As a young athlete in track and field, Taylor Parker achieved some good results in the shot put simply based on strength. Since coming to Long Island University, she has become committed to learning proper technique and advancing her skills.

“I feel I’ve come a long way,” said Parker, who hopes to also learn more about the discus. “I’m a very strong female, so when I was younger, there wasn’t much form. I was just throwing it and still coming out on top. Now that I’m in college, I understand more and I’m aware of more. I’m learning the form and all that’s involved in throwing.”

She added, “I’m really evolving. I feel I’m going in a positive direction. … I’m aiming to get better—my technique, my throws, my distances. Practice makes me feel good.”

Parker became involved in track and field at the age of 8 as a multi-sport athlete. She ran the sprints and hurdles while also doing the long jump, triple jump and shot put. Hurdles were her main event for a while, but in high school she increasingly focused on the shot put. When she joined the track and field team at LIU, she planned to jump and throw, but she found herself practicing the shot put more intently, and that became her event.

Now in her sophomore year, Parker said she chose LIU, which is in Brooklyn, because she wanted to attend school in New York City. There is another athlete on the track team who attended her high school, junior sprinter Cayla Coleman, who was very positive about the program.

Parker is the main jock in her family, with others more interested in music. She also has musical talent. Although she plays the violin and upright bass and sings, track and field is her passion.

A health science major, Parker wants to become a physical therapist. Having experienced injuries, she’s intent on giving back to sports and helping others be their best.

“I know all it entails to get back to where you were or maybe even better,” she said. “I want to be able to help people get there.”

LIU track and field is in action this weekend at the Dr. Sander Invitational at The Armory. Parker is hoping for personal records as the season progresses.