Danika Falvo clears her mind in an instant. She is focused on one thing — throwing a javelin as far as she possibly can.
Falvo lives for this moment.
“I have learned to get into that right zone to compete,” the 15-year-old College Notre-Dame student-athlete said. “It takes all my concentration. It is just me and that moment and I go for it.”
Falvo is on fire and on target to become the latest track and field sensation from Greater Sudbury. It was a little more than a year ago when she first picked up a javelin at a try-out at the school. She was in Grade 9 and thinking about giving the shot put her attention.
At the suggestion of track coach Paul Gauthier, Falvo instead tried javelin.
“I didn’t even know what a javelin was,” she said. “I had never thrown one until last year at try-out. The first time I threw the javelin, I loved it. It was instant for me.”
Falvo imposed her will on the high school javelin scene for midget level girls locally, regionally and provincially before it was all said and done in 2013, taking first place and gold medals at the SDSSAA, NOSSA and OFSAA competitions.
Not bad for a rookie who had no idea what the event was.
“Last year was a lot of fun,” she said. “It gave me a lot of confidence. It showed me I am good at something I never tried before and how good I could be if I worked hard at it.”
Falvo didn’t compete in another javelin event after OFSAA last season, but she wasn't the least bit rusty coming out of the gate this year as she moved up the ranks to junior.
At the SDSSAA city track and field championship, she smashed the junior girls javelin record to smithereens with a toss of 37.87 metres, topping the old mark of 31.48 metres. The throw would also beat the current NOSSA record of 34.30 metres.
The 2013 winner of the junior girls javelin throw at OFSAA reached 34.99 metres.
The OFSAA record is 43.95 metres. Falvo is primed to take a run at more medals and maybe more records this season. She is starting to think big with the prospects that may come if she goes all out with javelin.
“Hockey is my main sport, but I’m starting to think differently now,” Falvo said. “If I could do javelin year round, it would probably be my main sport. I like it that much.”
She's even thinking of going to a provincial club competition in hopes of getting to a national event, and the exposure that would result.
“I’m taking javelin more serious now I can see what I do,” she said. “It has opened my mind to the fact I can do this different sport and go somewhere with it.”
For her coach, tt was an easy decision to have Falvo try javelin the first time he saw her. Gauthier saw a kid with a naturally strong arm and a bona fide will to compete.
“She stood out above everyone else at her first try-out,” Gauthier said. “She is a natural.”
Falvo has the talent to throw and the character to back it up.
“She pushes herself to her limits,” Gauthier said.
NOSSA happens Wednesday and Thursday this week in Sault Ste. Marie. OFSAA takes place in Mississauga from June 5-7.