Student-Athlete of the Week

Feb. 21, 2012

Laramie, Wyo. -

Athlete of the Week

Ashley Hutchinson

How did you get involved with the throwing events?
It's actually kind of a funny story. When I was in elementary school I started out running long distance. My older sister would get drug along to all of my meets. She got bored of just sitting around, but she didn't want to run so she started throwing. I looked up to her a lot so after she started throwing; I had to follow in her footsteps and start throwing along with running.

How did it feel to become ranked in those events?
It was amazing! Kind of unexpected, but very exciting!

How do you prepare yourself for a meet?
I try not to think. I usually just talk and joke around with my teammates. The more I'm alone the more I get into my head and psych myself out, so I just have to stay relaxed and laugh and joke around.

What types of training do you do for practice?
We do Olympic lifts (hang cleans, bench and squats) and throw. In the off season we lift three days a week and throw twice, sometimes three times depending on if Coach has us throw on Saturdays. During the season we cut back a lot and usually lift two times a week and throw once or twice depending on what day meets fall on. Coach is really good about getting us in and out.

What is a typical day like for you during the season?
They are hectic. From class, it is straight to practice, then icing and homework. This semester hasn't been too bad though because I'm almost done so my class load is a lot lighter than normal. I have a bit more free time, but once outdoors starts it usually gets harder because traveling is quite time consuming and homework is usually very low on my list of priorities while on the road.

What season, indoor or outdoor, do you prefer? Why?
Well, I would normally say outdoors because I love the hammer more than anything, but in Laramie I seem to like indoors better. The cold and I do not get along very well so going outdoors with snow on the ground is not very fun.

What are you studying?
Criminal Justice and Psychology

What are your plans after college?
For now the plan is to join the Air Force after I graduate in May. That's the plan for now, but nothing is really set in stone yet.

How do you handle school and track?
By being extremely organized, it's hard, but I've been doing sports and school for as long as I can remember so it's just kind of second nature. Especially when it comes to traveling, I make sure to get all of my homework done before we leave so I don't have to worry about anything while I'm on the road. I try to stay on top of things and work ahead which helps a lot.

What made you come to UW after your last college?
Well, I kind of had connections from my Junior College. Coach Barrett actually went to the same Junior College as I did in Washington. I went on a couple of other visits before deciding, but between the scholarship offer and the environment I couldn't pass it up. It just felt like home here and I didn't have that same feeling anywhere else. I just knew it would be a great fit for me.

Who is your support?
My family is probably my biggest support. I have three younger sisters who look up to me a lot and they are my biggest fans. My dad is always there to talk to and listen. He and my mom pushed me since I started running and they helped mold me into the strong person I am today. My mom passed away my senior year of high school, but I would say that she is still one of the most influential people in my life. She encouraged me in high school to continue throwing when I was ready to give it all up. Without her, I probably would have stopped a long time ago and I would not be here.

What will you miss most when you leave UW?
The thrower girls, we get along extremely well and just have a good time with one another.

What advice would you give the younger members of the team?
My advice would be to just have fun. I know that sometimes people think of college athletics as being serious, but without laughing and having a good time it is impossible to truly enjoy what you're doing. Don't stress the little thing because in the long run you'll forget about them. Just enjoy every bit of it because before you know it you're done.