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Tappan Zee Shot Put Duo Tops Coaches Invitational

Andrew Tomassetti won the event and Pat Walpole finished second

Pat Walpole knows what comes next, and he’s not too excited about it.

The Tappan Zee High School shot putter finished second at the Rockland Coaches Invitational at Rockland Community College on Wednesday to his teammate, fellow senior Andrew Tomassetti.

“Now I’m not going to hear the end of it for weeks,” Walpole said Wednesday. “He’s not going to let me forget that he beat me. He beats me like once a year and just holds it over me for weeks.”

Tomassetti doesn’t say what his plans are for the next few weeks, but after the results were read Wednesday, he simply stood next to Walpole and laughed as Walpole talked about what the next few weeks will hold for him. At this point, even their coach knows how things will play out.

“Oh, this is going to be Andrew’s feather in his cap for a while,” said Coach Mike Ryan.

Tomassetti’s mark of 44-04.00 is a new personal best. Walpole isn’t pleased with his 43-11.00, as it’s far away from where he wants to be and has been this year. Still, the duo and their coach are excited about the one-two finish in the event, their first one-two finish this year in either order.

“Anytime you can have two kids make it to the final in one event, that’s great,” Ryan said. “And to have them finish in the top two spots, especially when they’re going up from kids against North Rockland, who always has talented kids competing, that just shows that our kids are competing at the highest level.”

Walpole started in the shot put his freshman year at Tappan Zee after watching his sister compete in the event. Growing up, Walpole said he didn’t necessarily enjoy watching the sport or even think about playing it.

“She just told me I’d be good at it, so I gave it a try,” he said.

So far it’s worked out for Walpole, who won league and county titles last year.

Tomassetti first tried shot put sophomore year. He went out for baseball freshman year, but was cut and decided to try something different.

While both also compete in discuss, they both played football back in seventh grade through their senior years at Tappan Zee. Walpole played offensive tackle and defensive end, and Tomassetti played center. Back in seventh grade, Ryan coached both players on their middle school football team.

“Even back then they worked hard and were great kids to be around,” Ryan said. “That’s still the case now. They’ve progressed well. They’re self-motivators, they’re driven by themselves and feed off each other. They’re good role models for the other throwers on the team.”

Tomassetti said he feels he and Walpole have fairly similar throwing styles, and Walpole said he feels like neither of them really have much of a form. Their coach didn’t totally agree with that assessment.

“Shot put is similar to golf in that there is a form to follow, and you need to make sure your elbow is in the right position and your legs are under you. So they definitely have a form, and sometimes it all just clicks like it did for Andrew [on Wednesday],” Ryan said. “Of course, it also helps that both of them are six-something-feet tall and in peak physical condition.”

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