While covering the 1A and 2A state track championships last month, I wondered allowed why Florida doesn't have a javelin competition (my high school's home state, Kansas, does).
Maybe this is why:
PROVO, Utah -- Ryan McGeeney served seven years in the Marines, including a six-month deployment in Afghanistan, but 10 minutes of photographing the state high school track championships proved to be more dangerous to him.
Hours after his leg was pierced by a javelin at BYU's Clarence Robison track stadium, McGeeney was fortunate to be able to appreciate the irony.
The Standard-Examiner photographer was struck below the knee by a javelin while shooting the discus event shortly after 9 a.m. Saturday, delaying the events while an ambulance pulled onto the track to take him to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.
"They don't have javelins in Afghanistan," McGeeney joked after returning a few hours later to continue shooting photos of the track meet. "That's where I'm lucky."
McGeeney was watching a Top of Utah competitor in a girls discus event at the north end of the track infield when he was skewered just below the right knee by a javelin from the south side.
Provo High javelin thrower Anthony Miles felt terrible about the accident, though McGeeney reassured him it was not his fault.
"My heart just stopped, and when I heard that he was going to be OK, it was just a nice relief that he was going to be all right," Miles said.
And the rest of the story?
The throw was measured by the event judges and sealed the state 4-A javelin title for Miles, he said.
"My very last throw I think I beat it by three inches (170-feet, 9-inches), but still with that throw, I would have taken state."
Now wouldn't that just add to the excitement?
--Patrick Dorsey (e-mail)