Noah Ward ’17 has shattered the 11th grade Andover Shot-Put Record in each of the three Andover Boys Indoor Track & Field meets this season. This week, he set a new record of 53 feet 9 inches, breaking his record from last week of 52 feet 10.5 inches. The previous record of 50 feet 8.5 inches was set by Ward during Andover’s first meet of the winter.
Ward also holds Andover’s tenth grade Shot-Put Record at 49 feet. Despite his tremendous success in high school, Ward never picked up a shot before his Junior year at Andover, as his primary focus had been on football and ice hockey.
“I used to play hockey, but when I came to Andover I decided I wanted to try something new, and so I went out for the indoor track team and was instantly hooked on throwing,” said Ward.
His meteoric improvement over the years has made a lasting impact on the team, influencing young and old teammates alike.
“The best part about being Noah’s teammate isn’t watching him throw what he throws now. From his first playful toss to his earth-shattering, record-breaking moon launches, I’ve had the privilege of seeing just about every possible distance in between,” said Co-Captain Andrew Wang ’16.
Much of Ward’s shot-put success can be attributed to his relentless work ethic, which he also instills in his teammates during practice.
Fellow shot-putter Johnny Rex ’17 said, “Noah pushes me, along with other members of our throwing squad, to push our boundaries and give every throw our best effort. [He] is a huge competitor; you just can’t predict what he’ll throw the day of a meet.”
By training rigorously throughout the season, Ward sets a high standard for the team and helps his teammates excel week after week.
Distance runner Ralph Skinner ’16 said, “Noah’s work ethic is outstanding [he works] his tail off to earn every inch of his record-setting throws. I deeply appreciate the effort he puts into leading by example and helping the team.”
With Ward’s work ethic comes a rare mental toughness and determination to improve, traits that are crucial to his success.
Ajay Menon ’17 said, “When Noah gets in the zone right before a throw, he’s 100 percent locked in. He doesn’t usually show much emotion until he smashes his own personal best.”
Despite setting impressive records, Ward remains a humble teammate and is always focused on future development rather than parading past achievements.
“I’d say Ward is quiet and modest about his accomplishments. During practice, you can tell he’s very focused on his work. [He thinks] carefully about how he does the drills between sets. [He’s] definitely an athlete to admire,” said William Hartemink ’17.
Looking forward, Ward has set distinct goals for himself for the rest of the indoor season and the upcoming outdoor season.
Ward said, “In terms of marks, I’m going to try and shoot for 54 feet by the end of the indoor season, and 56 feet by the end of the outdoor season. As for the team, our goal is always to compete as best we can at the [New England Preparatory School Track Association] Championship in the spring and possibly take home the gold.”