Carl Wallin isn’t surprised that Sean Furey will be throwing the javelin today at the Olympic Games.
“To be honest, I always knew he’d be there,” said Wallin, who retired in 2009 after 40 years as Dartmouth’s head coach. “Not at first, but by the time he was a senior. He was very focused, a fierce competitor. If it didn’t go well, he’d be furious. That’s exactly the type of guy you want.”
At Dartmouth, the Methuen High grad was a two-time All-American, placing eighth at the Division 1 NCAA Championships as a junior and third as a senior. He smashed the school record, topping off at 240 feet, 1 inch, which is still over 31 feet further than any Big Green athlete has ever thrown.
Furey, 29, is competing in his first Olympics. He’s made the Olympic Trials three times.
“I always told him he wouldn’t be really good until 28 or 29 and by 34 he’d be great,” said Wallin, who still stays in touch with Furey and his wife, Maddie Chatterton Richmond, another Big Green track star.
When Wallin talks, the track world listens. He coached 29 All-Americans including two-time Olympic shot put silver medalist Adam Nelson.
“I was lucky to have had Sean and Adam,” said Wallin. “They are both great individuals, very different than most people. You could see right from the beginning. They wanted to be good and took it real, real serious.”
He said of Furey, “He projects his personality through his throwing. He’s a javelin thrower. He sees himself as a javelin thrower.”
Sometimes that intensity burned too hot even for the intense coach.
“Sophomore year at the NCAAs, he didn’t make the finals,” recalled Wallin. “He wouldn’t talk to anybody for the rest of the week. I had to bring him in and say you can’t do that. That’s how seriously he takes it.”