A Humble Champion


Evelyn VanZwieten throws the discus and javelin at the Holy Trinity Invitational on March 4, 2023.VanZwieten competed in the javelin, shotput, and discus, winning all three events.

Track and Field is a unique sport; the difference between winning and losing is oftentimes determined by milliseconds and millimeters. Many times, not even the bare eye can determine a win and a loss. But behind most performances is a story.

For junior Evelyn VanZwieten, it all began when she was nine years old. After playing multiple sports growing up,  she decided that she wanted to focus on track and field more seriously. She played volleyball, soccer, and softball during the school year while competing for a club track and field team on her own during the summer and her free time. 

 She first started the sport as a runner, but shortly after, transitioned to field events, where she found a passion for throwing. “Throwing makes me feel powerful mainly because of its history, especially the javelin, and that is what makes me appreciate it so much,” said VanZwieten.

VanZwieten also finds passion from the attention to detail in throwing. “You have three or four attempts to reach your best mark so it gives you a chance to push yourself to throw further each time you see someone else reach a mark,” said VanZwieten. 

Similar to running, the difference between winning and losing is often determined by the smallest mark, sometimes just inches. “Knowing that when I throw every foot or inch matters it encourages me to work harder because it can be the difference between winning and getting second place,” said VanZwieten. 

Coming from a school where they didn’t have a track and field team, VanZwieten came to Holy Trinity with big goals. “When I started thinking that this was something that I might want to do in college, I knew it was important to have a track team,” said VanZwieten. In her first year, VanZwieten found early success, winning local and statewide meets. In the postseason, she won the district and regional meets in both the discus and javelin. As a sophomore, she became a state champion in the discus and placed fourth in the javelin. 

“Evelyn VanZwieten is a true competitor but yet she is very kind, she is very thoughtful, and she is very considerate,” said Coach Marc Bailey. “She has worked with other javelin throwers that have come to the group and offered up her own time to help them understand the basics of throwing. She’s definitely one of the most humble champions that I have been around in all my years of doing this.”

This season, VanZwieten is looking to defend her individual title while also helping lead the girls team to a team championship. “Currently, Evelyn is ranked 2nd in 1A in the javelin, and 1st in the discus. She could potentially earn 18 points for the girls team at state this year based on her current rankings,” said Coach Marc Bailey.

Above all, VanZwieten’s work ethic is what separates her from other athletes. If there’s one thing that I can guarantee for certain, it’s that she’s focused and is always giving it everything that she has every time that she steps out there,” said Coach Marc Bailey.

VanZwieten has been throwing for seven and a half years and to her, it has become more than just a sport. Track and field has helped her grow as a person and has impacted her life in many ways other than just athletically. “Track and field has helped me to stay consistent and not give up. There is always room to improve in throwing. It has also helped me stay disciplined because I had to do it when there was not a schedule or anyone telling me to do it,” said VanZwieten. 

VanZwieten plans on pursuing track and field at the collegiate level and hopes to someday go to the Olympics. “Track and field is the sport that I have done the longest and it’s the only one that I have the goal to compete at a higher level,” said VanZwieten.