Women's javelin brings competitors together at Missouri State Senior Games

Saturday, June 21, 2014 | 6:14 p.m. CDT; updated 12:28 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Linda Rowe, 62, of Iowa runs down the track with her javelin at Audrey J. Walton Stadium as part of the Missouri State Senior Games on Saturday. Rowe competes in all throwing events, which are shot put, hammer throw, weight throw, discus and javelin.

COLUMBIA — Martha Green was up, Linda Rowe on deck.

As a starter pistol shot off in the distance, Green lined up her shot. Her right arm cocked back in a wind-up position, and she steadied the javelin across her chest with calculated form. Taking a small step, Green launched the javelin into the air.

"That was nice!" Rowe shouted from the sidelines.

Green, 63, and Rowe, 62, were two of roughly a dozen competing in the javelin competition at the Missouri State Senior Games on Saturday at the Audrey J. Walton Stadium.

The two women are from Iowa and have been competing together in state, regional and national competitions since they met in 2004.

"We drove two and a half hours this morning, and now we go to Ames and compete up there," Rowe said. "We compete in state games, (USA Track & Field). Whatever has Masters stuff, we'll be there."

The women gathered at the south end of the track and on a bench sharing multicolored umbrellas as Rowe took her turn at the javelin.

"You need to back up," she said to the volunteers on the field who were prepared to measure her throw.

Rowe balanced the javelin against her chest and began to run toward the field. Her silver spear twirled toward the ground on a high arc. Her throw measured 19.69 meters, one of the farthest throws of the first round.

The group of women on the bench cheered and clapped as Rowe walked back to her seat.

"That was a conservative launch," Rowe said with a smile.

Joining the rest of her competitors on the bench, they began to discuss their history with the sport. Some competitors had participated in track and field events in high school and college.

"Myrle's a world champion!" one of the women announced to the group.

That would be Myrle Mensey, a 65-year-old participant who set a world record in Budapest in March. For the record, she threw a 12-pound weight 16.91 meters (55.5 feet).

Mensey was there with her mother, Daisy Edwards, 88. The two had been training together for two years.

"It's her second year throwing, and she threw three feet farther this year," Mensey said.

Despite their achievements with track and field events, the competitors focused on having fun and enjoying the games rather than the competition.

"It's not as competitive as high school and college when you're like mortal enemies," Rowe said. "Now we're all just together."

Supervising editor is Mark Selig.

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