Kinsley '07 comes up short in Olympic javelin competition
By Nick Zaccardi, August 9, 2012, CT Post
LONDON -- Craig Kinsley of Fairfield saved his best throw for last in Olympic javelin qualifying, but it wasn't quite enough to advance to Saturday's final. Kinsley finished 23rd with a last throw of 78.18 meters Wednesday night in his first international competition. The top 12 advanced to the final, Kinsley coming 2.21 meters shy of the cutoff. Had Kinsley matched his personal best, 82.31 meters from June, he would have finished eighth and advanced.
"It's not easy at all, but at the end of the day, you're coming down a runway, and you're throwing a javelin," said Kinsley, 23, who took up track and field while recovering from a broken hand as a junior baseball player at Fairfield Prep. "So if you're able to get past all the distractions, you should be able to do just fine. The first two throws didn't go as planned, and I pulled it together on the third throw."
Those first two throws went for 72.80 meters and 71.47 meters while his U.S. track and field teammates combined for seven medals in other events in front of a packed 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium. Without that last of three throws, he would have finished a disappointing 39th out of 44. "I had a good throw, not a great throw, on my final throw," Kinsley said. "Your third throw, trying to make the Olympic final, and after you have two crummy ones to start off, it's an awfully tough situation I put myself in. But I was able to dig out and get a respectable finish."
The 78.18-meter final throw vaulted Kinsley above both of his American teammates, Cyrus Hostetler (32nd) and Sean Furey (37th). Kinsley took satisfaction in outdoing his ranking going in, 29th, by six spots. An American man hasn't medaled in the javelin since Bill Schmidt's bronze in 1972, the longest drought among men's field events.
Kinsley upped his personal best by four meters this year, which he called his best season since first picking up a javelin six years ago. He made the Olympic team via that personal best, an "A" standard mark, and celebrated by going to Olive Garden. Kinsley prepared for his Olympic competition by watching animated films "Despicable Me" and "Brave" at the athletes' village Wednesday.
He has a torn right labrum, which he said didn't affect his throwing in qualification, but does cause him pain. "I was amazed at how it held up this year," said Kinsley, who does a handstand to get blood rushing to his head before every throw. "It hurts, but I'm going to try to make it through as long as I can without getting the surgery." He plans to put off surgery until after next year's world championships in Moscow, provided he makes the team. At this rate, that looks like a strong possibility.
"I just need to improve consistency," said Kinsley, the NCAA javelin champion at Brown in 2010. "What tends to happen is (you make a big jump) and then you start to get consistent at that higher level. So that's what I need."
Fairfield's Kinsley '07 is London-bound
Follow links to Craig's live performance and results on his facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/craigkinsleyUSA/
Read more: Minuteman and New Haven Register
By Mike Cardillo, CT Post, June 26, 2012
Craig Kinsley is going to London.
The 23-year-old Fairfield native qualified for the U.S. Olympic javelin team Monday night at the United States Track and Field trials in Eugene, Ore. Naturally seeing your dream come true calls for a major, raucous celebration, right?
"I'm pretty lame. I went out to Olive Garden for the third night in a row. That's kind of our meet ritual," said Kinsley with a laugh, who is in Oregon with his parents, Tom and Andrea along with a circle of close friends. "It was nothing too crazy. I just came back (to the hotel) and relaxed with a 'Friends' Nick-at-Nite marathon and 'Cajun Pawn Stars' with my roommate (Bryan Powlen)."
Kinsley joins Sean Furey and Cyrus Hostetler to comprise the U.S. javelin team at next month's London Games. Kinsley, a 2010 NCAA champion at Brown University, placed third at the trials but qualified ahead of first place finisher Sam Humphreys and runner-up Sam Crouser since neither had met the international 'A'-standard throw. Kinsley achieved that earlier this month at a meet in Chicago with a throw of 82.31 meters.
"I sure would have loved to win the trials, but making the team is a nice consolation prize," said Kinsley, who graduated from Brown in 2011 and has devoted the last year of his life to training. "I've been pretty locked in and very much so in the zone. When you have confidence and can visualize big throws, you're ready."
This was Kinsley's third trip to the U.S. championships in Eugene, which transforms into "Track Town USA" during the event with upwards of 30,000 spectators in attendance at Hayward Field. He cited confidence as a major reason this year's event felt different for him. "This was the first year I felt 100 percent comfortable," Kinsley said. "Instead of feeling like a young kid trying to compete with the big dogs, I felt like one of the big dogs."
Pain is another feeling Kinsley has been experiencing on a daily basis, specifically pain in his throwing shoulder due to a torn labrum. Yet he's pushed through it to achieve his Olympic goal. "My body is as sore as its ever been, there's a difference between hurt and injured, I'm hurting but I'm not injured I'll be ready," Kinsley said.
The next six weeks -- before traveling to London on July 17 -- will consist of an intense, three-pronged training program focused mainly on power and speed. Kinsley will remain at his current residence in Providence, R.I., to stay close to coach Michelle Eisenreich -- his college coach at Brown.
The road to London is a far cry from Kinsley's initial dreams of playing baseball, but those plans took a detour in the spring of 2006 -- his junior year at Fairfield Prep -- when he broke his pinky playing basketball, putting his hand in a cast. It ended his baseball aspirations, but allowed him to pick up a javelin for the first time.
"I can't even imagine where I'd be if I didn't hurt my hand in high school. Looking back, that's the defining moment in life," he said. Kinsley is hopeful that the next defining moment in his life comes at the London Games, where he's shooting to finish in the top eight and, perhaps, on the medal podium.
For now, he'll allow himself to let it sink in that, yes, he's qualified to participate in the Olympics, something he says he's not sure if has totally hit him yet even as he donned USA Track and Field gear and did a victory lap around the Hayward Field track.
"For about 90 percent of the victory lap, I was balling in front of 30,000 people," Kinsley said. "I don't know if I can think of a person who'd be more proud to wear red, white and blue. In the most cliche way ever, it's a dream come true."