Despite leading the league with a 224-3 throw, two-time Big Sky javelin champion faces tough competition at league meet
By Megan Lobdell, Big Sky Conference (EWU '10)
Aaron Mettler of Eastern Washington University will be competing Saturday (May 12) at the 2011 Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championships at Sacramento State sponsored by MONDO USA.
Mettler, a senior from Walla Walla, Wash., will be competing in the javelin at 1:45 p.m. on Saturday at the championship for what could be his third outdoor title. He won championships in 2008 and 2009, but lost last year to Jason Flemmer of Montana.
Although he has a league-leading throw of 224-3 to his credit this season, this year's championship is even tougher for Mettler to win. He is competing against three athletes that have thrown over 220 feet, including Flemmer. There are a total of seven athletes that have thrown over 200 feet.
Mettler was named the Big Sky Conference Field Athlete of the Week for the week of April 26th for his performance at the Oregon Relays.
Mettler took the time during championship week to talk about his competition and being named Athlete of the Week.
Q: What is your goal for the upcoming conference championships?
A: "Well honestly my goal is to win, but it isn't going to be an easy task. We have three other guys who have thrown over 220 this year, and another who has thrown at least 220 the last two seasons, (MSU Nick Lam) and another who two years ago threw 214 (UM Cole Beyer), so it will be an extremely exciting championship."
Q: You were the two-time defending javelin champion but lost last year to Jason Flemmer of Montana. Take me back to that day…What happened?
A: "Last year was a disappointing year for me, not that I didn't win conference but that I was struggling with a back injury all season. However, when it came to conference I was feeling healthier. On my third or fourth throw is when I threw 214, which was my season personal best and I was very happy with it. It turns out the throw just wasn't far enough to win, as Jason came back on his fifth or sixth throw to win. It was a fun competition."
Q: Earlier this season at the Al Manuel Invitational you faced two of your opponents Justin Graff and Jason Flemmer. What happened at that meet?
A: "Coming into the meet had been a very slow start to the season. I had only taken six or so full throws prior to the meet due to the weather and having just finished spring break a week earlier. I believe I got fourth at the meet, with what has been my worst throw of the season. It was not the best meet for anyone, other than Justin. Justin come out and had a good early season throw of 211 and Jason threw 196; the pair of them took first and second."
Q: This year the javelin is a very tight competition. But you do lead by 3 feet 9 inches with a huge throw at the Oregon Relays. But you have three competitors that throw over 220 feet and everyone else isn't even over 210 feet. What do you think about your competition with Sean Mackelvie of Portland State, Graff and Flemmer of Montana?
A: "I am really looking forward for conference this year, as it is setting up to be an awesome javelin competition. Sean, Justin, and Jason are all competitors and all have outstanding marks to show. The level of competition and this being my last Big Sky Championship steps up the excitement. We also have Nick who has thrown over 220 and Cole who has thrown 214, so you can't count out anyone. Just because someone hasn't thrown as far does not mean that they are not ready for a big throw. With all these guys out there and the warmer weather should make this a very exciting championship."
Q: How much has your coached helped you through your season at Eastern?
A: "Not only this season but throughout my whole time at Eastern Washington University, Marcia Mecklenburg has helped improve my form and technique to get me to the level of thrower I am today. She has taken me from being a 191 foot thrower in high school to now being at 225 and hopefully farther."
Q: You were named Big Sky Conference Field Athlete of the week on April 26th. What does that mean to you?
A: "It was really cool being named field athlete of the week, not really something I was expecting. However it is nice to get recognized from your conference for the hard work that you've been putting in."