Javelin to Replace Pole Vault?

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Javelin to Replace Pole Vault?

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Thu Mar 18, 2004 10:05 am

I think this is Colorado

http://www.insidedenver.com/drmn/rockyp ... 58,00.html

Making a point

Javelin making a comeback after 63-year hiatus

By Scott Stocker, Rocky Mountain News
March 18, 2004

THORNTON - Clayton Cammon and Kyra Bonavida of Ralston Valley led the Mustangs to a clean sweep Saturday in the javelin event at the Horizon Hawk Relays.

And, along the way, they found that broomsticks can lead to blue ribbons.

Cammon (127 feet) and Bonavida (98 feet, 3 inches) individually had the best throws of the meet with the javelin while leading their teams to first-place finishes in the event at Thornton High School.

It was an impressive effort considering that neither they nor their teammates knew much about the event or had seen a javelin in person before.

According to Colorado high school track historian Tim Rutherford, the javelin first was contested in the state at the high school level during the 1914 season as a replacement for the hammer throw.

The event was retired after the 1941 state meet, with the state record, set by Guy Walk of Grand Junction in 1940 (183-10 ½), retired as well.

Ralston Valley track coaches Matt Loyd (boys) and Jeff Gomer (girls) choose the participants for the three-member javelin teams by using a little common sense.

Cammon was one of three quarterbacks from the football team called upon by Loyd. Gomer's selections made up Ralston Valley's outfield in softball. But the quick coaching duties fell upon assistant Ryan Murphy, who threw all the weights in college.

The javelin was revived as an event by Horizon coach Dennis Rademacher, who has been at the school for 16 years, and assistants, Tim Edwards and Ian Percy.

According to longtime track and field followers, the meet Saturday was the first time since 1941 the event has been contested for team points in a sanctioned high school meet. Twenty-nine boys and 30 girls competed.

And it might be the first time for the girls at the high school level.

Horizon reintroduced the javelin last year, but it was not contested for team points.

"I think we should have had the javelin here forever," Rademacher said. "I came from North Dakota and we have been throwing the javelin there for as long as I can remember. I'd even like to see the hammer (throw) come back."

According to Rademacher, the javelin is thrown in high school in about 15 states. About six still do the hammer throw, but only in the eastern part of the country.

Now, with rubber-tipped implements, Rademacher believes the javelin could make a comeback statewide, especially if the state loses the pole vault, which is a concern in the track and field community.

While there are plenty of poles for vaulting, there is a lack of javelins around the state, hence the need to practice with broomsticks.

"I went to the national track convention a few years ago and MF Athletics was generous enough to donate enough javelins (two boys and two girls) for us to hold this event last year," Edwards said. "Unfortunately, what we are seeing is probably the end of pole vaulting.

"The pits and poles are a huge expense anymore. If the pole vault goes down the tubes, the javelin could become wide open. It was Dennis' idea to bring in the event."

From that standpoint, Cammon and Bonavida could not have been more pleased. Ben Bell (126-6) and Collin Lambert (69-4) teamed with Cammon for a winning effort of 322-10 for the Mustangs. Amy Winter (77-5) and Christine Gardella (64-2) helped give the girls the meet title with a combined 239-10.

Littleton was second in the boys event (284-1); Eaglecrest was runner-up for the girls (200-5). The unofficial individual meet record, set last year, is 143-2 by Matt Grub of Eaglecrest.

Even those with no experience, or broomsticks to practice with, had a little pre-competition help. Percy, who hails from England and is a masters competitor in the javelin, conducts a short clinic before the competition on the proper techniques.

"We just practiced with broomstick handles (last) Friday," Cammon said. "We went out in the dirt and threw them. Hey, we were thinking about showing up with them as an intimidation factor.

"Our coaches helped us with form. As quarterbacks, he hoped that arm strength would help us out. We were able to throw the javelin straight and without the pole wobbling."

There was a bigger challenge for Bonavida.

"I actually pulled the cartilage in my rib cage," Bonavida said. "I wasn't sure what part of my body it was going to affect. The little injury was depressing because I'm going to miss my softball tournament this weekend. But it was certainly fun."

Gomer knew Gardella had the talent to learn the event. The senior center fielder has been a two-time All-Colorado selection in softball and was the Rocky Mountain News player of the year in 2002.

"Amy is in left, and Kyra played in our right field," Gardella said. "I called our softball coach (Wendy Braye) in Florida, and she was laughing on the other end of the line and having a great time talking with me about it. None of us have ever thrown a javelin before (Saturday)."

Perhaps no one was more surprised to see her name on the list as a javelin thrower than Winter, a sophomore.

"I thought it would be fun," Winter said. "It felt awkward at first, but I like it a lot."

Awkward also was the word used by Lambert, whose practice tosses went end over end at first.

"The only time I'd seen the javelin was on the Funniest Home Video show," Lambert said. "And then, people were getting stuck with them. But this was great."

Said Bell: "I thought it was a prank the coaches were pulling on us. But after we each had our first throws, I thought we could win."

Loyd and Gomer knew that using quarterbacks and softball players was the way to go. Both offered the arm strength they were looking for from their athletes.

While the competitors are enthused, Loyd is not sure if the state is ready overall. Ample space is needed, for safety purposes, to practice the event because of the distances athletes can throw and will be able to achieve with proper training.

Smoky Hill assistant coach Mike Renes said reintroducing the javelin as a sanctioned state event was discussed at the state coaches convention and clinic last year.

"The coaches are excited for it," Renes said. "Because of safety factors around the pole vault, this could be a good replacement event."

Several other coaches also said they plan on having the javelin at their smaller meets this season. As many agreed, they have to start offering it now in hopes of making it a regular event - one that gains widespread support.

It already has garnered one faithful participant.

Said Cammon: "I'm hooked on it."

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Unread postby nolevault » Thu Mar 18, 2004 10:43 am

Congratulations to Colorado for throwing the javelin. Any pole vaulter that lives in Colorado should contact the coach that stated "unfortunately, this is the end of the pole vault", and tell him where to stick that javelin. I'm so sick and tired of coaches worring about the inconvenience of the pole vault. The javelin is just another event that someone can come out and be naturally good at, at least at the high school level. I've thrown the javelin and vaulted, no comparison. Keep the vault!
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Unread postby jhesch » Thu Mar 18, 2004 10:58 am

if no involved vaulters are there and none seem to be coming, i'd like to go to teh coach and say "hey, i can get those poles and pits off your hands for only a minimal cost....)heh he he

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Unread postby Aviendha » Fri Mar 19, 2004 10:13 pm

our coach is trying to get ppl to be javelin "catchers" :P ...no, our state doesn't do javelin...coach just says that to the guys that get on his nerves.
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Unread postby tigervaulter727 » Fri Mar 09, 2007 12:14 am

NOOOOOO end to vaulting...haha
that would be uber sad...

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