Brown is javelin ‘king’
In ancient Greece Eric Brown might just have been a king. His adept spear throwing would no doubt impress. But for now, he has to settle for the No. 1 ranking in Kansas for the javelin. Brown, a Baldwin High School junior, has thrown a state best 215 feet, 10 inches. He won the Class 4A state javelin title with that heave Friday in Wichita. Also during the season, he won the KU relays and almost every meet entered. Brown is also the seventh-ranked javelin thrower in the nation. That has set him right on track to meet his lofty expectations.
"I wanted to win state, and throw 220 feet," said Brown, who accomplished two of those goals.
Brown isn't the only one who thinks he can accomplish these feats.
"If he gets it lined up and the conditions are fair, I believe 220 feet is a realistic goal," said BHS throwers coach T.J. Turner, who was an All-American javelin thrower at K-State
Brown didn't just come out of nowhere. After his freshman year in which he threw 166 feet, he got second at state with a throw of 192-1 as a sophomore. He attributes his gains to a stronger work regimen to ready himself for the season.
"I have lifted a lot more and I've also thrown more before this season," said Brown.
"I have been in Eric's shoes and understand what he is going through," said Turner. "If I can, in any way, help keep him focused and striving for more I feel I am helping him. I have also instituted what I have learned while throwing at K-State. That pertains to work-outs, lifting and drills."
Brown's coach and teammates consider him a great thrower for a variety of reasons.
"Eric is one of those hard working athletes. He approaches every practice and every meet with the mentality of a winner. It also helps to have cannon for an arm," said Turner.
"Eric's flexibility and form are what make him a superior thrower," said Hugh Murphy, Brown's teammate who finished second to him at state. The pair finished 1-2 in many meets throughout the season.
Like any great athlete, Brown makes his teammates better.
"Eric helps me a lot. To have someone to critique me and compete with me at every meet helps a ton," said Murphy.
Brown attributes his winning ways to a combination of hard work, natural talent and coaching.
"Coach Turner has helped me a lot with work on my form, and the little things," said Brown.
Brown enjoyed himself at state and remembers why he first got interested in throwing the javelin.
"The javelin is my favorite event because it involves no running," said Brown.
Nobody said the king had to be fast.