July 15, 2018 | ° F

Freshman exhibits early talent for Rutgers

Photo by The Daily Targum |

Musical artist Henry Rollins once said, “In winter, I plot and plan. In spring, I move.”

Rollins’ method seems to be mated with what freshman javelin thrower Stacey Anning has accomplished so far in her career as a member of the Rutgers women’s track and field team.

Opening up the 2015 outdoor season with a bang at the Bulls Invitational, the Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, native captured the javelin title in her debut performance as a Scarlet Knight by throwing an ECAC qualifying mark of 41.81 meters (137 feet 2 inches).

It would have be easy to say that this breakout performance was a fluke, but Anning was quick to prove otherwise.

The young Knight was tested at the Raleigh Relays in North Carolina where she was among 2,500 athletes competing from top universities throughout the nation, while combating heavy rain, cold temperatures and high winds.

Despite the increased intensity of competition and unanticipated, adverse conditions, Anning was dominant once again.

Obliterating her previous personal record by over 13 feet, Anning captured a fourth place finish with her ECAC throw of 45.89 meters (150 feet 6 inches). Among her teammates, she was the only one to post an ECAC qualifying mark over the weekend.

Head coach James Robinson attributes the freshman’s top performances to dedicated, focused training.

“She’s working very hard to learn the technique and she’s doing a great job of applying it thus far in competition,” said head coach James Robinson. “She’s a very hard worker and you can see that the hard work is paying off early on.”

Since the javelin event is not held during the winter season, Anning took advantage of the additional training time in order to prepare herself as much as possible for competition at the collegiate.

Anning agrees with Robinson that the months of ceaseless training have been pivotal in helping her springboard into the season.

“I think, because we started in September and we’ve just been training the whole year, I think it just helped me a lot to get in that (personal record) early on,” Anning said.

Finally able to apply her hard work to competition, the spring season holds ample opportunity for Anning to reach even greater personal feats.

As she looks to keep her momentum moving in a productive direction, the freshman can do so armed with the assurance that she has  proved herself thus far in the newly intensified competition level. 

The resulting confidence could overshadow any intimidation that Anning may feel as a young athlete, promoting a positive mindset.

Hard work, paired with a strengthened mental makeup, propels Anning forward into her outdoor season.

“(Reaching a new personal record) gives me a lot more confidence now because I know that I can throw to the ability that I want to throw,” Anning said. “I’m definitely going to be more confident now when I’m competing because coming in, I was definitely more nervous because I was coming in as a freshman. Hopefully, it just helps me out in the further performances and hopefully I just continue to (personal record) every meet and do well.”

For updates on the Rutgers women’s track team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

Kaylee Pofahl

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