NEWS, NOTES &
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
By Bethany Bradsher
ECU track and field
discovers success in throwing
When Michelle Clayton-Boswell looks at Danielle
Eiler, she sees glimpses of herself a decade ago. Eiler is a young athlete
intent on making her mark in the track and field world, a thrower who is
eager to get stronger and sharper on the collegiate stage.
For Boswell, now the East Carolina strength
coach for track and field, the owner of five ECU throwing records and a 2004
Olympic trials participant in the hammer throw, working with Eiler is a
special treat. Eiler, a freshman from McHenry, IL, has placed in the top
three in at least two throwing events in the Pirates’ last three meets. She
is 1.21 meters shy of Clayton-Boswell’s school record in the discus and has
also been consistently strong in the javelin, an event she just learned when
she arrived at ECU.
according to her strength coach and mentor, is impossible to measure.
“She has no idea what
she’s capable of,” Clayton-Boswell said. “Her future is going to be
unbelievable. She’s kind of the one I’ve taken under my wing, because it’s
my record she’s going to be breaking.”
“She’s a little bit more
athletic than we thought she was,” said David Price, who coaches the
throwers for ECU. “She came in and picked up the javelin, and that’s the
most technical of all the track and field events.”
Eiler is just one Pirate
thrower who has helped etch out a name for East Carolina in the nation’s
track and field venues. This season so far has been characterized by
accolades for the men and women who compete in the shot put, discus, javelin
and hammer throws.
Besides Eiler, another
woman who is turning heads is junior Chelsea Salisbury, who came in as a
javelin thrower but was hindered by a car accident during her freshman year.
She has rehabilitated so successfully that she has won two javelin titles in
a row, as well as placing second in the hammer throw at a recent meet in
On the men’s team, Eric
Frasure is helping to set the pace. After placing seventh in the nation in
the NCAA national indoor meet in the weight throw, he has placed first in
the hammer throw at three outdoor meets this season. He also set a school
record and qualified for the NCAA regionals in the discus at the Diet Pepsi
Classic early this month.
“The sky’s the limit for
him,” Clayton-Boswell said. “He’s still relatively new to the sport.”
Another thrower who has
showed the potential for national success is junior Terrance Myers, who
along with Frasure has earned NCAA regional qualification in the hammer
While today’s throwers
like Eiler share similarities with yesterday’s standouts like
Clayton-Boswell, Price said that the current group of athletes came in
several steps ahead of previous teams. For one thing, the 2006 team has
Clayton-Boswell as a strength coach, whereas she had to direct her own
conditioning during her collegiate career.
Because of her own
background, Clayton-Boswell has crafted workouts that bring out the best in
the Pirate throwers.
“It makes a huge
difference because she understands throwing events, and she also understands
resistance training and how the two correlate,” Price said. “That’s a throw
coach’s dream, to have somebody that can do that stuff.”
Another major difference
is the state of the practice facilities. Under the leadership of athletic
director Terry Holland and associate AD Nick Floyd, ECU constructed a new
javelin runway, shot put circle and cage for the hammer throw.
“That’s part of the
success right there,” said Price, who has noticed a marked difference when
the throwers get to compete in a similar environment to the arenas where
Because of the individual
nature of their sport and the advancements that have been made in training
and facilities at ECU, the throwing events have the potential to put East
Carolina on the map more quickly than high-profile team sports, Price and
The next step in that
heightened exposure? The Pirates leave this weekend for the Penn Relays, the
most prominent track meet in the nation.
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