Dalby sisters find common ground in field events


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Hannah Dalby practices the discus during seventh period in March.

Gabby Norman, Managing Editor

Dalby is a very familiar name in KPARK field events. Sarah Dalby, a 2019 graduate of Kingwood Park, threw shot put and discus. Her younger sister, Hannah, has found the same affinity for throws. The junior was the only female thrower last year to reach the area meet. Both sisters were in the top throwers of the district during their career, and both sisters fell in love with one event in particular: discus. 

“I prefer discus because I find it much more satisfying and it’s honestly way easier for me,” Hannah said. “I enjoy practicing the footwork and the full spin motion. My sister was an amazing thrower, which got me really interested in it. She’s a role model of mine so I wanted to follow in her footsteps.”

Hannah, who has been throwing for five years, quite literally followed in Sarah’s footsteps.

Sarah Dalby, around age 16, and her younger sister, Hannah, about age 12, take a picture together. Both sisters take pride in their throwing careers throughout high school.

“Honestly, we had to run in middle school if we did not do a field event, so that was great motivation for me to get good at discus,” Sarah said. “I really enjoyed the personal challenge that throwing presented. It wasn’t necessarily about beating the person next to you, it was more about improving your own distance. I liked that it wasn’t hyper-competitive like a 400 race might be, where you are directly competing side-by-side with someone.”

Both girls like discus because of the technique and lack of brute strength needed, but both found themselves with a similar weakness. 

“The biggest challenge for me was probably getting over bad throws and getting ready for the next one,” Sarah said. “Since it is partially a sport of focus and mental strength, it was hard to do a great throw after scratching the one before. I had to learn to forget about the last one and focus on the next throw.”

Hannah expressed similar sentiments, saying that her biggest challenge is “when I get in my head too much. I have the skills, but sometimes I doubt myself, and that greatly affects my form and distance.”

Sarah said she feels a little bit of competition from her younger sister, but mostly feels that it is an individual competition. It is more about beating your own throws. 

“I think we have a very sister-like relationship,” Sarah said. “We have that push-and-pull of supporting and annoying each other.”

Sarah still watches track at the University of Texas at Austin, where she attends as an architectural engineering major. She fondly remembers her proudest track moment.

“My proudest memory was senior year when I threw my furthest throw,” Sarah said. “It was wet and rainy, and my biggest competition was throwing as well at that meet. On my last throw, the other girl was at 119’, which I had never thrown before, so I knew I needed to PR in order to win. I ended up throwing 121’ and beat her. It was also the meet before district, so it was a huge confidence booster.”

My throwing has gotten more intense and way more competitive in the last three years. I like feeling accomplished after every practice knowing I worked hard. I also like to see that hard work get paid off in meets

— Hannah Dalby

Sarah said throwing in high school has had a huge impact on her life. It helped to change her mindset and make her the woman she is today.

“My senior year, I showed up to school an hour and a half early just to work on footwork in the gym,” Sarah said. “Even though that was tough and tiring, it ultimately paid off since I got third at the regional track meet. I didn’t end up making the state meet, which was my ultimate goal, but that taught me that there are other important things in life and not to get caught up in things like that.”

A good work ethic and outlook on life isn’t the only thing Sarah gained from throwing – she also found a fiancé . 

“Austin [Wilding], ‘19, and I started dating the summer before our senior year of high school at KP,” Sarah said. “We were both varsity throwers and track meets/practices were a great way to spend time together. His dad was also our discus coach, which actually made me like Austin even more since I liked throwing with Coach Wilding.”

Sarah and Wilding have been dating long-distance since they graduated high school. While she is at UT, he attends Rice. They got engaged in September and are planning a wedding for July 2023.

“I’m sure we will have some sort of discus reference in the wedding,” Sarah said.

Sarah was a role model for younger throwers when she was an upperclassman and has a similar hope for her sister. She has had the opportunity to see Hannah grow into a young woman and couldn’t be more proud. 

“Hannah has shown me how cool siblings are because you see how different and how similar siblings can be and how they rub off on one another,” Sarah said. 

Hannah’s goals for the upcoming season are simple: to make it to the regional meet. She made it to the area meet as a sophomore and has spent the offseason working to better her game. 

“It feels good to know that I am actually good at something and am able to achieve my goals such as getting medals and qualifying for the Area meet last year,” Hannah said. “My throwing has gotten more intense and way more competitive in the last three years. I like feeling accomplished after every practice knowing I worked hard. I also like to see that hard work get paid off in meets.”

Hannah and Sarah may have differing opinions on many topics, but they have their love of discus and their sisterhood to bring them together. Hannah views Sarah as a role model, someone to look up to and to go to for advice. Sarah is a proud older sister, watching Hannah pave her own path and become her own person.

“Sarah has motivated me and taught me so many things that even some coaches haven’t taught me,” Hannah said. “She has impacted me so much and I have learned countless things from her. She has not only taught me to be a better athlete and student, but also a better person. I aspire to be like her and achieve my goals just as she has.”