Mueller leads team to three top ten finishes
Marissa Mueller needed a “porta potty pep talk” to regain her focus and win gold at OFSAA.
The LCCVI athlete had a throw of 45.77 metres to successfully defend her Senior Girls’ javelin crown at the provincial high school track and field meet Friday.
She put an exclamation point on her high school career by defeating her closest rival by more than five metres in Belleville.
But despite the difference, Mueller says it was not that easy.
The teen was struggling with nerves at the last big event of her high school career. “I was a nervous wreck,” she tells The Independent. “The first few throws were not going well at all.”
Mueller had thrown around the 40 metre mark the first two rounds – enough to win, but not near her personal best.
“I went into the porta potty and said, ‘All right Marissa, you can do this.’”
She told herself to shut out the crowd and concentrate on the run up and the throw. She left her mini-counselling session and threw what would be her winning toss of 45.77 metres – a personal best.
“I think I may have to do that more often,” Mueller jokes of her stop at the porta potty.
Her throw was only 23 centimetres shy of the qualifying standard of 46 metres to be considered for Team Canada for the Pan Am U20 Track and Field Championships in Lima, Peru in late July.
Mueller is convinced she’s getting close to a breakthrough where she’ll be able to hit that mark and beyond.
“It’s been really frustrating, especially when I know I can throw the distance and have been throwing it in practice,” she says. “I had another meet this past Sunday and the numbers weren’t there. I just have to keep remembering the ultimate end goal and trust I’ll be able to perform to that when I need to hit that standard.
“I know I can throw it… I know I will hit that 23 centimetres and it will go metres more when I get it.”
Mueller, who will begin her post secondary career on a track scholarship at the University of Iowa in September, says this year she was able to stay and watch her LCCVI teammates perform.
“It was nice to stay afterward and watch a bunch of other people compete and get to cheer for them and celebrate their accomplishments.
Mueller wasn’t the only one putting in a strong performance at OFSAA. LCCVI teammate Carson Perry finished fifth in the junior boys’ 300 metre hurdles event.
Perry qualified third in a time of 41.08 and ran 41.18 in the final.
Cody Bell also finished strong placing fifth and sixth in the 100 metre and 800 metre events respectively. In the 100 metre final, Bell was only 13/100th of a second away from a bronze medal. Bell posted a time of 2:52.01 for the 800 metre race. It was Bell’s second trip to OFSAA and he’ll have a chance at a return trip as a senior.
In other action, Olivia Freer of North Lambton also struck gold. She captured the Midget Girls’ long jump with a leap of 5.16 metres.