Photo courtesy of Mike Scott | Brandon Amo in action at the Sorlien Memorial Meet
Imagine only competing in a sport for one year in high school and then deciding to try out for a team at the University of Rhode Island. It sounds like something out of a movie, but that’s exactly what senior weight thrower Brandon Amo did. After years of working hard, he earned Atlantic 10 field performer of the week last week.
Amo earned this honor for his performance at the URI Sorlien Memorial Meet, where he finished second out of 24 throwers in the weight throw. Competing against athletes from a multitude of schools including Brown, Southern Connecticut State, Stonehill, United States Coast Guard Academy and Boston University, the URI thrower was able to post distances of 18, 19.31, 17.75, and 18.14 meters. His throw of 19.31 meters was good enough to beat all but Owen Russell, the junior from Brown who posted a throw of 20.08 meters.
Saying Amo is a natural talent is only telling half the story. The senior thrower had to work extra hard to compete at this level due to his size.
“You don’t see a lot of throwers at this level who are only 5’8,” Amo said. “For me, technique, speed, training and preparation all need to be perfect. With the bigger guys they can get away with technique that is isn’t perfect, but for me every little thing needs to be right. If one thing is off, everything will be off for me.”
The senior thrower’s throw of 19.31 meters landed him eighth all time in Rhode Island history and it was also the farthest throw in conference for the Rams since 2015.
The senior thrower followed up this performance at the New England Championships this weekend, by finishing fourth out of 24 with a throw of 18.63 meters.
Amo grew up 15 minutes north of campus, up I-95 in Warwick, RI, where he attended Bishop Hendricken High School. One of the things that has contributed to his success in track and field is the competitive nature he grew accustomed to at Hendricken.
“That’s just how the school is, there is a lot of tradition involved in Hendricken sports, and everyone wants to do a sport,” Amo explained. “My senior year we had 130 kids on the team, and most track teams would be 30 guys.”
After high school Amo knew he wanted to compete at the college level and decided to join the URI team as a walk-on.
“I only did track for one year in high school, and I wasn’t even the best on my team,” said Amo. “My freshmen year a friend of mine, who I now compete against, talked me into trying out for the team. I made the outdoor team but did not get to contribute, and that was a turning point for me. I really wanted to make an impact and help the team.”
Amo and the Rams look to continue their strong season at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational on Saturday at Boston University at 10 a.m.