Webster Thomas senior Monique Hardy is one of the best throwers in the country, but began her track and field career as a sprinter.
Hardy is the defending weight throw national champion since Nationals were canceled this spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She also holds three back-to-back state titles in the weight throw, and won the 2019 state shot put championship in the spring. Even with all of these accolades, her best event is the hammer throw, an outdoor field event not offered by the NYSPHSAA.
“The indoor ball is 20 pounds, and the outdoor one is eight pounds on a three-foot wire,” said Hardy. “I figured I did well during indoor I might as well give it a shot.”
She unleashed a 66 feet, 11¼ inches throw at the Millrose Games in New York City this February, just over one foot short from breaking the national weight throw record of 68 feet, 2½ inches.
“I just went in there and the warmups were good, I competed great,” said Hardy. “It all just clicked that day.”
The former Titan was recognized for her incredible strength by Louisiana State University, where she will be heading this fall to throw for the Tigers. Originally from Atlanta, Hardy selected the SEC powerhouse for the facilities, the southern feel she loves, and the coaching staff’s dedication to taking their athletes to the next level, something Hardy is already aspiring to do.
“I want to go to trials and see what I do there and hopefully get to the Olympics,” said Hardy. “When it comes down to bigger dreams, aspirations, and goals, that’s what I really want in my future.”