July 19, 2010
Joe Zimmerman will have a lot to live up to going into his sophomore season. The bar he set as a freshman will be hard to reach, given that he took fourth at the NCAA championships and won the U.S Junior title. The rising sophomore is up to the task though, and will hone his skills this summer as part of Team USA at the World Junior Championships in Moncton, Canada this week. Zimmerman will compete against some of the best in the world, and hopes to perform well among them. He talked about his great freshman season with GoHuskies.com and his hopes for the upcoming competition and season.
GoHuskies.com: Let start off with USAs. You went there as one of the top guys, but what did it mean to win and set a PR there at the same time?
Joe Zimmerman: I was really excited. Krauser is always a big name to look out for. I knew I had to at least PR to beat him. Luckily, he did worse than I would have expected.
GH: What are some of the things you're most looking forward to about representing Team USA at Worlds?
JZ: Well, I just got all my gear, like the biggest box of stuff. All the USA gear is pretty sick. We are going to be there for 10 days, so all the village and free food sounds pretty fun. Competing against like Germany and stuff will be sweet.
GH: What will some of the top competitors at Worlds throw?
JZ: The number one guy, I can't remember whether he throws 258 or 255. He's a German. I'm seventh coming in.
GH: What type of performance would you be happy with?
JZ: I'm trying to throw at least 245 and see where that gets me. I'd like to place obviously.
GH: The javelin competitors have a shorter season than others. Is it no problem to keep going into the summer?
JZ: Yeah, I feel fine. I'm not sick of it at all.
GH: What's your schedule like after Worlds? Is that your finale?
JZ: It could be. I might do some meets in Canada with Kyle [Nielsen], but nothing too big.
GH: Does your training change at all after this summer?
JZ: From the end of summer to the start of school, we get back to strength condition. We run ridiculous amounts and lift weights. I lost like 18 pounds from it last year. It will be intense.
GH: At what point do you start building back up to throw again?
JZ: We condition for three weeks to a month before we do ball throwing. We do more intense ball throwing through winter. When it starts to get warm we throw indoors, but its not till march that we go outside.
GH: What were some of the biggest things that you improved on this year to set so many PRs?
JZ: My whole thing is flexibility. I'm one of the stronger javelin throwers, but I'm completely inflexible. I can't even touch my toes. I've had to stretch a ridiculous amount. There have been some pretty simple things that have made a huge difference that I didn't realize like holding my hand higher when I throw and using my hips more.
GH: Did you surprise yourself at all this year with your performance?
JZ: From last year, it's been a big surprise. Before the season, after practices I wasn't surprised I threw this far this season.
GH: Did Kyle give you any advice or tips when you came in? What kind of leader has he been?
JZ: He takes me around. The whole season I was told to do what he does. I followed his lead all year.
GH: How did you first get into to throwing javelin?
JZ: I was supposed to be a sprinter. My dad was sprinter. I was supposed to run the 400 one day at track meet in the sixth grade, so I threw turbo javelin instead. I did alright. I ended up buying one because they were like twenty dollars and got the school record in turbo javelin.
GH: Did you dad sprint in college?
JZ: He played football actually. He played at Oregon for two year and then went to Idaho.
GH: What are your favorite parts about the sport?
JZ: When you have a big throw with a javelin, it goes really far. With the shot put, you can still see it. When you let it go on javelin, it goes forever. I like the shock and awe factor.
GH: Is there camaraderie among the other freshmen in the NCAA that are also doing well?
JZ: Yeah, that's the thing about javelin. I don't think I've ever met a javelin thrower that wasn't really nice. They are all really nice. They'll cheer for you and mean it.