The Howler

Breaking records one throw at a time

Senior Veronica Fraley decides between Princeton and Clemson

Senior%2C+Veronica+Fraley+in+the+midst+of+throwing+a+discus.
Senior, Veronica Fraley in the midst of throwing a discus.

Senior, Veronica Fraley in the midst of throwing a discus.

Photo Courtesy of Walter Pinion

Photo Courtesy of Walter Pinion

Senior, Veronica Fraley in the midst of throwing a discus.

Kiara Mallory, Sport's Editor

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Senior Veronica Fraley is an extremely hard-working individual in and outside of the classroom at Wakefield High School. She has spent years taking advanced classes and competing in track and field to be able to narrow down her final college decisions between Princeton University and Clemson University.

Fraley competes in shot put, discus, and hammer throw and has learned a lot through struggle and success on various track and field teams. Her success provides a motivation to continue to work hard, and her failures encourage her to practice and perfect her skills.

Fraley’s track and field career began seven years ago and took a turn for the better when she began training with Coach Vernia Wilson. Wilson has been coaching Fraley ever since she was in sixth grade and continues to stick by her side even for track meets across the country. As a successful thrower herself, Coach Wilson is able to practice what she preaches while on the field with Fraley. Wilson has watched Fraley develop into the incredible person and student she is today and has been an immense help in shaping her as an athlete.

“[Fraley is] smart, kind-hearted, and respectful. I think that she will be very successful in the future. She has the brains to do it on and off of the field. She has a good head on her shoulders and her support system will accept nothing less,” Wilson said. “She does not just practice, she goes the extra mile to be a better athlete. Over the years we have done those extra things like camps and clinics with professional throwers and coaches. She watches videos of herself and we break down the throws together. She has a great mind for the analytical. [Fraley] loves the challenge of getting her technique perfect and the opportunity to show-off her hard work in competition.

Her current success is a direct reflection of the time, work, money, and dedication her and her mom, brother, and grandparents have put in over the years. It is well deserved”

— Wilson

.”

Fraley’s incredible support system includes her brother, Vernon Fraley, who has always made time to come to her track meets and encourage her.

“I support her by attending her meets but also in a moral way. If she feels down or angry about a meet I’m here to talk to her and cheer her up. Also, I’m somewhat of a hype man. When she is preparing for a meet I’ll give her a funny pep talk,” Vernon Fraley said. “I think she is going to go far in track because of the way she works and her drive to win. She hates to lose and when she does, she does everything she can to improve and beat the person next time.”

Fraley has been successfully competing for Wakefield High School alongside her teammate Binta Njie for the past four years. Njie has witnessed her constant effort to improve, and her drive for success.

“Running track with Veronica over the years has been amazing,” Njie said. “She is a great friend and has taught me what it means to be a hard worker.

Fraley has continued to pursue track and field because of the escape she experiences. Not only did she find an activity that she is great at doing, she also found something that she is passionate about.

“I [participate in] track because it takes my mind off of everything else. I love competing and I love traveling to compete,” Veronica Fraley said. “I like getting to know people from around the country and following other people’s success. I like the team aspect of being on a track team but being able to compete as an individual. And of course I like the attention that comes from being good and from winning.”

Success has been a prevailing trend in Fraley’s track and field career. She won the Bojangles Track and Field Classic throwing 161 feet 10 inches in discus breaking the meet record and won shot put with 46 feet. Fraley also won the Penn Relays with 175 feet 9 inches in discus, and these are only some of her most recent successes. Fraley’s constant hard work has made her #1 in the country for high school girls’ discus, and #11 in shot put.

Her family and coaches are tremendously proud of her, and know that her success will continue in the future. Coach Richardson, the head track coach at Wakefield High School, is grateful for her positive presence, and great work ethic.

“Veronica is a hard worker. She comes to put in work and it shows when she competes,” Richardson said. “When it’s time to compete it’s her against the world.”

Fraley will continue to work hard in school and in track and field. In the fall she will attend Clemson University and is hopeful to beat the college records, as well as her own personal records. Her dream is to compete in the 2020 and 2024 Olympics – they are certainly not out of reach. Coach Trent Wilson has watched Veronica improve and thrive over the years, and knows that success is in her future.

“[Fraley] has a relentless pursuit of greatness. Whatever task she puts in front of her, she’s accomplished,” Wilson said. “She’s very driven, very focused, and I think Clemson is getting a steal.”

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Breaking records one throw at a time