Buckwalter places second in shot put

Parker Valentine, Track and Field Reporter

After tough competition at the Illini Classic in Champaign, senior Bryn Buckwalter finished second in the shot put final event.

This success has become a consistent part of Buckwalter’s collegiate career. She is under a foot away from breaking the Eastern Illinois shot put record held by Kandace Arnold, who attained the record in 2010.

Passing Arnold’s record has become a very achievable and important goal for Buckwalter at Eastern. She is also on the all-time list for weight throwing, where she is third alltime.

Buckwalter has been participating in shot put events for eight years now. She started participating in shot put her freshman year in high school and has competed ever since.

At Freeport High School, Buckwalter was crowned state champion in discus as a sophomore while placing fourth in shot put.

In high school, track and field was not the only teams she was a part of. Buckwalter was a three-sport athlete in high school, where she also played basketball and volleyball.

Athletics run in the family for Buckwalter. Both of her parents have athletic backgrounds as coaches and athletes. Her brother Travis is an athlete at Eastern as well.

Travis Buckwalter is a walk-on offensive lineman for the Eastern Illinois football team. Bryn’s relationship with her brother has always been strong.

“We have been playing basketball against each other for a long time. I always had the edge in basketball until my senior year of high school when Travis got a lot bigger than me,” said Buckwalter.

Travis made sure to call Bryn after her latest event in Champaign just to see how she was doing. Her parents are also very involved in her athletics as well.

“My parents try to come to as many events as possible to cheer me on,” said Buckwalter.

That bond Buckwalter has with her family has followed her to Eastern, where she sees her teammates as extended family members.

“I love my team, every event we go to we get loud in support of our teammates and they do the same for us.” said Buckwalter, then elaborating, “When we go to events and get loud, we notice other teams aren’t quite as into it as us and I think we intimidate them a bit with our support and yelling.”

In preparation for her events Buckwalter stressed that her music is key. One of the sweeter aspects of Buckwalter’s pre match preparations is eating raspberries.

“My dad brought me raspberries to eat before a meet one time, and I ended up doing very well at that meet,” Buckwalter said.

The raspberries are more of a small anecdote to her family than for a competitive edge, but she still always eats her berries before events.

Parker Valentine can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].