Josh Farr hopes his last name proves prophetic this spring.
The Mead junior javelin thrower wants to throw far this year – and farther than last year.
Farr came close to his personal best Thursday when he heaved the javelin 180 feet, 5 inches – a little more than 5 feet short of his previous best.
His win helped propel traditional Greater Spokane League power Mead to league-opening victories over Ferris (75-70) and Rogers (121-20) in early springlike weather – breezy but dry – at Mead High.
Farr took second in the state last year and is the top returner. He has his sights set on a state championship.
“I’m at least trying to break 195, maybe 200,” Farr said of his distance goal this season. “I’ve learned to keep my arm straight back instead of pulling it up. And I’m trying to hit my block harder. Most of all just holding it back until I hit the block really hard.”
Farr discovered javelin throwing in eighth grade when he threw a much lighter implement 175-0. He eschewed the family sport, baseball, for throwing the javelin.
His father, Ted Farr, played minor league baseball. Born in Spokane and a Shadle Park graduate, he was a first-round draft pick, 18th overall, in 1973. He was a catcher and first baseman for five seasons in the Los Angeles Dodgers farm system.
“He was a first-round draft choice, but he didn’t play very long because he threw his arm out,” Farr said.
The youngest of seven, Farr at least has kept the throwing motion while doing a different sport.
“I’m really excited about this season and improving,” Farr said.
Mead coach John Mires expected a tight opener with Ferris. The Panthers and Saxons are expected to be in the mix for the league title with Central Valley and Mt. Spokane.
Mead’s best hurdler, Joseph Heitman, didn’t hurdle against Ferris. Sensing he needed points wherever his team could find them, Mires put Heitman in the 100 and 400 meters and featured Thomas Dammarell in the hurdles.
Heitman won the 100 (11.29 seconds) and 400 (51.28) and Dammarell won the 110 (15.49) and 300 hurdles (41.26). The teamed together in winning the 400 relay (43.65). Heitman also won the long jump (21-2).
Collin Grosse was a double winner for Mead in the shot put and discus.
Mires applauded his athletes for making sacrifices for the betterment of the team.
“When you’re open with kids and it’s shared relationship, they help you help themselves make good decisions,” Mires said. “Between Thomas and Joseph – two of the best athletes in the league – one will take one for the team and the other will take it the next week. It’s a shared partnership and we all take ownership. Honestly, they have every intent of doing whatever it takes for the team to win.”
GSL condensed its league season to four weeks and decided to start the week after spring break. Mires noticed his athletes are still working off some rust.
Many GSL teams will send athletes to the 56th annual Pasco Invite on Saturday.
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