By Lydia Chen
On the first of August, Valarie Allman ’17 threw the discus 230-2 (70.15 meters) on her first throw at the Iron Wood Throws Center Invite to break the almost six-year women’s discus American record held by Gia Lewis-Smallwoods.
With COVID-19, meet after meet was postponed or canceled, and soon the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 was postponed until next summer. Allman, and no doubt thousands of athletes all around the world, started “feeling a bit lost” with all the uncertainty. In the midst of everything, Allman and her coach, Zebulon Sion, caught word of a meet in Rathdrum, Idaho.
Stationed in Austin, Texas, Allman and Sion quickly prepared to travel the 2,000 miles. After practicing at the local middle school and high schools, the meet would allow Allman to put official numbers to all of her hard work. Throughout every moment, from stepping into the ring to the multiple pirouettes after a throw, Allman’s precision, strength and dexterity puts her throws among the top in the world.
Prior to Stanford, Allman, as a high school senior, was the nation’s top-ranked high schooler in women’s discus with a throw of 184-2 (56.13m). Throughout her five years competing with the Cardinal, she navigated both the rigorous academics and athletics with practiced agility.
Her first year at the Farm, Allman broke the Stanford freshman record for women’s discus with 188-6 (57.45m). She went on to win the Pac-12 discus title with a throw of 187-3 (57.07m) in her sophomore year. Allman has consistently improved her technique and strength over the years. Ending her collegiate career, Allman had a personal best of 212-3 (64.69m).
Although she is mainly focused on her discus career now, Allman ranked nationally in the hammer and the 20-pound weight throw while at Stanford as well.
Working up to breaking the women’s discus American record, Allman started as a 16-year-old enticed to try discus only after hearing about the annual spaghetti dinner that the throwers planned every year. Now, she has an American record to her name for the same sport she happened to stumble into almost 10 years ago.
Contact Lydia Chen at lydiac123554 ‘at’ gmail.com.