High school track: Jordan's Austin Kafentzis breaks state record in the javelin
PROVO — Turns out, Jordan’s Austin Kafentzis can throw a pretty good javelin as well.
Kafentzis, who is best-known for his prowess on the gridiron playing quarterback for the Beetdiggers, broke the state record in the javelin Friday at the BYU Invitational.
“I’ve been throwing it well going in, but I don’t know if I was expecting to break the state record,” he said. “I just felt great going in and it was amazing to break the record. I just listened to my coaches and let it rip.”
Kafentzis' record throw covered 217 feet, 9 1/2 inches, good enough for the Utah prep state record. It was his fourth throw of over 200 feet during the event — a distance he hadn't covered previously.
“I don’t know what it was today, but I just felt rested and ready to throw,” he said. “I’ve never thrown it over 200, so to do it four times — I just credit my dad, who is also my coach, and my teammates. My teammates push me and keep me competing hard and getting better every week.”
The love of simply competing is the reason Kafentzis isn’t satisfied with only playing football, a sport where he’s seen unprecedented success. Through three seasons, the junior has accumulated just over 9,000 yards passing, 4,895 yards rushing and 149 touchdowns. His success at football prompted multiple programs to offer him scholarships, including Wisconsin, where he's committed to sign.
“I don’t like sitting around doing nothing,” Kafentzis said. “I love to compete in anything I can and it is what motivates me throwing the javelin.”
Kafentzis believes playing quarterback serves as great preparation for throwing the javelin as it involves a lot of the same mechanics.
“It’s not completely the same, obviously, but a lot of it is — enough of it is to where I feel the transition of throwing a javelin opposed to a football isn’t all that difficult,” he said. "I have great coaches, great teammates, and they get all the credit for anything I was able to do today."
Other standouts Friday included Sky View's Conner Mantz winning the 3,200 meters with a time of 9:00.98 and Juab's Kashley Carter winning the girls event at the same distance with a time of 10:49.11.
For Carter, it was a rare opportunity to come north and compete against runners from the bigger schools in the state. She more than proved she could hold her own.
"I was so excited for this event," she said. "I ran my best time ever by 11 seconds, so I'm very happy about that and it's just so much fun being up here against the top competition. It just makes me better and I think it's why I ran my best time today."