Cathy Griffin '92

Track & Field - Hall of Fame Class of 2007

Harvard Athletic Achievements

A six time First Team All-Ivy honoree, Cathy Griffin was selected First Team All Ivy in both indoor and outdoor track in 1992, 1991, 1990, and Second Team in both in 1989. She was also an All-East honoree in both indoor and outdoor track her senior year. Cathy remains second on the school list for the 20 lbs. weight throw with a toss of 55’8.25” in 1992. She also remains third on the school record list for the hammer throw with a toss of 182’11” in 1991. Cathy was a five time Indoor Heptagonal Championship event winner and a six time Outdoor Heptagonal Championship event winner. Her school records in the shot put, with a throw of 49’3.75” in 1991, and in the discus, with a throw of 167’7” in 1992, still stand.

Remembering Harvard Athletics

Mara and I spent a long time choosing the perfect grapefruit that morning.  It had to be slightly dented and not too shiny in order to pass for a 12 pound shot put from 10 feet away.  We stashed the large fruit in a gym bag until midway through our throwing warmup.  Coach Al had to be convinced.  When Mara slipped me the grapefruit I made a show of concentrating hard, looking as though I were mentally preparing for the perfect athletic performance.  I crouched down at the back of the circle, then uncoiled launching the grapefruit and sending it flying to the end of the throwing apron.  Oh, the look on Al's face - pure joy at the sight of one of his athletes throwing a world record.  Then shock as the 'shot put' exploded upon landing.  He stood motionless staring at the juicy shrapnel as his mind tried to make sense of what he had seen.  Finally, the laughter began and eventually left him rolling on the ground.

I have my dad to thank for getting me involved and interested in throwing at an early age.  He spent countless patient hours giving me a solid foundation of technique and strength.  Although a member of volleyball and basketball teams as well, I especially loved the individual aspect of throwing, the concentration given to the tiniest of technical points.  How ironic then that when I think back on my time as a member of the Harvard Track and Field team what I remember first are my experiences as part of a team.  From pulling pranks on Al to having fun while at training camps in Houston to spending time with each other while on route to another competition: We were always a team.  And within that that team was the group I spent more than fifteen hours a week with - the throwers.  The eccentric heft of the Track and Field Team.

I am grateful to Al Bashian for heading up our throwing team, for being a wonderful coach and an enduring friend. To Mara Beverwyk (now Yarborough) for being such a fabulous throwing partner and soul mate.  To Head Coach Frank Haggerty for inspiring a strong team spirit.  To my parents who supported me in my interest and afforded me the opportunity of attending Harvard.  And to the Varsity Club for awarding me this honour  tonight and allowing me to celebrate four wonderful years as a member and captain of the Harvard Track and Field Team.