Like millions of other kids around the world, Lauren Boden PO ’14 grew up reading the Guinness Book of World Records, astonished to learn that a man carved one ton of pumpkins in 3 hours, 33 minutes and 49 seconds or that an Indianapolis native broke 46 toilet seats over his head in one minute. Unlike most other kids, however, Boden now gets to see her own name when she flips through the book.
This past Friday, Boden officially broke the previous world record for the fastest baseball pitch by a female. After first setting the record herself in 2008, she reclaimed the record with a pitch of 69 miles per hour, breaking the previous mark by four miles per hour. Regaining the top spot was very meaningful for Boden.
“The record means a lot to me because I always loved reading the Guinness Book of World Records when I was younger,” Boden said. “To break a world record playing my favorite sport is a great feeling.”
Unlike the first time she set the record, Boden didn’t have to go out of her way to attempt the record-breaking pitch. The British television show Officially Amazing, which chronicles people’s attempts to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records, reached out to Boden about trying to set a new mark in her category. The show did most of the setup to make the attempt official, which is a very long process. The episode will air next January or February. Boden made a point to thank those who helped set up the event, including Frank Pericolosi, head baseball coach for Pomona-Pitzer, and Dylan Arya PZ ’17.
“Thankfully Coach P. let us use the field here at Pomona and let us borrow a radar gun and some equipment. Dylan Arya, a freshman on the baseball team, volunteered to catch for me, and the show brought an official adjudicator who handled the rest,” said Boden.
For Boden, this performance was the culmination of a lifelong dedication to baseball and softball. “In general I try to keep my arm healthy and strong by throwing throughout the year,” Boden said. “I didn’t do anything too special to prepare for the record attempt, especially since I dislocated two of my fingers over the summer and wasn’t able to train for about six weeks.”
Boden has been playing sports of all kinds for most of her life, and picked up baseball from a very young age. “I started playing baseball when I was four, and just never stopped. I started pitching when I was eight and it quickly became my favorite position,” she said. Boden eventually started playing softball in eighth grade and she currently plays for both the Pomona-Pitzer varsity softball and golf teams with her two sisters, splitting time between the two sports during the spring. During her summers, Boden plays for a women’s competitive baseball team, the Chicago Pioneers. In October, the biochemistry major will coach for the southeast Region Team in the first girls’ national baseball tournament.
When asked if she plans on improving her mark, Boden replied, “I’m always working on different aspects of pitching as I hope to make the US Women’s National Baseball Team someday. While location and movement are more important aspects that I try to improve, it never hurts to work on increasing velocity. If I can get it up another five or so miles per hour, I will definitely try to break the record again.”