EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

January 1, 2013

Derry's Dattilo, North Andover's Whitley named Athletes of the Year

(Continued)

STORY OF THE YEAR: Methuen’s Furey lived the Olympic dream

It doesn’t get too much better than the hometown kid making the Olympics.

That’s the Sean Furey story. The brainy Methuen native who got a little better and a little better and a little better until eventually he was one of the world’s best in the javelin.

The 30-year-old, San Diego-based engineer threw a career-best 271-5 in the spring and that was crucial. That met the Olympic standard and allowed him to jump over a thrower who beat him in the Olympic Trials, where Furey took fourth.

The ex-Dartmouth and Methuen High All-American finished 37th in the Olympics in London with a 238-10 1/2 throw. If he had equalled his personal best throw, that would have placed him sixth.

His dedication and love of the sport are still off the charts. So don’t rule out Furey wearing the Red, White and Blue again in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

“I still believe I have great throws in me,” said Furey after the competition. “I look at guys who throw far and know they aren’t more talented than me.”

Furey was only the fourth area athlete (man or woman) in over a century to make the Olympic track and field team. The others were Lawrence marathoner A. Roy Welton way back in 1908, Salem hammer thrower Fred Tootell in 1924 and Haverhill 4x100 relay sprinter Gerry Ashworth in 1964.

PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR: Young Granite Stater burned up the links

There was a buzz around last summer’s U.S. Junior Amateur at The Golf Club of New England in Stratham, N.H.

A hotshot Granite Stater was going to make a name for himself.

It did happen, but it wasn’t 2011 finalist Chelso Barrett of Keene. It was 16-year-old Connor Greenleaf of Windham.

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