I want to congratulate my son Jesse on his fine performance today at the NAIA National Track and Field Championships. Jesse rose from a 5th place season ranking to win the competition with a throw of 223'3" as a Freshman. He is now the National Champion with a 15' improvement over his personal best! A week ago Jesse got off a season best of 205'7" for a third place finish behind his team mates, Paul Roshau and Eric Whalen, at the Cascade Conference Championships. Paul was 3rd today with a throw of 220' and Eric was 5th at 210'6". Paul is a Junior and Eric is Jesse's roomate and fellow Freshman thrower. The fact is, any one of these three were capable of winning today, it was just Jesse's time. I think this means that the Javelin is alive and well at Concordia for next year! Up until today the season has been a little lack luster for Jesse, given that he threw 208' last year as a senior in high school. Many of us knew it would probably be a tough year for Jesse, since he was revamping and recrafting his technique. It's been a lot of hard training and a good bit of patience for Jesse to get to this point today. We all kept wondering when he would finally "get it". Well, today he "got it". Throughout most of the season he has had to sacrifice distance to keep working the proper technique, trusting that it would eventually get him that long throw. During several conversations with Mac Wilkins this year he would say to me, "Joe, Jesse is a 220' javelin thrower. It's just a matter of time before it all clicks." I have to hand it to his coaches, Scott Halley and Mac Wilkins, for their faith in Jesse and their willingness to do the hard work of shaping him, instead of trying to pressure him to force out a long throw before he was technically ready. Last, and most importantly, I have to hand it to Jesse for the "never give up" attitude he displayed all year. I remember many an evening where he vented his frustration to me about his training. But, he just kept pounding away at the drills day after day. He is now an example to me of the power of perseverance and belief in what is possible. Cheers to Mac, Scott and Jesse! Now it's off to Norway for more training.