While there might not be much
track going on in New York State, there is plenty of history to pore
through. In our time off, we are looking to revisit all of the State
Records for the Outdoor Season. Who these athletes were, where their
marks came from, and where are they now. We're
releasing "Snapshots Of A State Record," where you can learn what it
takes, to put your mark on history. Tune in!
We are now looking at the records in a few events that are not at the outdoor States meet but definitely need to be highlighted. We look here at record from three decades ago. Enjoy!
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Who has the state record in the boys javelin is a little debatable, but what cannot be argued is that the record goes a long way back. Part of the reason for the uncertainty is because of the status of the javelin in NY as a non-state-championship event that only has participants in the downstate region. Only one of the top 30 throws in the javelin in the last 35 years has been done by an athlete from north of the Lower Hudson Valley. The other big element of murkiness about the record is that there was a huge change in the javelin introduced in 1986 that among other rules moved the center of balance and gripping area forward on the implement, which made it more likely to land point down but decreased the average throw by about an estimated 10%. But it also took a few years for high school sports to acquire new equipment, and there are results for the "old javelin" in the archives from even 17 years later. We are therefore honoring two guys in this Records Snapshot -- the top throw for the old javelin and the top throw for the new javelin, both from around the same era in the mid 1980s.
Like most guys who took up the javelin, North Rockland's Andy Silberstein spent a lot of time doing the other weight events, the shot put and discus, and even sometimes doing a leg for the Red Raiders' 4x100m relay. Following in the footsteps of older brothers Dan and David in the cage and ring, Silberstein had already put up a 187-8 toss in the javelin at the 1984 Section 9 State Qualifier meet for the non-qualifying event in his junior year.
For the 1984-85 year, Rockland County joined Section 1, and Silberstein had just a fantastic year battling FDR's CJ Hunter in the shot put and claiming the indoor States title. Outdoors he got his favorite event the javelin back and after throwing 197-3 to break the county record in an early dual meet, Red Raider weights coach Bob Murphy declared, "He's ready to throw 210." On May 22nd, Silberstein got the state record with a throw of 218-11 at the Conference A Western Division meet, breaking the old mark of Archbishop Molloy's Steve Francks in 1973 by three inches. The throw got him an invitation to attend three big national meets in June, and a local fund-raising drive got the money together for Silberstein and Murphy to go west. Silberstein threw in the 190s at the Golden West meet in CA and then the Keebler meet near Chicago, leaving him a little ways back in the results. But things came together for him at the AAU Juniors meet in Elmhurst IL as he took 2nd with a throw of 215-10 to earn a place on the US Juniors team for two meets with other nations. On July 21st in Pullman WA in a Juniors international meet, Silberstein launched a throw of 225-10 to win the competition. All of Silberstein's throws were done before the new rules for the javelin were put in place, and his record for the "old javelin" has been and will never be topped.
The new javelin system was introduced in 1986, but it took awhile for the new javelins to replace the old ones at the scholastic level, and all but one of the top marks for the new javelin were recorded following the 1980s. The top mark was set almost immediately, however, as an "old style" guy got some chances with the new javelin. Glenn Hayward was the quarterback for the Millbrook Blazers who first got a lot of attention in the media in his junior year for saying that he would have no trouble with a girl playing football on his team, which Millbrook's Dana Robideau was successfully petitioning to do in 1986. Hayward had some success on the gridiron, but he did far better in track and field. Throwing still with the old javelin in 1985 as a sophomore, he had broken local records with a throw of 194. He continued to bust Dutchess County records in his junior year with a throw of 196-1 at the Officials and Coaches meet and then 199-11 at the Marlboro Relays, and he than added one more inch for an even 200 at the Crusader Relays to finish off his scholastic season. But later at the Empire State Games meets during the summer, Hayward got a chance with the new style javelin and actually threw it further, going to 206-1 with a borrowed javelin at the regional meet and then 207-10 for the all-time NY schoolboy record on August 1, 1987 at the ESG Open.
Hayward looked to have a lot of potential to set many more records in his senior season and maybe get a national championship, but the injury bug bit him. First though at the Red Raider Relays he launched a 217-8 throw with the old-style javelin that likely will remain the third longest throw ever for NY behind Silberstein and Francks. A few weeks later at Loucks, Hayward faulted on a throw that landed out beyond the 225 mark, and on his next throw he messed up with a sidearm (illegal) throw that hyperextended the ligaments around his right elbow. That mishap ended Hayward's final javelin season, though he did qualify for the States meet in the shot put and discus. Hayward's 207-10 mark for the new javelin was approached most closely by John Putnam of Massapequa in 2014 at 206-0, but 33 years later it's still on the books.