Student-Athlete of the Week

May 6, 2013

Athlete of the Week

Joe Plante

You have the MW Championships this week in Las Vegas. What is your goal for the league meet and how are you preparing for it?

My goal for us as a men's throws crew is just to do what we have been doing. Paul Thomas is on right now and just took the conference lead from me! The two of us are going to do what we've been doing all year, and we should end up one and two. As far as the hammer, I think Mark and I can both finish all-conference. We are continuing to improve, and both coming off personal bests from this last weekend and are sitting second and third in the conference. Anything can happen in Vegas, it only takes one big throw, and I think us Cowboys have got it in us.

With championship season in sight, what are your goals for the NCAA Preliminaries? Do you also have Olympics aspirations?

As far as the NCAA prelims, it has been my goal since high school to be an All-American. In order to accomplish that I'll need a top-12 finish at prelims. As far as the Olympics go, for the time being I'm going to leave that to Mason Finley; however, I do plan to continue throwing after college, and would really like to try bobsledding.

You own several UW Top 10 throwing records for both indoor and outdoor seasons. How has Coach Barrett helped you throughout your time at Wyoming?

Barrett knows his stuff - he has had 18 All-Americans and 23 conference champions here at Wyoming to prove it. I feel blessed that he saw some potential in me and has brought me to where I am.

Not many student-athletes are married, but you happen to be with a fellow student-athlete, volleyball player Reese Plante. How has married life enhanced your experience as a student-athlete at Wyoming?

Reese is a BEAUTY! She is always there to support me. She has a lot of great advice because she's in the same boat as I am. If I'm struggling, or in a slump, she is there to put it into perspective and keep me focused. It's great to be married to someone as focused and driven in her athletics as I am. We both push each other in our sports.

At volleyball games, you are always front and center of the student section to support the Cowgirls. How does Reese support you as you prepare for each week's competitions?

As I said, she is always there for me, and always at meets if she can make it. And for the conference meet, her and some friends are making the trip to Vegas, and I've heard rumors there may be some painting involved in their cheering plans.

As you're both very busy between schoolwork and athletics, what do you enjoy doing with any free time you have?

It always seems like there are people stopping by, or just hanging out at our house, and there never seems to be a dull moment. We do a lot of dinners, barbeques, movie nights, or just hang out with friends. We also bought a couple ATV's about a year ago, so we like to be on those a lot in the summer.

When did you first start competing in the various throws events? When did you decide to focus on track and field over other sports?

My freshman year of high school, some friends talked me into giving up baseball and try the track team. One of my football coaches was the throwing coach, and I was the right size, so I started with the shot and disc. I liked it and was mostly just having fun with it up until the end of my junior year when my coach told me he thought I could continue throwing in college. So I started training a little harder with it, but never thought I'd end up doing it at a D-1 level. I had been contacted by a few D-1 schools, but I would have had to walk on. Then a couple days before our state track meet, Coach Barrett contacted me, I took my visit, and knew it was the place I wanted to be.

What have you enjoyed most about your time in Laramie?

It's hard to narrow it down to one thing. I have met some great people, and it's going to be tough to leave when I go on for further education. It has been great improving throughout the last five years with great coaches and great teammates. And I met my wife, so I guess that's a pretty big deal!

What are your career plans after you earn a degree in kinesiology and health promotion?

We will be sticking around until December so Reese can finish out her last season, and finish her degree in graphic design. My plans are then to go to chiropractic school, either in Florida, Iowa or back home in Minnesota.