As the outdoor season finally approaches, a contingent of the track and field team finally gets its chance to shine.
After a nearly nine and a half month layoff, the team’s delegation of javelin throwers will finally return to action on March 29-30 at the Stanford Invitational, in Palo Alto, Calif.
“They’ve been pacing themselves. They’ve had a great year of training, from fall conditioning through the indoor winter time of just getting after it,” coach Beth Alford-Sullivan said. “They’ve been training very, very hard.”
Javelin throwing standouts include Laura Loht and Lauren Kenney from the women’s team, who finished first and second respectively at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships in 2012, along with finishing third and fourth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
“They’re going to want to match that or do better this season,” Sullivan said of the duo’s impressive past feats.
The men’s side will feature senior Elijah Skinner, who has qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships twice in a row, and freshman Michael Shuey, who was the No. 3-ranked javelin thrower in the country as a senior at the Johnsonburg Area High School.
Sullivan said the javelin throwers are all in elite shape this season after gearing up their workouts and becoming leaner, as well as stronger.
“Those things are going to translate to running down that runway and throwing a lot further,” she said of the throwers.
While the extended layoff may seem like something of a detriment for an athlete, the throwers are more than adjusted to the style of training and performance that goes into the javelin throwing game.
“They’ve kind of been in this boat their whole career,” Sullivan said. “In high school they just threw the outdoor season, just the javelin, so it’s not that unusual for them to be waiting to open up on the first of April or right around [that time].”