Bears send three to track finals

Sports Editor
Sunday, July 19, 2009

Three Brown athletes competed at the Division I NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship in June, led by Craig Kinsley ’11, who finished third in the nation in the javelin to earn All-American honors. Brynn Smith ’11 and Bryan Powlen ’09 both finished in the top 20 nationally in the hammer throw and discus, respectively.

The coach who guided all three Brown NCAA participants, assistant throws coach Michelle Eisenreich, was named the Northeastern Region Assistant Track and Field Coach of the Year.

Kinsley’s throw of 73.31 meters trailed only those of Chris Hill of Georgia (81.80) and Corey White of USC (75.72).

Kinsley said the result was the validation of a year’s worth of effort, but he wasn’t completely satisfied.

“I was excited about my finish, but I was also a little disappointed and left wanting for more because … with the way I was throwing and the way my body felt, I felt that (second place) was within reach and that I had more in me that day,” he said.

Kinsley said he did not set a specific goal for himself.

“Instead of thinking about putting a number on a distance on how far I throw it, I usually just think, I’m going to throw it into the stands on the other side of the track,” he said. “My goal going into it was to not get swallowed up by the meet itself and focus on the approach and then just let everything else fall into shape as I have done for the rest of the season.”

All three Bears improved on the seeds they received when they stepped onto John McDonnell Field at the University of Arkansas on June 10. Smith was seeded 27th in the hammer throw, but finished 20th in the nation with a throw of over 183 feet. Powlen was seeded 26th in the discus, but moved up to finish 18th in the nation with a throw of over 179 feet.

Kinsley entered the NCAAs as the fourth seed in the javelin. The top eight finishers were named All-Americans by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Kinsley said he had often been one of the two best throwers in his previous meets, leading to extra jitters against a talented field.

“Definitely, when it came down to it I was hit pretty hard with some pressure — nerves — that I hadn’t had the rest of the season,” he said. “I think it kind of showed in my first day of competition, but I was able to get through it and come out the other side.”

Now Kinsley is shooting for more.

“There’s no doubt this whets my appetite for bigger and better things,” he said. “Just going to a big meet is a hell of an experience. It really makes you want to get to the next big meet and the next big meet … I think about it just about every single day — where can I get next year, where can I get in the next few years with javelin throwing.”