape and Bird started finding her power position. She qualified for the state meet her freshman and junior year after her sophomore year was canceled due to COVID-19.

But beyond state goals, the two-time state qualifier entered the circle this season eying one mark—the school record in the shot put. She cleared the mark at a meet last week.

“When that announcement came, I yelled new school record to anything in distance,” Bird said.

After the realization, she ran to her coach to give him the news.

“I had a shot putter in my arms, to say the least. She was thrilled to death,” Fitzgerald said.

Bird shattered the previous record by over a foot, throwing the shot 41 feet and 11 inches.

“I look at the video to see. That was in line, that was perfect, this was good. It all just came together,” Bird said.

Bird’s goals aren’t yet complete, with a podium finish at state next on the list, but the school record validated her focus on new expectations.

She is set to throw at the University of Minnesota, Mankato next season.

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