Preview: Mayden, Bauer to Compete at National Track Championships

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Tyler Bauer will throw the javelin and Samantha Mayden will run the 5,000 meters at the NCAA Division III Track & Field Championships in La Crosse, Wis., on Saturday.

But what if, in some bizarro parallel universe, Mayden threw the javelin and Bauer ran the 5K?

“Out of any other event, I always thought I’d be a good javelin thrower because I can throw a football pretty far,” said Mayden. “I don’t think I could compete nationally, but I think I could get one big throw.”

Samantha Mayden
The outdoor 5,000 is one of six events in which Mayden holds the school record.
Bauer — not so confident. “If I was doing the 5,000 I would probably not even finish the race,” he said. “It’s been a long time since I ran that far.”

Fortunately, he won’t have to run that far on Saturday, and Mayden’s closet javelin skills will remain hidden. Both Muhlenberg athletes have proven that they can compete with the nation’s best in their specialties and will be looking to close the season on a high note.

The men’s javelin is scheduled to start at 1:40 Eastern time on Saturday, with the women’s 5,000 slated for 6:30. To follow the meet live, click here for links to live results and live video.

Mayden is the veteran, with four previous NCAA appearances (two in cross country, one in indoor track and one in outdoor track) under her belt, while Bauer will be making his national debut. So what advice would she give based on her previous experiences?

“It’s a bigger meet – you get excited because there are so many great athletes there,” she said. “You don’t want to let your nerves get to you and feel butterflies until right before the race.”

Last outdoor season, Mayden went to the NCAAs as the 22nd and final qualifier and crossed the finish line in 18th place. She won’t be able to beat four runners who are seeded higher this time around, as she posted the fourth-fastest time in Division III this season.

“Obviously the main goal is to be an All-American,” said Mayden, who achieved an even bigger life goal last Sunday when she walked across the stage in Memorial Hall to receive her diploma. “I would like to come close to where I’m ranked and just to stay consistent.

Tyler Bauer
Bauer was named Most Outstanding Performer at the CC Championships after winning the javelin by more than 24 feet.
“It’s going to go out slow because there are a lot of girls doubling [in other events]. I want to be able to keep up with everyone once it starts moving.”

While Mayden will key off other runners, Bauer will try to ignore the other competitors and concentrate on his own form.

“I try not to focus too much on the other throwers,” he said. “It’s more about the amount of heavy training you’re doing for the meet. It’s more about peaking in the big meets than the people.”

That approach has worked wonders for Bauer, who shakeup of the record book this spring has been nearly as repetitive as similarly named Baauer’s viral hit “Harlem Shake” – though perhaps less annoying. Bauer broke the previous school record of 196-7 by throwing 198-3 in the first meet of the season and upped the standard in each of his next three meets, culminating with a meet-record heave of 209-3 at the Centennial Conference Championships.

That distance has Bauer seeded 10th out of 20 in what promises to be a tight competition at the NCAA Championships – his qualifying mark is closer to second place than it is to 14th place. But all the rising junior wants to do is just “throw my throw.”

“I don’t have expectations for any of my meets,” he said. “Some people go in and say, I want to do this or I want to do that, and it gets in the way of their technique and training. I’m going to just relax and hope that my training takes over.

“If I just do what I’ve been doing, I’ll have a pretty good meet.”