CHARLESTOWN — If 25 college students were together in a room and someone asked you to identify the athlete who throws the javelin, hammer and weight throw on the track and field team, it's unlikely that Jamie Dobson would be the first pick.
At 5-foot-7 and weighing between 120 and 130 pounds, Dobson wouldn't appear to fill that role at all.
But Dobson, a 2016 Chariho High graduate, has been a thrower at Division III Rhode Island College for the past four years.
It's been her willingness to learn and the work she's put in that have helped her excel at RIC.
Dobson earned All-New England honors with an eighth-place finish in the hammer at the New England Division III championships her junior year at RIC.
She earned All-New England Alliance honors with a fifth-place finish in both the hammer and javelin at the N.E. Alliance meet as a junior.
During this indoor season, she was fifth in the weight throw and was on the fourth-place 4x400 relay at the Little East Conference championships.
RIC won the conference championships during the 2018 outdoor, 2018-19 indoor and 2019 outdoor seasons.
Dobson, who threw the javelin during her time at Chariho, had to learn new skills for the hammer and weight throw when she arrived at RIC.
"For the hammer and the weight throw I had to learn how to spin [through the throwing circle]," she said. "I was nervous about the weight throw, it's basically a 20-pound ball. It took me awhile to get used to it."
RIC coaches also worked with her technique in the javelin.
"They broke down everything. I had to learn a lot of new things. A lot of it is strength, but a lot of it is hips and core strength," Dobson said. "I think I am able to use my athleticism and quick feet for the hammer and the javelin."
Dobson, who also played soccer and basketball at Chariho, was not recruited by RIC. She sought them out via email.
"Playing a sport was just second nature to me. It would have felt weird to have all that free time," Dobson said. "Track helped me prioritize what I needed to get done and helped with my time management. My parents [John and Kerri] were very supportive. They've been to just about every meet in New England."
Dobson was disappointed when the RIC outdoor season did not take place this spring due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"When the NCAA announced that spring sports were off, I cried that whole night. I used all of my indoor season to train for the hammer outdoors. That [decision] took a lot out of me," Dobson said.
Dobson is a double major in math and secondary education. She hopes to teach math for seventh and eighth graders one day. Dobson still has another year of eligibility left for outdoor track, but is not sure if she will use it. She will be busy with student teaching next spring.
Dobson, whose younger sister Kaitlin will be a junior at the school in the fall, said she has learned a few things during her time at RIC.
"I would say I have learned not to be afraid to put yourself out there," she said. "I didn't get recruited; I reached out to them. My throws coach taught me how to spin. In basketball and soccer, I was always improving something. But when I learned how to spin, I felt vulnerable. I had to learn how to deal with that vulnerability. I had to practice a lot on my own."
Dobson is spending her summer working as a waitress at the Willows Inn & Resort in Charlestown. She is also an online math tutor at RIC's Math Learning Center.
What advice would she give to an incoming freshman at Chariho?
"I would tell them to find a sport, and if not that at least a club to have some fun," Dobson said. "You need something to take your mind off the pressure of school, homework and grades. It's always good to have an outlet."