College Track: Former West QB Aycoth now throwing javelin
Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 26, 2011
Let’s see if I’ve got this straight. When Bryan Aycoth used to play football in the fall at West Rowan, he was a quarterback who was named Rowan County Offensive Player of the Year.
When Aycoth suits up for Livingstone College in the fall, he’s be a linebacker.
When Aycoth used to play baseball in the spring at West Rowan, he was an all-state catcher, using that strong right arm to throw out runners.
When Aycoth suits up in the spring at Livingstone, he is still using that strong right arm, only now to throw the javelin.
That’s right. The javelin.
It’s the new toy for the sports-crazed Aycoth, a Livingstone junior. He gets some quizzical looks when he talks about it, too.
Aycoth remembers running into West Rowan football coach Scott Young, whose initial reaction to his former star was, “So you’re a javelin thrower now, huh.”
Yes he is, and a very good one. In just three years, he’s gone from novice to one of the best throwers in the nation. In 2009, he was second in the CIAA (47.86 meters). Last year, he won the league title with a throw of 52.93.
This season was his best. He slung the one-pound, eight-foot long bar 60.27 meters, barely missing out on the nationals in California. He finished 17th in the country and the top 16 qualified.
The national meet eluded him by a mere two inches.
Still, that’s pretty good for a country boy who had no idea what a javelin was when first introduced to the event.
“I was clueless,” Aycoth laughed.
Aycoth picked up the sport almost by accident. Blue Bear track coach Justin Davis, also a former West Rowan star, knew of Aycoth, knew of his mojo, and thought, “Hey, why not?”
“I knew he was a quarterback and it has the same motion as baseball. Once you have a base of throwing, the javelin becomes natural.”
“If you throw it right,” Aycoth smiles, “ it flies.”
Aycoth doesn’t look the part of a javelin thrower. Most are tall and lean, just like the spear they throw. Aycoth is a burly Blue Bear.
“He’s a monster in the weight room,” Davis said of Aycoth, a 210-pound rock. “People look at him as being too big.”
Then, they see him throw and you can hear the oohs and ahhs. That best throw of 60.27 meters (197 feet, 9 inches) was a CIAA record and will certainly place him among the nation’s elite next year.
Aycoth was asked what his buddies over in Mount Ulla were saying.
“There’s no telling what they’re thinking,” Aycoth laughed. “They say things like, ‘We’re going to the Olympics!’ ”
Aycoth said the first time he tried the javelin, all he thought about was not killing an innocent bystander.
“The first day it went pretty straight and had decent distance,” he recalled. “Then, I’d throw it and about hit somebody. I played around a little with it and realized I’d be near the top of the conference. But I didn’t think it would be like it is now.”
Davis, who was an all-conference jumper at Western Carolina, is in his third year as head coach of Livingstone’s track team. He is just as excited over Aycoth’s performance.
“He increased his distance every single meet,” Davis beamed.
Aycoth and Davis have the nationals in their sights for next year.
“I enjoy it,” Aycoth said of the javelin. “It’s different. And I love challenges.”
Aycoth met all the challenges at West Rowan throwing a football and a baseball.
Don’t doubt him with his new toy, either.
Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or firstname.lastname@example.org.