Jack battles back
Jack Brownlee looked anything but a potential champion in his first attempt in the novice boys javelin competition at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations track and field championships in early June.
“For my first throw, I was so nervous and I completely flubbed it,” the Grade 9 student at E.L. Crossley said. “It went 15 or 20 metres up in the air and about 20 metres and I faulted over the line. It was a total mess.”
It was an ugly way to start his first OFSAA appearance.
“It was a bad thing because I only had two throws left and I knew that I could throw way farther,” he said. “It was real nerve-wracking because if I messed up on the next two throws my first OFSAA experience could have been awful.”
In hindsight, he knows where he went wrong with his first throw.
“I think I was just thinking too much, thinking how many things I had to do and thinking about things I had to critique. And I was worried too much and nervous,” he said. “I play other sports too and that has never happened and it was like ‘Oh gosh.’ ”
Thankfully on his second attempt, the 14-year-old Fenwick resident rebounded with a good throw and his third throw, a toss of 44.74 metres, would earn him a spot at the top of the OFSAA podium.
“It was a new personal best by about four metres,” the Thorold Elite Track Club member said.
It was a special moment for him as he stood atop the podium.
“It was so exciting but I on my first step up I tripped and I fell back down. That was a bit embarrassing but once I got up there it was an amazing feeling knowing that you finished on top of everyone and earned the gold medal.”
His gold medal was the result of a lot of work.
“It was going to practice every day. Our school has practice every day and I only missed two practices,” Brownlee said. “It was dedicating myself.”
There was never any issues with motivation.
“I am a competitive person and my whole family is competitive. My sister (Emma) has an OFSAA gold medal in volleyball and my motivation was to get one too.”
When he arrived home after OFSAA, he made sure to show his sister his gold medal.
“She said, ‘Is this a joke?’ because she thought I was joking at first. It was cool to see that I could get a gold medal too.”
He is uncertain where he is going with his throwing career.
“I’m not sure because in the summers I am away. I think I will try and continue with it and see where it goes after that.”
Brownlee is a big fan of throwing.
“I really enjoy it. It is a fun atmosphere and seeing yourself improve is a lot of fun too.”
Brownlee continued to perform well at the recent NXTCHAMP Invitational, winning the under-16 boys javelin with a personal best throw of 47.38 metres.