Athlete of the Week Archive

May 10, 2010

LARAMIE, Wyo. -



Mark Sparks


What has it been like to throw under Coach Barrett?
"It's been great. Having a coach that's just as big as you are is a great inspiration for smaller guys like me. But in all seriousness, it's great. I wouldn't have been able to throw farther under any other coach."

Which throwing event is your favorite and why?
"My favorite event is the hammer/weight throw because they are new and challenging, and they keep my passion for the sport alive."

What was the most difficult aspect of learning the 35lb weight throw and the hammer throw?
"The most difficult aspect is probably just getting over the frustration of not being able to throw it some days. There will be days when I'm in the ring and feel like I have absolutely no idea what I am doing."

If you could participate in one other event in track and field what would it be? You can't pick a throwing event.
"I would be a jumper (long, triple). I tell people all the time that if I was more athletic and more physically fit I would be on those runways."

What is your favorite Wyoming sporting event to go to and watch and why?
"I'm a big Cowgirl Volleyball fan. It's fast paced, entertaining, and it is fun watching them get intense after serving up an 'Ace in Your Face'."

Have you ever practiced throwing anything other than a disc, shot or weight? Maybe a frozen turkey, a really big rock, or anything?
"Yeah I do all the time. I've thrown everything from shot put shaped oranges to discus shaped weight room plates. Oh yeah, and if I have something with a long strap on it, i.e. a lanyard of duffle bag, I've probably done hammer turns with it."

If you could add something to the sport of throwing what would it be?
"It would be tag team throwing. Some aspects of the technique my teammates do better than me so it would be nice to tag in a teammate during those parts of the throw."

Who on the team is the biggest class clown, men and women?
"For the men, I'd have to say it's Dalton (Sybrant). He's just one of those people that always have a funny comment to make about something. For the women, I can't really say. Not too many class clowns on that side of the UW track team."

Did you ever want to be a sprinter?
"Sprinting was actually the only reason I joined track. I was going to stay in shape for football and just sprint my freshman year, but after two workouts I got bored and moved over to the throwing rings."

Which two teams do you think will make it to the NBA Finals?
"I'm going to have to go with Orlando and L.A. Orlando is going to pull it off this year though."