2022 Rocky Hill High School graduate Marina Perry, who won the state championship in the shot put, will throw for CCSU. Perry is pictured at her college signing day at RHHS with her grandparents, Sharon Finn and Sherwood Anderson.
Over the last two years, Rocky Hill High School’s Marina Perry became one of the most elite throwers in the state of Connecticut.
The 2022 RHHS graduate will now make the short trek to New Britain for the next chapter of her career at Central Connecticut State University.
“So excited to be part of the CCSU track and field team for the next four years,” Perry announced on May 28. “This is a dream come true, thank you to everyone who supported me along the way.”
Perry’s time at Rocky Hill was nothing short of spectacular and ended with a state championship send off.
On June 6, Perry won the State Open in the shot put. The victory completed a clean sweep in the shot put for Perry – who won the conference, class, and state finals in the event over the course of a two-week period.
Perry called the victory “bittersweet” because she had eyed a state championship in the discus as well, but added. “It was an amazing experienced. The moment of winning was definitely a great feeling.”
She also won a conference title in the discus and javelin during spring’s outdoor track and field season.
During the indoor season in the winter and last spring’s outdoor season, she took home a handful of throwing titles during the conference and class finals.
Perry’s accomplishments over the last two years are even more impressive considering that prior to high school she hadn’t throw and doing the sport in college was certainly not on her radar.
She had been a dancer since the age of three and began wrestling as a freshman in high school before her grandfather convinced her to give the projectile sport a whirl. She went out for outdoor track and field in the spring of her freshman year and the rest is history.
Perry said it took her a while to get the technique down, but improved quickly thanks to her athletic background and she even made states in the discus during her first year competing.
“[Dance] helped a lot to keep my balance and composure in the circle,” added Perry.
She credited both of her throwing coaches with helping her ascend up the leaderboards. Craig Kelly mentored her at the high school for all four years and Damien Larkin, of Bloomfield, was her coach outside of school.
The two throwing technicians helped transform Perry into a state champion and also taught her the hammer and weight throws, where competed unaffiliated with the school.
Outside of the throwing circle, Perry was part of National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, and Tri-M Music National Honor Society. She also was part of the school’s marching band, playing the saxophone.
Perry, who grew up her entire life in Rocky Hill, said she will miss the how supportive everyone was in the area.
She added that she was amazed at how many people showed up for college singing at day at RHHS, adding, “My friends invited their friends and so many teammates and teachers showed up to support me. I’ll miss that sense of community from the school.”
Prior to making her college commitment, Perry waited longer than most athletes and the extended time paid dividend. CCSU reached out late in the process and a few weeks later she made her official commitment to stay close to home.
“I was the last one of my club team to commit,” recalled Perry. “I was a little stressed that I hadn't committed, but it worked out and it was perfect timing.”
Central allows her to continue to do what she loves around those that she loves, particularly her grandparents.
“I have been so close with them and they have been so supportive,” Perry said of her grandparents, Sharon and Sherwood. “They have driven me to countless practices and I am really glad that I am close enough where they can see me compete and I can continue to see them.”
She’ll join a Blue Devils team in New Britain that competes at a Division I level and is part of the Northeast Conference. She will study health science with a goal of completing a doctorate in occupational therapy.
“I am excited compete at collegiate level,” stated Perry. “You have to motivate yourself a lot more. In high school there are coaches pushing you, but in college you have to push yourself if you want to be great. I am excited to see how I can perform on that level.”
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin