SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. (EYT/D9) – Two District 9 products received major honors on Monday.
Slippery Rock University javelin throwers Trinity Clark, a Kane graduate, and Moniteau grad Dalton Anderson swept the Atlantic Region Field Athlete of the Year honors by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
(Photo courtesy of Slippery Rock University)
The Rock tandem each finished in the top eight at the NCAA Division II National Championships, both won Pennsylania State Athletic Conferece titles and both had the top javelin throw in the region this spring.
Clark and Anderson were all both All-Americans.
“Since Dalton and I are both from D9, it shows that the coaches in the area are truly special – some of the best track and field coaches you’ll ever encounter,” Clark said. “At Slippery Rock, you’ll find the same thing. Brilliant coaches that have the passion to help their student-athletes succeed, which is so crucial.”
Clark, a senior from Kane, won the PSAC championship and entered the national meet ranked third in the country.
At the conference meet, though, Clark suffered a scary injury when she dislocated her left shoulder, as well as a rib.
“I did some exercises and chiropractor visits to keep putting them back into place,” Clark said. “On meet day, I just woke up and prayed it didn’t hurt.”
Despite the injury, she improved on her own collegiate best mark with a throw of 50.03 meters (164 feet, 2 inches) to place third at the Division II National Championships.
She earned a first team All-American honor for her efforts.
That was the second time Clark earned the distinction. She played 10th as a junior and was second team All-American.
Clark plans on returning to The Rock next season to use her extra year of eligibility.
She said winning Atlantic Region Field Athlete of the Year means a lot to her.
“I’m honored to receive it, but there’s a long list of names of people who have helped me achieve this award,” Clark said. “And for that I am thankful.”
Anderson, a graduate student who now lives in Grove City, posted a career-best throw of 66.85 meters (219-4) this spring. He placed fifth at the National Championships and was also named first team All-American.
Anderson, who also served as a graduate assistant coach at The Rock this spring, was an All-American last year while throwing for Division III Westminster College.
While there, he overcame is own scary injury.
Throwing in a summer meet before his senior year at Westminster, Anderson felt a pop in his elbow. He had injured his UCL and feared he’d need Tommy John surgery. He feared he’d never throw the javelin again.
He rested his arm for much of the season and began throwing the javelin again at the Presidents’ Athletic Conference meet. He qualified for the Division III National Championships and placed third there.
“I wasn’t even able to move my arm,” Anderson said. “My whole arm and my hand was purple. I couldn’t feel it. I just wanted to do it, to get through my senior year.”
With one year of eligibility yet, Anderson searched for graduate schools where he could also throw. Slippery Rock University proved to be the perfect fit for the nearby Moniteau graduate.
His arm sound once again, Anderson enjoyed a stellar season this spring.
“This accolade means a lot to me because it shows that my hard work paid off,” Anderson said. “When you put in the work day in and day out, these are the type of results that come with it. I have always gotten all-region rewards but never an All-Region Field athlete of the year, and I’m glad to add it to my resume of accolades.”