Two summers ago, Marissa Mueller had never held a javelin in her hand. Today, she’s setting her sights on the World Junior Track and Field Championship in 2018 after a huge win in Montreal.
Mueller struck gold at the National Legion Track and Field Championships in Quebec.
The LCCVI student had a throw of 46.86 metres to win the Women’s Youth Javelin event by almost a full metre over her nearest competitor at the event last weekend.
Her throw was also the longest of any Canadian athlete in her age group this season, breaking her own personal best set earlier this season.
Two years ago, Mueller was heavily involved in volleyball, but a series of injuries sidelined her. A high school coach suggested she try javelin – a sport which would be easier on her knees.
She took to the sport right away. This spring, she won the provincial high school championship and began training with the Sarnia Athletics Southwest Track and Field Club – the same group which groomed Olympian Derek Drouin and his sister, Jillian.
Mueller says working with Coach Joel Skinner has improved her throws even from her OFSSA championship win. “He’s very good,” Mueller says. “He really knows what he’s talking about… every practice I’m learning something new… I’ve improved a lot, but there is quite a bit of room for improvement yet; and that’s exciting.”
On Facebook, family and friends touted Mueller as a prospect for the 2020 Olympics in Toyko. Mueller isn’t sure about that, but is willing to work hard to see where she can go in the sport. “I want to push myself to hit the furthest mark I can. I don’t know if the 2020 goal is attainable – the world juniors is in 2018… that’s my goal now. Representing Canada would be so great.”
Mueller knows there is a lot of hard work ahead if she is going to make that goal. For now she’s just enjoying the moment of being a national champion.
“I trained hard… and I had great coaches – that really helped me out a lot. I know my whole church was praying for me and I know my mom was, too, on the sidelines,” she says with a laugh.
“But it doesn’t come without a lot of hard work.”
with files from Barry Wright