Unlike some top amateur athletes, Liz McCormack’s rise to her current spot among the state’s top shot putters didn’t come naturally.
McCormack had to work for it.
But for the senior, that hard work has quickly paid dividends. Since first joining the Gloucester track team as a sophomore in the spring of 2011, she’s completely transformed herself from a mediocre shot putter into one of the area’s top competitors.
McCormack is coming off an undefeated regular season and a fourth-place finish in last week’s NEC Championship meet. Her work, however, isn’t done.
She’ll compete in the Class B state tournament Feb. 17 at Boston’s Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center, and if all goes well, could later find herself at the all-state meet.
“She’s very versatile, really strong,” Gloucester coach Liz Moran said. “She’s a soccer player in the fall, she’s the goalie there, so she has that quickness and she’s used to the quick spring. As far as form goes, she has that perfect combination of strength and speed in the circle.”
McCormack’s even looking to extend her shot put career beyond her senior season with the Fishermen. A top student — she ranks 24th in her senior class with a 91.6 grade point average — McCormack’s currently weighing her college option.
While schools like Emmanuel and Bridgewater State are still on McCormack’s radar, she’s leaning toward Worcester State, which has contacted her about a collegiate track career.
“I’m kind of looking towards Worcester State because they’re looking at me for track,” said McCormack, who plans on studying to become a teacher, “and, well, I really enjoy track.”
The rate at which McCormack has flourished as a shot putter is perhaps the most impressive part of her journey. The sport wasn’t on McCormack’s radar until less than two years ago, and when she began her career, her inexperience showed.