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American women's jav - why the low standard?

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  • American women's jav - why the low standard?

    Good to see Kim Kreiner back to her best with an American javelin record last weekend. But when I read the report saying that the record now stands at 60.88m, I thought it was a typo. How can such a huge nation fail to produce at least one 61-62m+ thrower? All the other throwing events appear to be quite healthy among US women - Gilreath, Carter, Camarena, Carter, Heaston, Thurmond, etc - but the javelin not so.

    Weird to think that Britain have two athletes who have thrown further than the AR in an athletics event (and one that we're not particularly strong in).

    So what are the reasons for the unpopularity of the jav among women in the US? And are there any up-and-coming javelin stars in the US that look set to transform things?

  • #2
    Re: American women's jav - why the low standard?

    Easy - Most states have banned the event at the high school level. Many athletes at the college level don't even learn the event until they get into college.

    Edit: 18 states allow the event in high school competition.
    There are no strings on me

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    • #3
      American female Jav (lack of) success is tied to softball (primarily). Girls with the strongest arms play HS softball. The social aspects of softball (group) far outweigh those of track (individual). MOST teen-age girls are social animals (this is not a slam or a generalization or a stereotype - it's just a fact), and the lack of JT opportunity (VERY few states have girls JT), coupled with the social aspects keep them away from the JT. The Americans we do get are those that don't go on to play team sports in college and have a streak of individualism (relative to athletics).

      JMO

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      • #4
        Re: American women's jav - why the low standard?

        Originally posted by guru
        Easy - Most states have banned the event at the high school level.
        Why :?: :?: :?: :shock:
        Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

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        • #5
          This is the land of runaway liability suits. The pole vault is taking hits in some states also.

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          • #6
            Kim Kreiner first picked up the javelin as a '96 freshman in college as well.

            We actually both walked-on to the Kent State program at the same time and I recall the first day I met her at our Indoor Fieldhouse. She's an amazing athlete who is still learning the event to this day.

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            • #7
              The same answers apply as to why U.S. men are relatively poor in the javelin. When you think about it, while kids in just about every other country on the planet grow up kicking balls around, American kids spend their time throwing things. Should have a heap of top javelin throwers. But as it is, few get the opportunity, and those that do oft-times end up nowhere. Remember that two setters of the High School Record, Terry Bradshaw and Russ Francis, ended up as All-Pros in the NFL.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by gh
                This is the land of runaway liability suits. The pole vault is taking hits in some states also.
                gh is correct, but it should be pointed out that the impact is indirect. Because of those liability suits (or the concern about them) insurance companies charge higher premiums to cover programs that have events that their underwriters consider dangerous. The hammer throw is in the same category and I believe gh is right about the pole vault too--insurance is cheaper if you don't do that event. So it's very easy for a state association of high schools to decide that they can save taxpayer dollars and ease stressed education budgets by not including the javelin throw in their t&f programs. Since school officials tend to be more passionate about their budgets than about the javelin, that decision is often made.

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                • #9
                  Tafnut, I would say volleyball is the primary thief of our budding jav stars, especially with the ever-expanding world of club VB at the youth level.

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                  • #10
                    USA High School list leader from 2000 Kendra Wecker is now in the WNBA. She threw a few meets her first year in college IIRC.

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                    • #11
                      Up here everyone knows that even a mediorce female javelin thrower has a good shot of getting a full ride scholarship to a US university because so few states allow girls to throw .

                      Anything over 47-48m and you get a paid for education worth over 200,000!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mojo
                        Up here everyone knows that even a mediorce female javelin thrower has a good shot of getting a full ride scholarship to a US university because so few states allow girls to throw .

                        Anything over 47-48m and you get a paid for education worth over 200,000!
                        Very few schools give full rides for javelin because they are generally only competitive in one event and only for outdoor track.

                        However, it probably is relatively easy compared to many other events to get a partial scholarship for a javelin thrower.

                        I would be willing to bet a lot of schools do the same things with javelin throwers that they do with pole vaulters - give money to a kid who is somewhat competitive out of high school, knowing that they do not have a coach to develop the event, and hope that the kid gets better just by getting faster and stronger.

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                        • #13
                          Other major troubles with both men’s and women’s javelin include the poor quality and number of coaches willing to work with post-collegiates, facilities and equipment available to them, and the lack of major universities to spend scholarship $$ on single season, single event undergraduates. For the women, it is better with additional $$, as there are 10 throwers over 52m this year, but development usually ends there.

                          Within the US, Kreiner is basically without any competition now. Last year she won Nationals by over 5m (17') and no American has come within 3m of her this year yet. The post-collegiate scene in the women’s javelin in the US is completely pathetic, with no post-collegiates in the top 20 US marks this year. Kim travels and competes extensively in Europe every year, competing last year in Finland, France, Germany, Portugal, Denmark, Switzerland, England and a few times in the US, and has an equally rough travel schedule this year beginning in Brazil in a few weeks. With the dearth of good American women JT, the likelihood of an US GP javelin is remote at best. She has made some good technical changes this year and is throwing very well early. She was within 2m of the #4 (Schwern) in the world thrower at Mt Sac is bad conditions, and had a 61-62m foul at Davis. Her record throw is at macthrowvideo.com. Her only other US meet may be Oregon Twilight before heading overseas again.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gm
                            Tafnut, I would say volleyball is the primary thief of our budding jav stars, especially with the ever-expanding world of club VB at the youth level.
                            I would label VB as the primary High Jump thief. There are some veeeery tall girls with amazing verts that ONLY play VB (even more so than Basketball, which requires a wider scope of skills). An intimidating Middle Blocker (whose primary talent IS her vert) can change an entire match.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks everyone for the replies. Sure explains a lot!

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