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Throwing the distance

Posted by rc360 on April 20, 2010

Photo by  Windee Dawson

City College javelin thrower Cody Allen is No.1 at the junior college level. (saccityexpress.com/Windee Dawson)

Last season, freshman Cody Allen was the starting quarterback for the City College football team.

In a game at American River College, he helped lead the Panthers to a comeback win over the Beavers by throwing the game-winning touchdown with 16 seconds left in the game.

This semester, Allen is still throwing, but instead of a football he’s throwing a javelin for the men’s track and field team. Before this semester, Allen had never competed in javelin throwing.

“The track coach asked me to throw javelin,” Allen says. “It turned out to be something I could do.”

Little did he know, he would rank first in Northern California among javelin throwers. He has come in first at seven out of the eight scoring meets and placed second in the other. He’s even beaten competitors from the university level.

“I picked up the javelin for the first time about four months ago,” Allen says. “I’ve just been working hard at it. Didn’t want to fail at something and just continued to do what I had to do to get better.”

Even though he was surprised, City College head football coach Dannie Walker didn’t doubt his starting quarterback’s athletic abilities.

“When he first came to me and told me he was going to do it I hesitated,” Walker says. “But I said ‘Yeah go ahead.’ It was a delight to see him be successful in the sport his first time around.”

Allen’s javelin throws are consistently great. His best throw was April 10 at the Mt. San Antonio College (SAC) Relays, where he threw it 63.44 meters (208.14 feet). It was 8.29 meters (27 feet) farther than the second-place throw.

Assistant men’s track and field coach Bob Lanza knew about Allen’s potential, based on his football experience from the semester before.

“I’m a little bit surprised,” Lanza says about Allen’s success at javelin. “With his ability, fortitude and competitiveness, it was inevitable. He’s just a good athlete and a good competitor and he wants to do his best.

Allen is one of the state’s top javelin throwers but he learned that it wasn’t just about using his arm. It was about using his whole body.

“I always relied on my arm strength to get me through,” he says. “I realized that javelin was a lot more than your arm.”

After joining the sport this semester, Allen is planning to throw the javelin next spring after his second football season.

“I’m looking forward for the state championships,” he says. “We’ll see what happens there. Then I’ll move forward to football, another season of track and then move on to whatever college that wants me.”

Editor’s note: Cody Allen was recently ranked as the No.1  javelin thrower in the nation among community colleges according to men’s track and field head coach Rob Dewar.

Click here to read the story on the Express website.

Click here to read the story on the Express print newspaper.

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