The future looks bright for two throwers in the Narragansett High School track program, as freshman Leia Mistowski and sophomore Gabby Smith each finished with the top throw for their class during the indoor season.
According to high school statistics kept by Barrington’s Bob Gourley on ESPN, Smith’s throw of 36 feet, 7.5 inches ranks 79th in the nation. Mistowski is 86th with a throw of 36 feet, 2 inches. Compared against just their peers, Mistowski is third in the nation, and Smith is fifth.
The success for both carried over to their respective state meets. At the varsity meet on Feb. 19, Smith threw for 35 feet, 7 inches, the best throw among sophomores and 12th overall. At the freshman meet on Feb. 15, Mistowski threw 36 feet, 5 inches, almost four feet more than second place.
Mistowski said she has learned to overcome her nervousness during the season. At the start of the year, she was just hoping to surpass 30 feet.
“I knew I could do it, I just get really nervous at competitions,” she said, laughing a bit.
This is her first year throwing competitively, since middle school track is confined to running.
“We don’t do any throwing events in middle school, so I was really waiting for the high school so that I could express my true talent level,” she said.
However, Mistowski is a good all-around athlete – She placed 21st in eighth grade as a middle school cross-country runner and played volleyball in the fall. She is also earning varsity minutes for the basketball team this year, appearing in 15 games and scoring 24 points, according to The Providence Journal.
She said she plans on throwing for the outdoor track team as well, focusing solely on that for her spring sport.
Per RIIL rules, Mistowski is allowed to compete in one event in the winter while being on the basketball team. Her mom, Christine Patric, said that Leia usually practices with Smith and a coach at area beaches on the weekends, year-round.
“Saturdays and Sundays, rain snow or sleet, it doesn’t matter,” Mistowski said. “Usually we [Smith] practice together. We’ve known each other, but I think our real friendship developed while we were doing track.”