Just a couple of days after competing in the NCAA Division III championships, Union College freshman Michael Goldstock is already working toward the next one.
After finishing 18th of 20 in the javelin after entering the competition as the top seed, Goldstock said he will take one week off from training to rest his arm and knees, but he will continue his work in the weight room. His school year at Union ends June 11, and he will train with his coaches until then, then he will begin his unattached season by competing in two meets before the month is out, then likely another couple in July.
Javelin is not an event contested in the indoor season, so Goldstock said he’s going to start throwing the shot put for the Dutchmen in order to keep sharp, fit and ready to hit the runway running when the 2015 outdoor season fires up.
“I can stay in the groove of being on the track team, having those early mornings, those early Saturdays, so I don’t get pulled into the college lifestyle,” he said. “ ‘Oh, let’s sleep in on a Saturday.’ No, I want to be regimented and be focused on what I have to do, so when the outdoor season starts, it’s not a whole new rhythm. I’m still in it, I’m just going with the groove.”
Coming to Union was an easy choice for the native of the Bronx, because he has a lot of extended family in Niskayuna. He said, “I’m from the 518 just as much as the 718.”
His best throw at Union before the ECAC championships was 58.83 (193-0), though he said he had thrown 199 feet (60.65 meters) as a senior in high school.
Goldstock won the ECACs with a program-record throw of 65.6 meters (215-3), which also made him the top seed heading to the national championships in Indianapolis.
“My first throw was a 64.98 I think, just under 65 meters. With that, I was stoked,” said Goldstock. “I was jumping up and down on the runway, just waiting for it to land so I could get out of the runway before I fouled the throw. My coaches were ecstatic. [Assistant coach Heather Maffei] was jumping up and down, giving me a hug and a high-five.
“I ran all the way out to the end of the sector where my javelin landed, and I had to run all the way back because I wasn’t allowed to run out there. I was pretty much standing over the shoulder of the official when he read out the 64. Then he did the same thing with the 65, and both times, I was just clapping and yelling, just not knowing what to do with myself. I was just trying to soak in the moment. It was a rush of a lot of adrenaline, and overall, it was just a great day for me.”
Instead of carrying the momentum or confidence of that moment into Indianapolis, he carried a flock of butterflies in his stomach.
While he had the form of his upper body pretty much in check, he said, it was his footwork that was his undoing.
In keeping with his usual strategy, Goldstock went through his first of three throws just looking to get it out there and not necessarily concentrating on every aspect of his form. It went 54.45 meters, which is about where his first throws usually go.
Then he dials it in for the subsequent throws. At least, that’s the plan.
On his second throw, he went a step or two too far, which threw his throwing mechanics out of whack as he compensated. Knowing the throw was going to be short, he stepped off the runway to force a foul.
On his third throw, his plant foot slid forward about a foot, and he tried to make up for the slip with his arm, but that one was falling short, as well, and he stepped out for a foul.
“That split-second hesitation or not knowing where your foot is, that definitely throws off the entire throw,” Goldstock said. “That’s a little bit of what happened. I focused a lot on making sure my upper body was correct, and I just lost the feet for maybe one or two steps, and that’s all it takes.”
Despite the outcome, Goldstock said the taste of the national meet has made him hungry for more. To earn that second helping, he’s ready to go right back to work.
“I would have liked to place better at nationals, but I still broke the school record and performed really well at the ECACs,” he said. “So I’m pleased with this year. I’m just focused on coming back next year and starting off as strong as I finished this year.”