Missouri Athletes Get Chance to Throw Javelin at Track and Field - KOAM TV 7

Missouri Athletes Get Chance to Throw Javelin at Track and Field Meets

 There's a new sport for Missouri students  in track and field. The javelin is back.

     It hasn't been thrown in Missouri State Competition since 1936.

Schools across the state can practice and add javelin as host to track meets and after a two year exhibition period, it could return to state competition level.

    Local  coaches and students are  ready to give it a try.

"Arm all the way back."

Justin Schneickert gets his first feel for the javelin and advice from volunteer coach Spencer Paul.  Paul is a Pittsburg State University student who threw javelin in decathlon. It's a sport Justin and others are  excited to try because of its history.

Justin says, " It's a spear. medieval times, I  kind of like that."

Joplin high fellow junior Omar May adds, " The idea that it was  used in war, the whole spear thing, is pretty cool.”   

Head track coach Kasey Pliler says a number of volleyball girls and other throwers are giving javelin a chance. He says, “A lot of people are getting a first time and trying it and they're coming out and seeing if its right for them."

The students are learning to throw with practice javelins called turbo javs.  The real ones are about triple the length and double the weight but the coach and the students say it's all about  learning  technique.

Coach Paul says, "Everybody thinks you can just strong arm it and that doesn't work so well.  It's a full body,  you have to be very athletic to do this event."

Omar says, "It's the form it kind of strains the arms. It hurt like the hips.  I kind of pulled my arm a little bit,  but it wasn't that bad ."

Justin says, "I thought  it was going to be easy, like I was going to throw it a million miles an hour. But really its harder than what you think it is. I did throwing freshman and sophomore year. It kind of helps. The  technique coaches taught me kind of  goes along with this but with a whole new skill you have to run and throw at the same time. "

Right now its safety first for the JHS throwers.

 Coach Paul says, “We don't want to  throw it anywhere around anybody. Just practicing  safety even when you know you can't hurt anybody ."

Javelin is new to most young  Missouri athletes but its thrown in  nearby Kansas and in colleges. And coaches say the time is now to get students prepared.

 Paul says, "So kids like myself  aren't coming up to college like oh, what's that thing.  I'd never seen it, heard of it in high school ."

Omar has thrown the turbo jav ninety feet but he has a higher goal.

Omar says, " To beat the record, definitely. “

That's one hundred twenty feet.

 This year Joplin  goes to  four meets where students can compete in javelin.

     It's considered an experimental or exhibition sport for the next two years.

     Students can get medals if a host school scores the event but it will not lead to conference, sectionals or state competition until after 2016.

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