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Savatovic Making Strides with K-State Track and Field
K-State's Sara Savatovic competes in the women's weight throw during the KSU Winter Invitational at Ahearn Field House in Manhattan, Kansas on December 14, 2013. (Scott D. Weaver/K-State Athletics)
January 17, 2013
By Kelly McHugh
There is no off day, no offseason, when you're working to be the best.
And despite the weather hitting negative temperatures on more than one occasion this past month, K-State track and field thrower Sara Savatovic has trained in all conditions to become the best she can be.
"I'm used to it because back home we don't have indoor," the Crvenka, Serbia, native said. "Back home we're always outside and it's not that bad - the cold makes you stronger. I think we can be better if we go outside. We get better adapted to throwing in all weather."
With snow on the ground and freezing rain in the forecast, Savatovic, head throwing coach Greg Watson and senior thrower Alex Roe spend their afternoons outside throwing before heading inside to the weight room.
"We throw different weights of hammers when we practice," Savatovic said. "In the event, we throw four kilograms of hammers, but I throw six or seven kilograms in practice. The best thing (here at K-State) is all the facilities that we have for practice, because we have everything here: medical stuff, stuff for throwing, lifting rooms."
Savatovic came to K-State as a freshman in the fall of 2012 and has since seen her fair share of success.
Already among some of the Wildcats' best female throwers in the history of the K-State track and field program, Savatovic capped off a successful freshman career in the hammer throw with a Big 12 Championship after throwing 64.11m/201-04 on May 3, 2013, in Waco, Texas.
The throw not only marked her as the best thrower in the Big 12, but it broke the Serbian national record as well.
"I'm impressed with how far she's thrown giving her training age," Watson said. "She's got a good mark for her age and she's the Serbian national record holder. So she's the best her country's ever had. As we go forward, we hope to help her improve not only in Big 12's and NCAA's but also help her on an international level for her country as well."
During Savatovic's freshman season, she placed in the top-three seven times out of the nine meets she competed in during the outdoor season, including the Big 12 Championships and finished her season placing 17th in the West Preliminary Round of the NCAA Championships.
In Serbia and throughout much of Europe, the indoor weight throw is an unheard of event. Savatovic picked it up her freshman season at K-State and was pretty good at it, to say the least, as she finished in eighth place in the weight throw at last year's Indoor Big 12 Championships.
With the 2014 indoor season already underway for the Wildcats, Savatovic placed first in the weight throw at the K-State Winter Invitational with a distance of 19.58m/64-03.00 - a number that broke her previous Serbian national record.
"I honestly don't really like indoor as much as outdoor, but the good thing is, during indoor we still throw hammer outside," Savatovic explained, who said the indoor track and field season as well as the weight throw are new to her. "We just throw (weight throw) a little bit inside because we don't want our hammer to suffer. Hammer is my main sport, my event, but I also want to be as good as possible in the weight throw."
Like it or not, however, there's no doubt that this indoor season for Savatovic is looking bright.
Last weekend at the Bill Easton Classic in Lawrence, Kan., Savatovic's 19.92m/65-04.25 throw not only broke her personal best, but also topped the Serbian national record - again.
While her impressive resume continues to grow as she continues her sophomore season, Savatovic is constantly looking towards where she can improve. She has set her goals this season on getting better marks and also continuing further in the NCAA Championships.
"Indoor, I just want to be the best I can. I would like to make Nationals," she explained. "But for outdoor, I do expect more. I've got to progress a couple meters in my hammer, but hopefully I'll win Big 12's again. I want for sure to go to Nationals this year."
Roe has no doubt that Savatovic will make it to and see success on the national level this season.
"I think she could throw 70 meters," Roe said. "That's her goal, and I think she can do it. I have all the confidence in the world in her."
While transitioning from high school to college life while also getting used to a new country and culture more than 5,000 miles from home has its challenges, Savatovic said the transition went smooth for her.
"For me, it wasn't that hard. It's different but I like doing different things, seeing different styles," she explained. "I don't like staying in one place. I like to move and try to explore everything, so I was very excited to come here."
Her time in the United States has been going great so far and only continues to get better, and with her continuous growth in both the weight and the hammer throw, the future is looking bright for Savatovic.
You can catch Savatovic and the entire K-State Track and Field team in action this weekend at the Wildcat Invitational in Ahearn Field House beginning at 12 p.m., tomorrow afternoon.
For more information on tomorrow's meet, check out Wildcat Invitational to Feature Kynard and Julmis.