Wednesday, March 29

UCLA freshman shot putter displays strong potential

Redshirt freshman Nick Scarvelis sat patiently among his fellow shot putters, waiting for his turn to throw at the Don Kirby Elite Invitational.

Even though he is a redshirt freshman and had no competitions under his belt since last July, Scarvelis impressed coach Mike Maynard and many others at the Don Kirby Friday by garnering a third place victory.

With zero fouls in six throws, Scarvelis shot-putted 60-01.25, which ranks him 18th in the NCAA and puts him in good standing for nationals.

Scarvelis does not let this success get to his head, yet he is confident that he is setting himself up for a fruitful college throwing career.

“It’s important to keep perspective and not expect enormous gains,” Scarvelis said. “I know I need to methodically build up to my important junior and senior years.”

Junior pole vaulter Mike Woepse shares Scarvelis’ view on preparing for an event.

“You have to try and take it one week at a time, treat every meet the same and not focus too far ahead,” Woepse said.

Although his throw was notable for a first effort, Scarvelis admits it left something to be desired, and he still says he has a long road ahead of him.

“When I threw I really just forced it out there,” Scarvelis said. “I wasn’t able to incorporate main concepts from practice and I need to get those down better.”

Similarly, Maynard, who works with Scarvelis daily, is hopeful but said it may be too early to tell what Scarvelis’ ceiling is.

“I expect Nick to throw distance and his prospects are good, knowing his training level and drive,” Maynard said.

For now, Scarvelis will utilize the many training seasons ahead of him and prepare for future gains.

“It’s good to know I have four more complete seasons and can pace myself,” Scarvelis said. “I’m not desperate for anything right now.”

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