Eyes to the sky, Laurel sophomore sets new record in javelin

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Photo And Story By Jaci Webb Outlook Assistant Editor
Thursday, May 12, 2022
LHS track standout Daeja Fike broke the school record three times last week at the Midland Roundtable Top 10 Meet.

LHS track standout Daeja Fike broke the school record three times last week at the Midland Roundtable Top 10 Meet.

What a year Daeja Fike is having in track.

The Laurel High School sophomore set the tone for what is becoming one of the most exciting Laurel girls javelin competitions this century, her coach Mike Lee said. During the Midland Roundtable Top 10 meet in Laurel on May 3, Fike broke the school record in javelin, broke it again, and then broke it a third time in one meet—throwing the javelin 9 feet farther than her PR. Words can’t express the excitement of that moment for Fike when she threw for 143 feet, 11 inches, earning her the No. 3 spot for sophomore javelin throwers in the nation, and No. 17 in the U.S. She’s No. 1 in Montana for all classes.

“It’s kind of surreal,” Fike said. “I thought it was a good throw, but I didn’t know it was that good.”

Fike said she was nervous going into that meet. A West High javelin thrower had beat her before and she was worried about the intensity of the competition. Lee and Ron Harris have coached Fike over the years, although Harris isn’t coaching this year. They helped Fike develop her steps and the technique, part of which was developed by Coach Poole of Huntley Project.

“Javelin is one of the most technical events in sports,” Harris said, noting that Fike has worked hard since she was a freshman.

Fike also competes in high jump, long jump and triple jump, and she believes that developing speed in her other events has helped her in javelin.

“It’s more about speed than power like discus and shot put,” Fike said.

The night she broke records, her grandparents and parents were there to watch. When Fike threw that final pitch for 143-11, she heard a car horn honking, and knew it was her grandparents.

“It kind of shocked me at first when I heard the horn. It’s nice to have them there,” she said.

Her parents are Joy and Dak Fike, and her grandparents, who all live in Wyoming are Rena and Bob Craft, and Becky and Mick Fike.

Fike said she was an eighth grader before she even knew what a javelin was. Her older sister, Symphony Fike, who is 20, threw javelin at LHS and went on to throw at Idaho State before leaving school to complete a mission for her church. Fike, who also plays volleyball, worked hard at technique and speed, and during the COVID pandemic took advantage of every opportunity to practice.

“We do a lot of run-ups and fake throwing,” Fike said.

When she prepares to throw, she looks into the sky and finds a spot that she is throwing toward. You can’t throw it too high because you won’t get the distance. It’s all about timing, footwork, and a lot of coordination. Harris said Fike is also very flexible, which helps.

There are two more meets before divisionals on May 20 and 21 at Lockwood, and then it’s on to the state tournament in Butte. One thing is for sure, Fike will be there representing the Laurel Locomotives.

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