March 20, 2014
Editor's note: This article also appears on the Big 12 website, click here.
By Kaitlyn Wolf, Big 12 Campus Correspondent
MANHATTAN, Kan. - It is not unusual for students to have to make adjustments coming into college. Most students have to make the transition from living with their parents to only a few hours away from home, but this is not the case with K-State field and track thrower Sara Savatovic.
The sophomore Serbian native came to K-State her freshman year and has seen great success in the past two years.
"It was a big decision," said Savatovic. "I just wanted to come to the United States and try something new because I had an opportunity here and there are much better conditions than my home country and we have amazing facilities here."
Savatovic holds the Serbian national record in the hammer throw and continues to challenge it as the season progresses.
"I just wanted to come here because it is very hard in my home country to go to school," said Savatovic. "You have to decide if you want to go professional or if you want to go to school and here it is amazing, so I just wanted to try and see." The thrower has not only had to adjust to moving more than 5,000 miles away from her family, but also had to make adjustments to a new coach this season.
"He has really motivated me. He believes in me and that I can go far," said Savatovic on new coach Greg Watson.
"Being my first year, I know this an adjustment for them, but my philosophy in training and in throwing always has been that we throw a lot and we lift to supplement all the throwing that we do," said Watson. "Technically, I try and emphasize all the technical points that I feel is going to make them throw farther. I think that the more throwing that we do the farther they can go. I know it is an adjustment from what they were doing before, but I think they are good adjustments. We are having success already through the indoor season and we will be there for outdoor as well."
Savatovic has placed first in the weight throw in every meet except the Iowa State Classic, in which she placed third throwing 19.83m (65-00.75). She also won the Big 12 Championship with a mark of 19.29m (63-03.50), but her best throw this indoor season was at the Bill Bergan Invitational with a mark of 20.59 m (67-6.75).
"It is good, because I am not a weight thrower, I am more concentrated on the hammer," said Savatovic.
"It was a big surprise. In the beginning, I did not even think about winning the Big 12 because I just wanted to throw as far as I can. As the season was moving, I was expecting more and more of myself, so I got prepared. I think it was more of a mental battle."
Watson has also been impressed with Savatovic's progress in the weight throw.
"We have emphasized a lot of technical points with her now that were not necessarily different than what she has been told before, but I think that I might be pickier than maybe what she is used to," said Watson. "She has made good progress and we saw the results with the weight. She had not thrown until she got to K-State last year and we knew that her progression would be quick in that."
Savatovic has shown great improvement just from her freshman year to her sophomore year. While there is always room for improvement, this field thrower has already seen so many great accomplishments with high hopes for future seasons.
"She is now at a level in the hammer too where we have to be picky with the technique because certain little things are going to make big adjustments," said Watson. "The training at this point cannot just carry us through. We have to have the training and the technique has got to be right also. We are always trying to emphasize those things her in technique that may be flaws right now but we can turn into her strengths."