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julie siebert-johnson javelin thrower

As a freshman thrower on the Penn women's track team, Julie Siebert-Johnson wasted little time in making an impression. The Quakers' top javelin thrower this past spring, Siebert-Johnson fared beautifully. She finished first at the Heptagonal Championships and turned heads at the ECACs, where she won her event and broke a longstanding Quakers record with a throw of 151'10". "She met the goals that I had hoped for her this year," Penn assistant coach Tony Tenisci said. "She's had a great season, and that culminated in the Heps win. "The second-most wonderful thing was the school record. She just missed a provisional NCAA [berth] by 20 centimeters. We're just thrilled to have her." That record, which Siebert-Johnson broke by two full feet, was set in 1986 by Robyn Fortsch, who threw 149'10". While the fact that Siebert-Johnson broke an enduring record is impressive, it's even more impressive when the change in the instrument is considered. "That record stood for a long, long time, and [Siebert-Johnson] had a harder javelin to throw," Tenisci said. "The other one was balanced completely different." The new javelin is weighted more toward the front, which forces the nose down more readily than with the old model. Siebert-Johnson bested the record anyway, and in the process shattered the Junior Nationals qualifying mark of 131'3". So, in addition to a Heps title and a school record, that heave earned Siebert-Johnson a trip to the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, to compete in the Junior Nationals, a nationwide competition among the best high school and collegiate athletes under the age of 19. After school ended in May, Siebert-Johnson took summer classes and trained with Tenisci and the Quakers coaching staff everyday. "Basically, we've been throwing and working on technique," Tenisci said during the summer. "And then some weightlifting and conditioning." Tenisci and Siebert-Johnson periodically reviewed her practice throws on videotape and analyzed her mechanics. "That's so that she can see visually the things I'm wanting her to focus on mechanically," Tenisci said. Tenisci has a great deal of confidence in the young thrower, especially because of her work ethic. "She's a real good competitor," Tenisci said. "She likes the high-quality, important meets. I've been really happy with her. "She's done just a super, super job as a freshman. She's very methodical and responsible in working toward her goals.

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