Photographed by Athena Zeng
Javelin introduced as new track and field event
April 27, 2017
After seeing Lafayette athletes throw the javelin, Megan Reichardt, sophomore, said she became interested in the event.
Last year, she threw for varsity girls track and field during the trial period, ending the season with a fourth place title at Conference.
When Reichardt started throwing, she said it was fun and just came to her. It is now her favorite throwing event.
She liked it so much that she went to a winter throwing camp at Mizzou, threw with the coaches, and continued to practice over the summer.
“It’s not like the other throwing events where you just stay in one spot,” Reichardt said. “You run and you have a lot more energy. I was really excited.”
Reichardt said she was drawn to the idea of competing against Lafayette students and possibly throwing javelin for Mizzou as a collegiate athlete.
Following a two-year experimental period beginning in 2015, the javelin event was officially added this spring as a scoring event statewide in Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) track and field.
The two year trial period allowed time for athletes and coaches to begin learning the rules and techniques. So far this season, Jim Kremer, throwing coach, has been teaching the athletes how to hold the javelin, how to release the javelin and how to use the run up and release techniques.
Most of the throwers did not try out the javelin event last year, so there is not a solidified varsity team of throwers, but rather a group of about 20 still developing their skills, Kremer said.
“The problem is we don’t have a lot of time, and the weather hasn’t been very good, so it has been a challenge,” Kremer said. “We probably have to reduce the number of kids we have so we have more time to focus.”
Kremer said its Olympic status and popularity make javelin a great sport.
“It’s really just a new thing kids will enjoy,” Kremer said. “It’s a relatively expensive sport just because the javelins are expensive, but other than that, it’s just going to take some time to get kids accustomed to it being a traditional sport now.”
Nick Myers, senior, is new to javelin, but he said he already feels pretty good about it and that it has been coming pretty naturally to him.
“I was really excited because it was something I had never done before and nobody else had really done before,” Myers said. “It just seemed like something really fun to do.”