By Kira Cooley
Photos courtesy Bill Garren
Maia Garren is a determined student athlete who holds school records and takes challenging academic courses. She has been throwing for the Logan High track and field team for four years and recently signed a national letter of intent to continue her career at Utah State University.
For Garren, the most difficult part of being a student athlete is time management. Not only is she determined in the ring but in class as well. She constantly practices and exercises until she perfects her skill, and then when she gets home, she stays up extremely late doing homework.
“Student comes before athlete,” Garren said. “That’s why it’s called ‘student athlete’ not ‘athlete student. It’s like having two full-time jobs.”
The news that she would sign a letter-of-intent for a scholarship to throw at USU brought tears of joy for Garren. For four years, she had been working hard for that moment. It was happening, but it was not computing very well.
It was a dream come true for her. When it finally sunk in, she was thrilled to be a proud Aggie “getting paid to do something I love to do.”
Garren is always working hard to get new personal records and breaks them often. The senior holds school records in both shot put and discus. For indoor shot put, her record is 44-feet-6¾-inches. She has a personal best of 135-5 in the outdoor discus and during indoor season, she also competes in weight, with a PR of 51-3½.
A shot put is a 14-pound ball you throw with a pushing motion from your neck as opposed to weight, which is a 14-pound ball that is on a chain, which participants throw by holding the chain, turning in circles and releasing at the perfect moment.
Garren’s favorite events are shot and weight for obvious reasons. Those are the events in which she excels.
One of her favorite memories from track competitions came while waiting to compete. At the recent BYU Invitational, Garren and her friend were sitting between the shot-put rings and the track, and when the gun would go off, her friend would jump. One time Garren took an umbrella and poked her friend’s back when the gun went off and scared her friend into thinking she got shot.
Garren also played the setter position on the Logan volleyball team. One may think these sports are vastly different, one being a team sport and the other an individual. However, Garren loves a quote by a master thrower: “Those who consider throwing an individual sport have clearly never experienced the brotherhood of those who enter the ring.”
Even though there is a “brotherhood” in the ring, there is still the competitiveness to win.
“We all want to support each other but also (are) wanting to kick each other’s butts too,” Garren said.
She explains that when someone beats their old personal record, everyone is supportive and excited for them. She may throw by herself, but she has her whole team, coaches, parents and friends encouraging her.
Logan High senior Kira Cooley wrote this story as part of the Preps Utah student journalism program, powered by Bank of American Fork, which will award two of our published student journalists college scholarships at the end of the school year.