2013-01-03 / News

Local athletes prioritize fitness when it comes to resolutions

9-year-old Ian Hall hopes to break world record in 2013
BY MARGO SULLIVAN

Some of Jamestown’s sportsminded residents said they are making New Year’s resolutions, and most agree that fitness will remain a top personal goal for them in 2013.

Attorney John Murphy said he is “resolved whenever possible, to help others take up and stick with a fitness regimen.” Murphy undertook a fitness program in his 60s. He has stuck to the routine, which not only helped him lose weight, but prepared him to participate in demanding athletic events such as the Save the Bay swim.

Murphy has told his personal story to motivate others. His wife pushed him to go to a fitness class, but he wasn’t really committed. Then, during one of the classes at Jamestown Fitness, he ran into Jamestowner Brian Reid, who pushed him to make a commitment and set a goal in front of the whole class. After that declaration, Murphy felt he had to follow through. He did. In fact, he has become so convinced about the benefits that come from getting in shape, he is making a New Year’s resolution to help other people get fit.

Bill Piva, the rec center’s director and assistant football coach at North Kingstown High, added hard work and training to the list of New Year’s resolutions.

“My resolution as a football coach is to work as hard as the players during the offseason, both in the weight room and film study,” he said. “It begins this week.” Piva cited a famous quotation from legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi, who said, “Individual commitment to a group effort, that is what makes a team work.”

Carol Browning put fitness, training and hard work on her list of resolutions, but also made a vow to find a “healthy balance” between sports and her commitment to family and friends.

“I hope to be as fortunate with success this year as I was last year,” she said. “I am hoping for continued success at Head of the Charles.”

In October, Browning won her third gold medal in the women’s over-50 race on the Charles River. Also in 2012, Browning bagged six medals at the U.S. Rowing Masters National Championships, which were held in Worcester, Mass.

Browning, who took up rowing in 1991 when she was in her 30s, competed for about 14 years before she won her first medal. She is currently working with “some truly skilled rowers” at the Narragansett Club, as well as continuing to cross-train with Jason Vieira of Balance Sports & Fitness.

“Of course, the most important thing is to strive to maintain a healthy balance between competing and my life with family and friends,” she said.

Brenda Westberry, a North Kingstown girls’ basketball coach, also made a resolution. “My New Year’s resolution is what it is every year,” she said. “To continue to be the best person I can be.”

Trevor Bobola, a midfielder with the Hamilton College men’s soccer team, is focusing on health, fitness and academics.

“My New Year’s resolution is to begin to get back into good health, start putting in the work to get back into game shape, and begin prepping for next season,” he said. “I also want to focus more on my school work for the upcoming semester.”

Ken Hall, the father of Ian, 9, said his son has set his sights high for the new year. According to his dad, Ian has just one resolution: break the international javelin (400 gram) record for 9-year-olds. The record is 110 feet, 5 inches. If he makes it, Ian will have broken three records for his age group in javelin over the past year.

Last spring, Ian broke the 8-year-old world record with a toss at Bryant College that went 28.72 meters – just over 94 feet. (The old mark was 27.95 meters.) Then over the summer he set an Amateur Athletic Union national record in the sub-bantam division for youngsters under 10.

Hall said Ian will travel to Florida to try to break the record. He will have to do so sometime before his next birthday in April.

Also, Ian was invited to compete in Finland, where a festival takes place to celebrate the world’s top young javelin throwers. While overseas, he will face off against 10-year-old Saku Laine. Saku held the record for 8-year-olds prior to Ian breaking it, and the Finland native also currently holds the top mark in both the 9- and 10-yearold age groups. The boys were profi led recently in a piece for Javelin Throw Magazine.

Ian just started training three weeks ago, before the weather dropped down to cold temperatures. “Ian had an incredible training series of throws with two of his classmates and their parents looking on down at the bottom of Frigate Street,” said Hall. According to his father, Ian several times came within 8 feet of the world record he will pursue in 2013.

“He didn’t have his actual javelin boots with spikes on,” Hall said, adding that it was the first time he threw in several months. “We always take the early school year off so he can focus on his academics.”

Meanwhile, Hall said, Ian can make no excuses not to work out in 2013 because the gym is right in their house now.

“We built a mini-gym in the basement to make sure he gets his kid-level workouts in during the winter months.”

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