Chasing Down the Dream
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On Friday July 21st the top javelin throwers in North America battled it out in hopes to qualify for the World Championships.
“It’s the way a track meet should be run. Top athletes, beautiful venue, energetic music, and interactive demos. Everyone had a blast!” said two time Olympian and men’s javelin competitor Sean Furey.
Chasing Down the Dream was an event for athletes who were chasing the World Championships qualifying standard. It was the vision of men’s javelin thrower Cyrus Hostetler.
The sport is dying in its current format; not just for the spectators but for the athletes as well. Competitions in stadiums leave spectators completely disconnected from the athletes, and the athletes know it too.
“Spectators are distracted and confused with too much going on in the stadium. They have too many things to focus on. Even in a big stadium like the Olympics Games with 80,000 people in the stands, I feel like no one is watching me.” says two-time Olympian Cyrus Hostetler
There have been tons of success with street shot put competitions in Kansas, high jump meetings in grocery stores in Des Moines Iowa. Agent and meet director Paul Doyle of the American Track League has been taking advantage of the single event competitions, and even taken them to the next level; his pole vaulters were jumping on Liberty Bridge in Greensville South Carolina, with professional dancers, and alcohol too.
“If you have seen these people on tv it looks impressive, but wait until you are ten feet away.” says Paul Doyle
Single event competitions are cheaper to host, draw more spectators per athlete, and are a lot more fun. Which is exactly the atmosphere Hostetler envisioned for his event.
Time wasn’t on Hostetler’s side, but in just two weeks he was able to pull off the impossible; a competition unlike anything the javelin throwers had ever seen.
“In over eight years at the Training Center I have never seen an event with so much energy and so professionally done.” stated USOC staff member Sam Gardener.
Friday was the last day to qualify for the World Championships which are set in London this August. Athletes were shelling out hundreds of dollars to fly across country just for the chance to make the team. Hostetler says, “It is an inspirational meet for fans to come see. I think these athletes are setting an amazing example for our youth. If you have a dream; go chase it.”
Numerous children and adults alike enjoyed the TurboJav competition prior to the event start. The plastic, rubber tipped javelin invented by former javelin world record holder Tom Petranoff was a great way for fans to interact with the sport, learn more, and recognize how talented the athletes are.
The event was also an amazing opportunity for spectators to see the private training facilities of some of the best athletes in the world! Hosted by the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center near San Diego, California, it was a perfect location, with amazing weather, and beautiful views. Everything the athletes needed to have a great competition.
Ariana Ince from Texas won the women’s side of the competition. Just narrowly missing the World Championships automatic standard by throwing 199 feet 6 inches (60.81 meters). It was one of the best series of throws in her life.
“Absolute blast. The crowd and the energy were perfect and I’m hoping this meet comes back bigger and better next year. Doesn’t hurt that I had the best series of my life!” Ariana Ince says.
Ince did not achieve the World Championships automatic standard but because she is one of the best javelin throwers in the world, she received an invitation from the IAAF.
Nike athlete, Riley Dolezal dominated the competition from start to finish on the men’s side. Throwing 258 feet 2 inches (78.70 meters).
Second place was 2016 NCAA Champion Curtis Thompson from Mississippi State, who has been coming into shape late in the season. He threw 243 feet 4 inches (74.18 meters).
The meet has been drawing the attention internationally too. Marcin Krukowski of Poland said that he hopes to come if the event is held again next year. Krukowski threw a personal best this year of 289 feet (88.09 meters) ranking him number five in the world.
Athletes like Krukowski could bring in more heavy hitters and lots of excitement to the track and field in America; making the future of Chasing Down the Dream bright.
See all the results here: Results
Full event on video from Blue Horse Services: Click here to watch the video (Intros start at 1:12, competition starts 1:19).
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