By Michael Muldoon
---- — 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.”
There were a lot of college opportunities out there for Furey after he won the Foot Locker Nationals his senior year at Methuen High. His best throw of 227-3 was No. 2 among schoolboys his senior year.
“I think I was just lucky,” said Wallin. “We got him early decision. I was very excited; I’d talk to him every week. We’d keep on talking about Dartmouth and the education. In the long run, if you are smart, where are you going to go farther? All the kids who go to Dartmouth do well.”
Needles to say, Wallin’s overjoyed at his pupil’s success.
“It’s just fun,” he said. “He knows what to do. It’s a great opportunity. It will help him in everything he does the rest of his life. It’s an honor to be on the Olympic team. How many people make the Olympic team?”
Watching Sean Furey NBC and its sister networks aren't planning to do much javelin coverage. The competition begins at 2:05 p.m. today our time and Furey is throwing in the second of the two groups. To watch the entire event live (or later on tape): Log on to nbcolympics.com/liveextra, under select sport go to track and field, and under results and schedule click on men's javelin. Sean Furey's chances Methuen's Sean Furey is seeded 21st in a field of 44. He's the No. 5 thrower in the second of two flights. The top 12 throwers overall advance to the finals on Aug. 11. His best throw is 271-5. Top seed Vitezslav Vesely of the Czech Republic threw a season best 289-1. The cutoff may be about 276-6, which is what the 12th seed has thrown.