Thursday, 20 June 2013 00:00
Four months into her freshman year, Tara Belinsky was approached by Track and Field throwing coach Russ Anbinder, asking if she would be interested in throwing the shot put. Like most Manhasset High School girls, she had grown up playing PAL youth lacrosse and planned to play lacrosse for Manhasset. Even though she didn’t know much about the shot put, she decided to give it a try during that freshman indoor season. That first season, Belinsky qualified and medaled at the NYS Indoor State Championships, setting off a series of events that no one could have expected.
Ever since her first practice throw of the eight-pound shot put, it has been a steady progression resulting in first place at the 2013 New York State and Federation Championship in shot put with a PR of 44' 3" at Middletown High School on June 8. Tara has now medaled in three of the four State Championships she has qualified for. She goes into next year as the number-one ranked shot putter in New York State.
Former Manhasset Track and Field coach Richard Marks confirmed that Belinsky became only the second Manhasset High School girl to win a NYS Outdoor State Championship, joining Shauna Byfield, who in 1999 won in the High Jump. Belinsky has had a stellar year, as she has placed second at the NYS Indoor State Championships, was named an Indoor Track and Field All-American, came in fourth place at Nationals, and medaled at the Penn Relays. She was also named to the All Long Island Indoor Track and Field. In a little more than two years, Belinsky has become one of Manhasset’s most accomplished Track and Field athletes—and she still has her senior year to add to her athletic resume.
Coach Steve Sproul is happy that he has Belinsky for one more year and believes that she will continue to improve. “Tara is a hard worker who has an intense desire to succeed. She has worked hard on improving her technique, speed and strength and that effort has led to her success. Tara is also a positive leader for our program,” Sproul said. Coach Anbinder commented that he is impressed with how quickly she has developed into a nationally ranked shot putter.
Belinsky currently holds the Manhasset High School records for indoor and outdoor shot put and for discus. Coach Sproul hopes to see her break these records many more times during her senior year.