Provo • Rain or shine, practice makes perfect. In the case of Jordan’s Austin Kafentzis, last week’s thunderstorms altered his routine and gave him confidence that a goal he envisioned was in his grasp.
Kafentzis is no stranger to UHSAA state records. Sure, everyone knows him for his impressive stats on the football field, but on Friday at the BYU Invitational, the junior left his mark in javelin.
His previous best of 199.5 feet was a 5A record set during his freshman year. On Friday, Kafentzis beat his personal best by 18 feet with a toss that went 217 feet. … The runner-up was 30 feet off. His mark ranks tied for second nationally this outdoor season, according to athletic.net. John Nizich of Oregon’s Central Catholic High School has the best mark in the country at 221-10. according to athletic.net.
"I actually didn’t think it was as far as it was at the beginning just because you never really do," Kafentzis said. "I wasn’t focusing on anything in particular besides my block. I just kind of let my mind just go free and just not worry about, ‘Oh, I’ve got to throw it hard.’ I’ve just got to let it happen."
Kafentzis had never cleared the 200 mark, but after adjusting to the weather conditions last week, he started to believe it was possible.
"Last week it was bad weather," he said. "It was slippery, so I finished behind the [foul arc center point] by 15 feet. [After that] I was like, OK, maybe I can throw above 200 next week — and just worked on it."
Not only did he do it once, he cleared 200 four times on Friday.
Just as in football, Kafentzis’ dad, Kyle, has been instrumental in his success, watching videos, watching technique, and teaching Austin drills. "He was just able to translate it to me and put it in words where it doesn’t go in one ear and out the other — I can actually process it," said Kafentzis.
While Kafentzis dominated the field of participants, he was complimentary to those who shared the podium with him.
"I like coming out here and competing and being able to compete against some of my teammates — which are some of the best in the state as well — and some of the Juab kids, and everyone else that was up here on the podium," he said.
Committed to Wisconsin on a football scholarship, his plan is to graduate next December so he can play spring football. However, he hopes this will not be his last for track and field.
"I think if you sign some paper you can come back and throw in a couple meets still because I still have one more year of eligibility," he claimed. "I think I’m going to go there, try to practice it a couple times, come here and throw in a couple meets and try to qualify for State."
Panguitch dominates girls’ 3,200-meter final
Teammates Whittni Orton and Catania Holman finished one and two, respectively, in the 1A-2A 3,200-meter finals. Orton dominated the field, finishing 10 seconds ahead of Holman and 29 seconds ahead of the third-place finisher.
"’It’s just nice to see your results after you’ve been practicing so long," said Holman. "I’ve been running with the boys and trying to make me better and it helps."
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