East Lyme's Jamie Foster following her siblings to UConn
East Lyme — In some cases, being the youngest sibling can be a bothersome detail to a high school student, especially when the other three were celebrated athletes.
Jamie Foster loves it.
An East Lyme High School senior, Foster has been to visit her brothers and sisters, Jeff, Kevin and Kristen, all of whom went to UConn, more times than she can count on the Storrs campus. Kevin, sixth this season in the American Athletic Conference javelin and an NCAA East Regional qualifier, graduates this year.
Jamie is next up as a future Husky.
“I'm going to miss the whole family,” East Lyme girls' track coach Carl Reichard said at Wednesday's Eastern Connecticut Conference championship. “They're very similar. All of the kids are quiet-spoken. They don't lead by being loud … but the other kids (on the team) know they're the leader.
“There's a family connection there (at UConn). It's a real big deal.”
Jamie Foster was still the little sister in the spring of 2016, a sophomore at East Lyme when Kristen was a senior. It was Jamie's second-place throw in the javelin during a duel meet with Norwich Free Academy in early May that gave East Lyme a 76-74 victory over the Wildcats and touched off a celebration which included tears of joy.
On Wednesday, Foster had more to celebrate in her final ECC meet. She won the javelin with a toss of 117 feet, 1 inch. She was second in the shot put with a throw of 36-1.5, an inch an a half behind Bacon Academy's Natalie Rolon-Issa, and was third in the discus at 108-5.
“I've been working really hard in the weight room and running. I definitely wanted to end on a high note,” Foster said Wednesday, just prior to competing in the second flight of the discus competition in the meet at East Lyme High School. “I'd be so happy if it happened (that she won a state championship next week in Class MM), but just to PR in every meet is the goal.”
“She's improved her throwing this year a lot,” Reichard said. “She improved about 15 feet in javelin, three feet in shot, 10 feet in discus. … It's a process. One of the things that's difficult about the throwing events is it takes a really long time to make small improvements in your technique, in your strength. And you don't always get improvement. You can work like crazy and not get anything out of it.”
Eric Foster, Jamie's dad, said the family's legacy in the throwing events began in 2005 when Jeff, the eldest, got cut from the freshman basketball team and decided to compete in indoor track. Eric Foster said that all four of his kids have looked up to Reichard.
“Coach Reichard, who as you know lives and breathes track and field and is always the sport's biggest booster, has been such a great role model for my four children,” Foster said in an email. “This includes my two boys, who he never coached but completely supported.”
Jamie made it official in March or April, she said, that she would follow her brothers and sisters to UConn.
“We're very close,” she said.
How many times has she visited UConn?
“Millions of times,” she said. “… Honestly, just the atmosphere. It was just a dream of mine (to compete in college). It's surreal that it's actually happening.”
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