Posts

Update from Arles

There is nothing more satisfying than sleep for the sleep deprived. Food for a hungry man comes in a close second, but the food often pales in comparison to the succulent dishes we create in our minds and overindulgence can quickly turn satisfaction into regret. Sleep, on the other hand, never fails to satisfy. I started Thursday morning with a training session before heading to the airport, where I flew to Marseille (via Amsterdam) and drove another hour to nearby Arles. Once in Arles, I squeezed in another quick workout before grabbing dinner and finally heading to bed. Other than a short nap on the plane ride, I was been awake for nearly 30 straight hours. As soon as my head hit the pillow, I was out cold and couldn’t have been happier.
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Counting Down the Days

The indoor track season is heating up, and it’s is making me anxious to start my season too. Yet again this year I’ve had the pleasure of providing news and commentary for the Evergreen Athletic Fund’s CollegeHammer.com and HSHammer.com.  This season has already produced some great results that have been fun to write about.  I’ve spent more time recently working on both sites and our traffic has doubled thanks in part to some great features we’ve posted on my training parter Kibwé Johson, world junior champion Walter Henning of LSU, my friend Brian Richotte, D3 record holder Kevin Becker, Norwegian champion Steffen Nerdal of Memphis, as well as emerging coaches Dave Hahn and Scott Block.
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Schweizer Meisterschaft

Atop the podium at the Swiss National Championships (Photo by Fritz Berger).

Atop the podium at the Swiss National Championships (Photo by Fritz Berger).

This weekend I competed in the Swiss Championships, my last meet of the season. Despite a tumultuous up and down year, I was able to win my first Swiss Championships by a convincing margin of more than 7 meters. My good friend and teammate Roland Widmer took second place.
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Heading to Croatia

I’m leaving tomorrow on a flight to Croatia. My time here in Germany has been fun, but I’m ready to compete again and that leads me to Croatia. I got a small taste of competition again this week in Saarbrücken, where I threw a new season’s best and the top mark in Switzerland for the year. However, the weather was still inclement and I reverted back to some old technical flaws that I’ve recently fixed. All said, I know I can do much better as my more important competitions approach and I’m looking forward to the chance to prove myself once again.
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Training Camp in Saarbrücken

Since Norway, I’ve been busy training again. I feel the most comfortable in the ring when I have had consistent training, so I felt it was best to get a few solid weeks of training after several weeks in a row of competitions. I’ve been training again outside Saarbrücken, Germany with coach Christoph Sahner‘s training group and also house sitting for my sister in nearby Ramstein. In training, I have been feeling better than I have all season, and have consistently thrown some good marks. I also feel like I’m in the best shape of my life. I’m lighter than I have been in nearly five years, but feel as strong and powerful as I’ve ever been. I’ll get a better idea of how things are going on Wednesday when I compete at a small local meet.
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European Team Championships, 1st League

I was speaking with Swiss National Javelin Coach Terry McHugh last night and he said something along the lines of this concerning yesterday’s competition: when I come out to watch the Olympic Champion and silver medalist, I expect there to be some huge throws … that was the furthest thing from what happened. I competed today for the Swiss National Team at the European Team Championships (ETCH), 1st League competition in Bergen, Norway.  The ETCH is a scored competitions where each send one athlete in each event. In order to make the competition more exciting, some new rules were tried this year. For the throws, each of the twelve athletes were given two attempts, with the top six getting a third attempt and the top four getting a final fourth attempt.
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Win at the Swiss Club Championships

Throwing at the Swiss Club Championships (photo by Fritz Berger)

Throwing at the Swiss Club Championships (photo by Fritz Berger)

With a team comprised of a mixture very young and aging athletes, my club (ST Bern) entered today’s Swiss Club Championships with one main goal: don’t get relegated.  The premiere league has eight teams and each season the bottom team is replaced by the winner of the second division.  We were able to escape relegation this year by placing sixth.  One more year in the top league will give us a good opportunity to develop the young athletes into leading roles on the team.  Hopefully we will ascend once again to the top of the Swiss rankings.
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Fraenkisch-Crumbach Results

Competitors at the Sparkassen Hammerwurf-Meeting

Competitors at the Sparkassen Hammerwurf Meeting

This morning I competed at the 7th Annual Sparkassen Hammerwurf Meeting in Fränkisch-Crumbach, Germany.  My result was representative of how this season has been going for me so far.  I threw only 61.05 meters (video below), which by my records is my worst result since September of 2005. My technique actually felt the best it has in any competition so far this year.  I had only one foul and was able to keep a low center of gravity in all my turns.  While I was not hitting the release very well, I still was doing so better than I have been lately.  So why the poor result?  Perhaps it was the early morning competition time, perhaps it was jet lag, perhaps it was the cool weather, perhaps it was nerves … who knows.  In any case, I’m not that happy with it.  I had big expectations for this season since it is the first time in my life that I’ve really had a coach and the time I wanted to train.  I know I can do better than this and it is frustrating not to be able to reach the potential I have shown in training this spring.
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European Tour 2009

I arrived in Zürich today to begin my ten week European comeptition season.  I will only be here for a few days before heading off to competitions in Fränkisch-Crumbach (Germany), St. Pölten (Austria), Bern (Switzerland), and Bergen (Norway) in June.  My schedule for July is not yet finalized, but I will likely be doing a competition or two in the former Yugoslovia before returning to Zurich for the Swiss Championships on August 1st.  A complete schedule is can be found on the site. Right now, I’m just focused on recovering from the tiring flight so that I can set a new season’s best on Sunday.
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The Season is Underway

I’ve had my first few competitions of the season this month. With the start of the season has come a lot of excitement and a lot of frustration. To start off, I traveled to competed at the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, Arizona and the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, California. Entering those meets, I was in great shape and ready throw far. Really far. I was coming off of personal bests in training with the heavy 9-kilogram and 10-kilogram hammers. But when the meet day came around, I ran into foul trouble. All the training with the heavy hammers had affected my rhythm with the 7.26-kilogram (16-pound) hammer. I tossed all of my attempts out of the sector at the Sun Angel Classic and only managed to keep a few easy throws in at Mt. SAC. While the fouls were far, they didn’t count and left me scratching my head and wondering “what if”.
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