Finland. A land most Americans care or know little about. It fended off the Russians during World War II and is home to thousands of lakes, but did you know it’s also a javelin powerhouse?
Twelve-year-old Turlocker Cerah Moran experienced the Finns’ passion for the javelin throw first hand when she attended the four day Javelin Carnival in Pihtipudas, Finland last week where she had the chance to not only learn but compete with the best javelin coaches and athletes the country had to offer.
“Historically, javelin is a really big deal for Finland,” Cerah’s father, Thad Moren said. “It’s like a summertime sport by itself and they have a lot of Olympic medalists in the event.”
Cerah is currently ranked third in the United States in her age group in the javelin throw and has set world records for longest throw by a 10- year old and 11-year old. Although California high schools do not include the javelin in competition, other states do and it is a fiercely competitive event nationally. Because of the degree of competition and the fact that California does not offer opportunities for potential javelin throwers, Thad and Cerah decided to go to the Mecca of the event and learn from the best.
On the first day of camp, Cerah placed fourth out of the 15athletes in her age group. After two days of instruction the organizers of the Javelin Carnival held a final day competition where Cerah placed first, showcasing the skill she had acquired during her short time in country.
“It was great for her because she’s been learning how to throw the javelin the last couple of years and it’s hard to find kids her age to train with,” Thad said. “It was a fantastic experience that I don’t think could have been matched anywhere else.”
Cerah and her father are hoping her hard work pays off at the upcoming West Coast Junior Olympics in Reno, Nev. where she will compete in the javelin event as well as the discus, shot put, and 100m race. She plans on warming up for the national event in today’s Pacific Association Championship meet in Modesto.