The Queen and Her Court

Many coaches of college-level sports have competed in that specific sport in their past. It is not uncommon for them to have played their sport in high school and college. However, this is not the case for Whitworth javelin coach Eloise Cappellano. Finishing up her eighth year of coaching for Whitworth, Cappellano has had some impressive achievements. Her first major achievement while coaching at Whitworth was the NCAA West Region Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year for 2011. In 2012, Cappellano began a string of successes by sending two javelin throwers to the NCAA Division III Championships, one of which earned an All-American Honor. Since then, Cappellano has coached 12 throwers to earn All-American honors. In one of her most impressive years—2013—Cappellano coached five of the top 20 male throwers in the country as well as two of the top 20 female throwers.

“It was almost like a perfect storm of a year where everyone peaked at the time they were supposed to peak,” Cappellano said. “They were throwing their best throws of the season right before we went to nationals.”

What makes these achievements even greater is that Cappellano has never thrown in any sort of javelin competition. After competing as a runner for Glassboro State College’s track and field team, Cappellano graduated and took a job at Deer Park High School teaching special education classes. She was encouraged by the Deer Park cross country coach to apply for a job coaching track and field. Upon learning that she could only apply for a position coaching throwing events, Cappellano attended a clinic that would teach her how to coach the throws.

Unfortunately, Cappellano said the clinic was not helpful, so Cappellano began meeting with Mead High School track and field coach Gary Baskett.

“He is a great coach and he was and still is a great mentor and I just learned a ton from him,” Cappellano said.

Cappellano began talking to as many javelin coaches and professionals in the sport as she could in order to get better and learn every secret there was to know.

In 2007, Cappellano took a position at Whitworth and began coaching javelin at the college level.

“She is someone who is competitive…. She loves to learn. She learned the craft of the javelin. That’s why I hired her to coach the javelin,” head track coach Toby Schwarz said.

Cappellano’s athletes said she gives specific instructions regarding specific students’ needs.

Sophomore Kelee Lambert believes Cappellano’s lack of personal experience throwing allows her to look at each student differently.

“She doesn’t really have the view of the thrower. So none of her opinions are biased in that way. She’s focused on you and your difference,” Lambert said.

Cappellano is not only limited to teaching throwers who have never played a sport before. She has also taught athletes who have picked up alternative ways of throwing from playing different sports.

“I played baseball my whole life. I had never touched a javelin until my junior year and she’s the one that really turned me around,” junior Tyler Coopman said. “I wouldn’t have had the success that I did without her.

However, one thing that truly stands out to her athletes and fellow coaches is how much time and effort she has put into learning the sport of javelin.

“She’s put in so much work going to extra clinics,” senior Chase Wright said. “She didn’t throw, but she knows so much about the event and has talked to so many professionals from all over the world.”

During the practices, Cappellano does not throw the javelin in order to show her athletes what a throw should look like. Instead, she focuses on detailed explanation and examples from the upperclassmen on how to throw effectively.

“She’s so good at explaining it in detail. A lot of times she can push us and shove us and pull us in different directions to make us feel what it’s supposed to be like. We don’t really need to watch her throw in order to know what’s good,” Coopman said.

Cappellano has said that she loves working with athletes on the college level and would like to continue coaching javelin at Whitworth in the years to come.

“The young people that I get the opportunity to work with are extraordinary. It is an absolute labor of love every day,” Cappellano said.

 

Peter Houston-Hencken

Staff Writer

Multi-Eventers begin NWC Championship hunt for track

On Monday and Tuesday, the track and field team took six athletes to compete at the NWC Multi-Event Championships in Tacoma, Washington. The women competed in a heptathlon, consisting of seven different events. The men took part in the decathlon, spanning ten events. The women began their strong performance with senior Emily Moore taking third place in the 100-meter hurdles. The women were set back after taking fifth, sixth and seventh place in the high jump. However, junior Alexandra McConnell was able to pick up the slack when she took first in the shot put with a distance of 33.88’.

Freshman Kayla Brase was able to increase Whitworth’s score by taking second in long jump with a distance of 16.6’. The women ended the meet with Brase taking third, Moore claiming fifth, and McConnell holding 13th place in the overall heptathlon. The women’s combined scores allowed Whitworth to take second place in the heptathlon.

“The women did great,” head coach Toby Schwarz said. “We scored ten points for the women’s team which is on pace to what we want to do overall on every event for the conference championship.”

Senior Jon Williams led the Pirates by placing fourth in the overall competition. During the meet, Williams beat his personal best in six different events. After a rough start on the first day, Williams hoped to increase his standing with the 1500 meter run.

“I was in sixth all the way up until, basically the end. And then the 1500 I had to run fast to move up places. It was my highest point total. It was 730 points,” Williams said.

The men’s shot put was the best event for the men’s team as a whole. Senior Lucas McGill was able to take their place with a distance of 36.7’. McGill was shy of first by less than a meter. Sophomore Teagan Brown took sixth in the event with a distance of 32’. Brown was also able to break personal records in five events.

Unfortunately, the effects of an injury McGill suffered in a previous meet became too painful and caused him to leave the competition after the third event. The decathlon ended with Williams in fourth and Brown taking ninth. The men’s team finished in third place.

“With ten events for the guys and seven events for the women, you got to learn a lot of different things,” Schwarz said. “They spent a lot of time practicing.”

By bringing in eight athletes, George Fox was able to take first place with both teams. Their men’s team finished with a lead of 13 points while Whitworth’s women trailed by five.

 

Peter Houston-Hencken

Staff Writer

Track teams sweep Northwest competition at UPS

Both of Whitworth’s track teams took first place in the UPS 5-way meet this Saturday.  The Pirates took first place in 15 events over Western Washington University, Lewis & Clark College, Seattle Pacific University, and University of Puget Sound. Junior Katie McKay broke her personal record for the 800-meter run with a time of 2:15.58.  McKay was ahead of the pack the entire race and finished with more than a five second lead.

“It’s exciting to start out with a PR, because then I look forward and see that I have about two months left, which is plenty of time to look ahead to nationals,” McKay said.

McKay holds 4th place in the NWC for the 800 meter.

The Pirates won the men’s javelin event due to a 63.35m throw from senior Chase Wright.  Wright had been recovering from an injury prior to the meet, but overcame the challenge and qualified for the NWC Championships.

“It’s all on the trainers and the coaches. The whole week before the meet they made sure I was ready to go,” Wright said.

Three Pirates received qualifying marks in the women’s discus event, including senior Courtney Fairhart who won the event with at 42.66m throw. Second and third place went to sophomore Danielle Openiano and senior Elke Neuenschwander, respectively.

“I’m going to take each meet one day at a time. If I win again, that’d be great, but if one of my teammates also wins, that’d be awesome,” Fairhart said.

Whitworth took many other first-place finishes. Senior Kendall Chin received a time of 11:35.35 in the women’s 3000 meter steeplechase and freshman Kayla Brase took first place in Women’s Long and Triple Jump. The women’s 4x100 meter relay team ran a time of 49.79.

The men were able to claim victory in the 100, 200, and 400-meter dash.  Freshman Daniel Harper ran a 1:57.51 800, while Whitworth’s 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams each took first place. Senior Joseph Green cleared a 15’11” pole vault and senior Corey Burt threw the shot 49’4.5” for first place for the shot put as well.

At the end of the meet, the Pirates walked away with 56 qualifying marks between 42 people.  Head Coach Toby Schwarz said he hopes every member of the team will receive a qualifying mark to go to the NWC Championships.

“We had 27 men and 27 women on this trip and 21 men and 21 women qualified.  We are about halfway there to getting everyone qualified. Not bad in the first meet,” Schwarz said.

Whitworth’s next meet will be on Tuesday, March 10 at the Pine Bowl. The Pirates will compete in a dual meet with Lewis-Clark State.

 

Peter Houston-Hencken

Staff Writer