Athletes are always improving. That comes from better competition, tougher standards, and of course new training techniques. Athletes are improving and records are being broken but are VA throwers competing higher now than they were a decade ago.
Here we looked at the past decade in the throws and how Virginia's top 10 (at the end of each season) looked. You can find a visualization of that data below or on the follow pages as well.
The first event we analyzed is the discus throw. As you can see the average and top ten cutoff followed a general trend. What jumps out though is how the girls' discus is at an all-time high while the boys' is almost exactly where they began a decade ago.
The girls' data is easy to correlate. There is better competition and more depth. That includes having improvements on the average five out of the ten years.
The guys' on the other side is hard to nail down. The first point that should be made is that 2013-14 had Matthew Zajac (E.C. Glass) throwing 200+ so those averages are definitely skewed some. Aside from those outliers it could be the case that fewer athletes compete in the throws or that more athletes play spring football. We'd have to really delve deeper to figure out why this average has remained the same.
The shot put though is a different story. In this event both averages have trended up by about 5% over the decade with a combined 12/20 positive growth years.
Could this be because more shot putters compete indoors as well and that greater amount of specialization has increased these averages?
Just like the discus we would definitely need to dig deeper to get you a definitive answer on the "why" question.
One thing is for sure though, now more so than ever before, Virginia throwers are throwing further and competing against the toughest competition than ever before in this state.