VOLUME 4, ISSUE 4
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Letter From The Editor
NCAA IndoorsShot showdown in Fayetteville USATF Indoors
Mahon and Nelson light up the Apple Bouncing Back
Teri Steer is moving on Another Level
Christian Cantwell reaches new heights "Putting" It All in Perspective
Michael Carter reflects on his athletic career
A primer for Olympic Lifting The Role of Olympic Lifts In Throwing
Are they all theyre billed to be? Craftsmen and Competitors
The Held brothers changed the course of javelin throwing What to Drive When You Arrive
A humorous review of car rentals for throwers
Basic Concepts For The Glide
Glide Basics from Norm Balke and Scott Cappos
Compound Training For The Heavy Events
The Double Glide Drill
Improving glide efficiency
By Jeff Gorski
I first heard of Franklin "Bud" Held and his brother, Dick, while a high school javelin thrower in New Jersey in the early 1970s. In studying the javelin at local libraries to learn to throw farther I learned of the history of the event and the revolutionary contributions both of these men made to its improvement. I remember the thrill I got when my high school coach got me a 70m Held javelin as a senior with the cool Lakeside Supply label on it- a little yellow shield shaped sticker with a javelin stuck in the ground. A decade later I was an open thrower, on the verge of national ranking without a sponsor and met Dick at the NCAA meet in Houston in 1983. He watched me throw in an empty stadium for an hour from his favorite site- top of the stadium about half-way down field so he could watch flight of the javelin. I was pleasantly shocked when a couple javelins from him showed up at my home a week later.
Ive been in touch with him since as a coach, athlete and fan of his work. He is a great friend to throwers around the world, both for his design ability and willingness to help out athletes with javelins for testing and use.
After being named Development Chairman in 1999, I wanted to run a camp for a dozen or so throwers at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista and asked Dick to come along to talk to the guys about javelin flight. He suggested I call his brother, Bud, who lives up the road near San Diego. He gladly accepted the invitation and drove down to spend the day talking with the athletes and giving advice. The brothers Held were joined that day by 1952 Olympic silver medalist Bill Miller, one of their old friends from the javelin glory days of the US in the early 1950s. Bud and Bill also attended our first American JavFest in 2000. These fine gentlemen have great experiences that they are willing to share and we are in debt to them for the fabulous stories and insite they share with us here....thanks for everything, guys!!!
LSTJ: When, and how, did you two get involved with the javelin?
Bud: When I entered Stanford as a freshman I had never held a javelin in my hand, and had only seen one once at a meet at San Diego State. I came to Stanford as a pole vaulter and after landing on my head a few times in a rather hard sawdust pit, I decided that the javelin might be easier on my body. By the end of my freshman track season I threw 212' 10' at the Fresno Relays for the best college throw of that year.
I was discharged from the Army Air Force in November 1945, shortly after
the end of World War II. Bud was in his senior year of high school. We made
plans together to enter Stanford University the following fall. Bud was one of the two
best high school pole vaulters in the nation so he had no trouble being accepted even
though there were thousands of returning veterans that year. He simply had to pass
the entrance exam. I, however, needed to rely on top exam scores to be accepted.
I signed up for baseball and Bud for track. A week before our first game I
was called into the athletic department office and told the good old NCAA had ruled I
would lose a years eligibility through a technicality. At the time I was
starting right fielder and a backup pitcher. A little angry, to put it mildly, I
stormed over to the admissions office and withdrew.
When Bud was four and I was five, Dad bought us gloves and a baseball.
He usually spent an hour a day teaching us proper throwing technique. We built a
pitching mound and installed a plate at the regulation distance. Bud and I threw to
each other whenever we had some spare time, alternating pitching and catching. I was
standing on the mound when Grandfather interrupted us with the news of the Pearl Harbor
bombing. We had both acquired a full arsenal
Track and field was truly as amateur sport in my day. No athlete,
except perhaps Wes Santee, expected to make any money from track, and he was banned by the
AAU. We were limited to $35 expense money per day and were not allowed to accept any
prizes or gifts valued over $35. The trips and the competition were the rewards.
Thus the first javelin with a larger than normal point evolved. He also built a
couple of javelins with normal size grips and three inch diameter front sections.
These were made of ash, so to keep the weight to the regulation 800 grams they were
hollow. One of these is still on display at the Eugene OTE plant. Bud actually
built the first hollow javelin I ever saw. He refined his implement and set up a
practical method of hollowing the javelins.
I caught a train to San Francisco and Bud gave me his work in progress. I returned home
and began to hand build some new models. Our home was in the very small town of
Lakeside, California. A local recluse and his son lived back in the wilderness of
Wildcat Canyon. This man came into our hardware store and was very friendly with my
father so I had learned that he built flight bows. His son could shoot an arrow
further than anyone else in the world. I visited him and he showed me some of the
most beautiful bows I had ever seen. However I was more interested in arrows.
He showed me arrows which traveled over a half mile and demonstrated some for me.
I learned the type of wood, its source and seasoning. I modeled those first
javelins after competition flight arrows. They were made of Port Orford Cedar, cut
from standing trees, killed many years before by a fire.
A kid from Kansas and Al Cantello had great performances with one at the NCAA with two
or three meet records and a new NCAA record by Al on his last throw.
Bud: I began experimenting with modifying the Finnish Karhu javelin while at Stanford in 1949. I was getting better flights by 1950 and my throwing friends and competitors Bill Miller and Cy Young wanted one. I made up two modified Karhus and gave one to each. Making them was a lot of work and I could not sell them because of amateur rules. It looked like there might be a market for them so I asked Dick if he wanted to make and sell some. He obliged with amazing skill and made up many new and improved models.
During the period between 1954 and 1960 the IAAF made several rule changes
aimed at the Held javelin but each time I was able to bring out a successful design within
the new rules. Bud and Bill Miller tested many of the experimental models.
Later, Larry Stuart was kind enough to do the throwing tests on the model built
after the 1960 rule change. Frank Covelli and Ed Red were great helps during the
1960s. Frank tested an early attempt at building an exceptionally stiff model
similar to the present carbon implements. It, however, proved too stiff and was
discontinued because of the danger to shoulders and elbows.
LSTJ: What do you guys feel is the most critical aspect of throwing far? If theres more than one, how about ranking them.
Dick: This, I will leave to the people who are trained in coaching and throwing.
Bud: I think the most important element of throwing is keeping the body momentum going forward and up into the throw, and, of course, transferring that momentum into the javelin during the actual throwing motion.
For both of you- what areas of throwing do you feel are lacking the
most here in the US? What can we do to improve this?
Bud: I believe that the major reason that the U.S. does not have more good throwers is the money available in other sports such as football, basketball and baseball. I had an opportunity to play professional baseball, but the salary levels at that time were not enough to entice me away from my education and career interests. At the salary and endorsement levels today, I probably would not have resisted the temptation.LSTJ: Both of you have seen a lot in the javelin world; what was the most impressive throw you guys have seen? In that same regard- whats the most impressive athletic feat youve seen?
Bud: Of all the throws I have witnessed in person, two that Al Cantello made at Compton in the mid 50s impressed me most. I was having trouble reaching 250 in poor crosswind conditions when Al popped two throws out over 280, both for world records. It turns out Al had been lifting weights, something that throwers just didnt do in those days.
Apart from javelin throwers, the most impressive athlete I ever saw was Dutch Warmerdam. Dutch was my vaulting coach at Stanford, and while he was long past his competitive days, he used to occasionally get his spikes and a bamboo pole out of the storeroom and show us how it was done. He would put the bar up to just under 15. When he came down the runway it was an absolutely smooth and flowing motion. I think he could have balanced a glass of water on his head. When he took off there was no jerking of straining. He just seemed to rise up in an effortless fluid motion and sail over the bar. I remember thinking it was like the wind blowing a feather down the runway and then with an updraft sweeping it over the bar.
Dick: Two throws that I have witnessed in person were Buds 1956 throw at Occidental with a wood javelin. He had already broken the US record with a 270 and the next one went far beyond anything anyone believed possible. It landed eight feet high in the bleachers, six inches outside the sector. Not legal, but what a throw. The distance to the landing spot was 297. Had the bleachers not been in the way, it would have gone about 310. This was a time when the World Record was in the low 270s. It did not reach 300 until over twenty years later at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. The other was Tom Petranoffs 327 at UCLA. You knew it was a world record fifty feet after it left his hand. I stood there yelling "Come over damnit, come over." When it hit point first I was probably more elated than Tom.
Dick: Bud, give us a bit of a history lesson- who were your toughest competitors, both U.S. and overseas, and what were their special abilities that made them dangerous?
Bud: Cy Young and Bill Miller were my two major competitors. Cy was just big and strong, and Bill was quick and agile and an amazing athlete. I remember watching the results of a national decathlon competition that Bill decided to compete in a few months after he had surgery for appendicitis. I was amazed at his high jump result of 6š 10˛, the highest I had ever seen for a decathlon.
LSTJ: Dick, the javelin world has seen a lot of changes and adjustments
regarding rules and design: who were the throwers that got the best use of the different
LSTJ: In that same
vein, when all those wild javelin surfaces came out in the late 80s- textured paint,
spirals on the shaft, etc.- what do you think was the best idea? Did you have and
interesting experimental javelins during that time?
LSTJ: Bud, how much of a difference was there for you when throwing Dicks javelins as opposed to the "traditional" solid wood javelins- adjustments in technique, etc, or did you just go out and blast them into the next state?
Bud: All of my best throws were made with modified Karhu solid wood javelins. While some of Dickšs early model hollow wood and aluminum javelins were available to me when I was still throwing pretty well, I never quite hot the hang of them. I was long retired by the time Dick came out with his Custom 3s and Custom 4s.
LSTJ: Dick, the changes in the womens javelin in 1999 seem to have limited their performances. Womens throwing in general has dropped off since the late 80s/early 90s. Is it poor athletes, poor technique, what do you think?
Dick: I know this will be controversial but I believe the drop-off in the late 80s was due to drug testing not design changes.
LSTJ: Where do you two see the event headed? Is the current mens record the limit that can be thrown? Is there another Uwe Hohn out there that will make the event change again?
Dick: There are throwers out there right now that can develop into consistent 100-meter men. One hundred meters is possible in 10-20 years.
Bud: Dicks contribution to the development of javelins has been remarkable. Dick was always the leader in javelin innovation and design. Other companies were followers and copied his new creations. Most of the rule changes in the last 50 years regarding javelin specifications were implemented because the javelins that Dick designed and built were flying so far as to create a safety hazard. It took several attempts at rule changes to get them to settle down at acceptable distances.
Any final comments you guys would like to share with the readers?