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The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The shot that put Swavley on top

Athlete Justin Swavely. Photo courtesy of Kayleigh Sturtevant @shotsbysturdy.

The all-time leaderboards in program history are being filled up by a number of athletes and are being rewritten after every meet. One athlete in particular has stood out in the ring.

In his fourth and final season for the Pioneers, Empire 8 Field Athlete of the Week Justin Swavley recently set a new school record throw of 63.54m in the javelin throw at the Utica Pioneer Spring Invite on April 5. Not only is this a school record and a personal best throw for Swavley, the throw now gives him the conference record, facility record and has him currently ranked fourth nationally in NCAA III. 

Swavely, a senior also broke the 16-year-old conference record set by 2008 NCAA DIII Champion Stephen Burns of RIT.

Swavley’s ability to rewrite record books did not come as a surprise to his coaches or teammates. 

“It’s something we all saw coming…” teammate Laura Meade said. “Swavely is one of the most hard working individuals I’ve ever met. It was no surprise to me that he set that record. The amount of time and effort he puts into this sport really shows.”

However, Swavley is so much more to the Pioneers than just a thrower. 

“What sets Swavley apart from other athletes is his keen ability to make anyone smile at any given time,” Assistant Coach David Brannigan said. “He is very good at compartmentalizing his outside life vs. his track and field life. He is also a great supporter when it comes to his teammates. I would argue no one comes close to him on the team when it comes to support of other athletes.” 

The future looks bright for the Pioneers track and field team. 

“I will say that this team is one of the best track and field teams (talent-wise) in Utica University history and I am very grateful to be a part of it,” Brannigan said. 

Swavely and the rest of the track and field team will be back in action on Saturday, April 13 at the Jerry Gravel Classic in Westfield, Massachusetts with the time to be determined.

“I hope to show the underclassmen what track is all about, show them what supporting each other looks like and coming together as a team and inspiring them to beat records placed before them,” Swavley said.

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