EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

May 10, 2013

Devastated by football knee injury, Zavrl returns to set area javelin record

Devastated by football knee injury, Zavrl returns to set area javelin record

ANDOVER — Mark Zavrl knew it was a special throw.

But he had no idea he had just made history.

“After a throw I always listen for the officials to call out (the distance),” said the Andover High senior. “The guy kind of mumbled so I couldn’t hear him. Then Coach (Peter) Comeau yelled out ‘190-what!?’ The guy responded 193 and I was just wowed because that is a huge mark.”

In just his second season throwing the javelin, Zavrl wrote his name atop the all-time area greats on Saturday when he recorded a stunning throw of 193-8 at the Weston Twilight Invitational.

That shattered The Eagle-Tribune modern area record (since 2003) of 186-0 set by Haverhill’s Andrew Firger in 2003.

Zavrl’s throw is also the longest in New England this spring — well ahead of Lowell star Colin Hoey (179-9 at the same meet) — and the sixth best in the country in 2013. The leader is Hunter Stelly of Louisiana (206-9).

The Golden Warrior’s previous career-best was a school record 181-8 last season. Methuen legend and 2012 US Olympian Sean Furey held the area record (227-3) before the javelin’s weight and design was changed 10 years ago.

“This is a huge accomplishment because people just don’t throw the javelin that far in New England,” said Andover throwing coach Art McDermott. “The weather makes it tough to get loose and really throw long. But this throw is going to get him a lot of attention. Very few people have ever thrown 200 feet in New England, and I think he could do it. And he has done all of this coming back from his knee injury.”

The record-setting throw was the latest victory in Zavrl’s now eight-month road back from a torn MCL and PCL. The talented linebacker/record-setting kicker (10 career field goals, 3 of 40 yards or longer) hurt his right knee four games into his senior football season.

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