The first time Roberto Ramirez threw a javelin in competition, he landed in the No. 2 spot in the state in the event.
“I just thought it’d be fun,” said Ramirez, a Smith-Cotton senior. “I wanted to letter in four sports, and this is the first year for javelin, so I figured I better try it. I found a hidden talent.”
Ramirez is a busy athlete who plays baseball full-time while participating in track in the same season. In the fall, he also played soccer full-time and was the punter for the Tigers football team on Fridays.
S-C Track Head Coach Brad Hagedorn said Ramirez “is a very level-headed kid. … He handles the pressure easily.”
Ramirez said his javelin-throwing technique is simply, “Throw it as far as you can and embrace your inner Spartan.”
Pitching for the baseball team and throwing javelin presented some concerns for Ramirez. He was “worried about injuries just because it puts strain on parts of my shoulder I’m not used to,” he said. However, “it did not have an adverse effect on my pitching motion.”
Being involved in so many activities, time can be the enemy. Luckily for students involved in multiple sports, 14 practices are needed each season to participate in events and those practices count towards all sports. Ramirez got in his baseball practices and they counted towards track as well.
Ramirez’s first time participating in the javelin was in a track meet at Central Methodist University in Fayette. On his first throw, he posted the second-best distance in state.
“The coach at CMU asked on the spot if I wanted to come there to throw for them,” Ramirez said.
With a personal best of 158 feet, Ramirez is currently in the top 10 in the state. Since this is the first year that javelin is a scoring event, athletes with the top 16 performances will not have to qualify through district or sectional meets. Ramirez already has qualified for the state meet, to be held the last weekend in May. His goals are to make it into the top 25 in the nation and to throw at least 190 feet.
Savanna Spilker is a Smith-Cotton High School senior.