Georgetown News
In his first full year of training, Graham Smith advanced to the national competition.
In his first full year of training, Graham Smith advanced to the national competition.
Men's Outdoor Track & Field - Fri, May 26, 2017

Graham Smith finished up his second season, first full year, throwing javelin in the 2017 NAIA National Men's Track and Field Championships Thursday. The day did not turn out exactly as he hoped, but the experience is more valuable for the sophomore.

He became only the third Georgetown College Tiger in modern era to throw javelin at the national competition and first in nearly a decade.

"Nationals brings a lot of different emotions and adrenaline for first time competitors, I don't anticipate this to be the last time Graham is here," said GC coach Lucas Garnett. "He has this experience in his pocket. Graham's drive and passion will now propel him forward to continue to work as hard if not harder in the years to come. I see big things in his future."

With minimal time to train for his freshman season, Smith already made it clear he was going to be a force with which to reckon. However, he could not break the 50-meter barrier and his longest toss was a 47.10 midseason in 2016. This season, with just a year under his belt, he only threw in the 40s twice and had a long of 56.3 – good enough for second at the Mid-South Conference Championships. That finish alone was a huge leap forward as he was fourth behind now two Tiger teammates.

"I'm so proud of him for the strides he's taken in just 16 months. I can't say that enough – 16 months. People sometimes see this event and think as long as you can throw, he's a baseball player, this is easy," Garnett said. "They don't take into account what it feels like to have a pole and learn the right trajectory and moves to make it soar like you need. It isn't the same as throwing a ball, the mass is different, the feel is different, but he's grasped the techniques so quickly and that's because of his dedication and hard work."

Smith had one first place finish, two seconds and a fourth this year. His lowest finish in regular season came at the first Centre College meet where he was behind six NCAA competitors and was the highest NAIA finisher.


 

 
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