9:23 PM EDT, April 11, 2013
Tyler Bauer was politely encouraged to begin taking piano lessons when he was 6 years old.
Violin instruction at age 9. The guitar at 13.
The 5-foot-11, 210-pounder found joy playing football as a high school freshman.
Later that school year, he grew curious about track and field, particularly the javelin.
"I thought it would be kind of cool throwing a spear," he said.
Tyler's parents, Cynthia and Curt, didn't agree. It took a lot of convincing to get his parents on board with his new interest.
Five years later, Bauer has the Muhlenberg College record throw of 201 feet, 6 inches, which should be good enough to qualify him for next month's Division III nationals. The sophomore also will defend his Centennial Conference title in three weeks.
As good as the numbers have been, the Northampton High School graduate doesn't focus on them. Rarely even acknowledges them.
Instead, thanks to maturation and his relationship with first-year assistant coach Andy Fahringer, a Penn Relays javelin champ and a school record-holder at the University of Virginia, Bauer sees things differently now.
"Track is an easy sport to get wrapped up in the numbers," Bauer said. "I was all about the numbers in high school.
"I realized that just didn't work for me."
Bauer, a biology and music performance double major at Muhlenberg, is embracing the process — a tightly regimented process laid out by Fahringer.
The Mules assistant coach was lured back to the area by friend and former UVA teammate Steve Finley. Finley's father, Doug, was hired last summer to be an assistant Muhlenberg track coach. He told his son about another opening on the staff. Steve then called Fahringer.
Fahringer then retrieved all of his college workouts and headed north.
"[The throwers] had their first workouts before they even met me," Fahringer said.
Those workouts were radically different from what they were used to. It was geared toward making them better athletes. The focus shifted from brute strength to a combination of strength, speed and agility.
Some throwers threw up during Fahringer's workouts last fall. Many, including Bauer, welcomed the change.
"I remember crying when I looked at that paper," Bauer recalled of Fahringer's first workout script. "But it's all about how much you try at the Division III level.
"I'm really starting to see the upside of it now."
Bauer's school-record throws this spring are signs that he is headed in the next direction, but they don't tell the whole story.
The East Allen Township resident is not only more agile and athletic than ever before, he's healthier.
From the end of Bauer's sophomore year at Northampton until he finished fourth as a senior at the 2011 District 11 Class 3A Championships, a balky elbow limited him.
Fahringer's training focuses on throwing less and peaking during the postseason.
Bauer questioned Fahringer when he had the sophomore throw off a short approach during this season's first two meets.
"He asked why and I told him to trust me," said Fahringer, a former PIAA discus champion and Whitehall High grad. "I told him that we have to get your arm ready, to wean you into the heavy throws.
"You can't do things your body is not ready to do yet. The big thing I noticed at [college] nationals is that guys go hurt. It's a violent sport."
Fahringer now is an exercise physiologist at The Heart Care Group who is training for a second shot at the U.S. Olympic squad. He finished 16th at the 2012 Trials.
The Whitehall resident warned his throwers not to worry about the distance of their throws in April and shared the perils of looking at the national rankings early in the season.
Fahringer speaks from experience. He fell into the same rut after losing the first 18 months of his college career to an injury.
"I lost what made me so good in high school," he admitted.
Fahringer has done everything he can to get his message across.
And Bauer is doing all he can to take that message and run (and lift and throw) with it.
Participating teams for today's 5th annual event at Jim Thorpe: Blue Mountain, Carson Long (boys), Hazleton Area (girls), Jim Thorpe, Lansdale Catholic, Mahanoy Area, Marian Catholic, Minersville, Northern Lehigh, Palmerton, Panther Valley, Pine Grove, Schuylkill Haven, Shenandoah Valley, Southern Lehigh and Tamaqua.
Schedule: (TRACK) Girls/boys 100/110 hurdles trials, 3:45 p.m.; girls/boys 100; girls/boys 3,200 relay; girls/boys 300 hurdles; girls/boys 200; girls/boys 100/110 hurdles finals; girls/boys 1,600; girls/boys 400; girls/boys 400 relay; girls/boys 800; girls/boys 200; girls/boys 3,200; girls/boys 1,600 relay. (FIELD) girls/boys pole vault, 2:30; boys long jump/girls high jump, 3; boys javelin/girls shot put, 3; boys triple jump, 4:20; girls javelin/boys discus, 5; girls long jump, 5:45; boys shot put/girls discus, 7; girls triple jump, 7:05.
Woolsey Wilson Molio Classic
Participating teams at ES South are: East Stroudsburg North, East Stroudsburg South, Honesdale, Pocono Mountain East, Wallenpaupack.
Saturday's events: (TRACK) shuttle hurdles, distance medley relay, 400 relay, 300 hurdles relay, mid-distance relay, sprint relay, 3,200 relay, 1,600 relay. (FIELD) shot put, javelin, discus, long jump, triple jump, high jump, pole vault.
Northwestern's Lauren Anderson (12.9 in the100) and Katie Capuccino (16.7 in the 100 hurdles) set PRs last week. … Whitehall's Angela Stella broke her school record in the 800 with a 2:24.0. … Nazareth's Carter Taylor broke a 33-year-old 300 hurdles record with a time of 39.4. … Quakertown's Jody-Ann Evans ran season PRs in the 100 (12.2) and 200 (25.3). … Bangor's Bryan Pearson broke a second school record this spring with a toss of 53 feet, 7 inches Tuesday in the shot put. He broke his previous school mark by four inches.
Kutztown junior Lanny Buck, a Palmerton High graduate, won the pole vault at last weekend's Muhlenberg Spring Invitational with an NCAA provisional best of 15.6 feet. At the same event, Stroudsburg High product Mark Pfaeffle, a Kutztown freshman, won the 5,000-meter race by more than five seconds (16:05.65). And freshman Iris Burch, a Dieruff grad, was part of the winning 1,600-meter relay team (4:01.79).
Twitter: Follow @TomHousenick
Favorite event: Triple jump
College choice: Penn State
Major: Elementary education
Favorite school cafeteria food: Bagel
Favorite TV show: Big Bang Theory
Pre-race ritual: Knee tuck jumps
Music on iPod: All kinds
One class you would take out of curriculum: College algebra
Favorite coffee flavor: Regular
Favorite form of social media: Twitter
Most embarrassing high school moment: Locking my keys in the car at track practice
Dumbest/strangest text abbreviation: LOL
Most sought after vacation destination: Atlantis, Bahamas
Most daunting aspect of going to college: Adjusting to more intense studying habits and being more disciplined
(through Wednesday's results)
100: Taylor Chapman, Pennridge, 12.12 (FAT)
200: Taylor Chapman, Pennridge, 24.85 (FAT)
400: Lindsay Sheehan, Pennridge, 59.3
800: Marissa Sheva, Pennridge, 2:22.4
1,600: Marissa Sheva, Pennridge, 5:02.85
3,200: Elizabeth Chikotas, Saucon Valley, 11:00.3
400 relay: Pennridge, 49.4
1,600 relay: Bethlehem Catholic, 4:14.0
3,200 relay: Parkland, 10:05.8
100 hurdles: Ashley Williams, Easton, 15.4
300 hurdles: Lexi Reightler, Bethlehem Catholic, 47.2
High jump: Jane Lukas, Nazareth, 5-5
Long jump: Ariana Przybylowski, Pennridge, 17-2.5
Triple jump: Ramonia Benitez, Pocono Mountain West, 37-1
Shot put: Gwen Remaley, Lehighton, 40-9.5
Javelin: Christine Streisel, Tamaqua, 140-2
Discus: Gracie Hargrove, Liberty, 123-5
Pole vault: Mara Blanchard, Bethlehem Catholic; Taylor Sullivan, Stroudsburg, 10-6
100: Demetrius Lanie, East Stroudsburg South; Mike Class and Nick Stenderowicz, Pennridge, 10.6
200: Nick Stenderowicz, Pennridge, 21.9
400: Nick Stenderowicz, Pennridge, 49.7
800: Joey Logue, Pennridge, 1:57.7
1,600: Joey Logue, Pennridge, 4:25.0
3,200: Jon Condly, Jim Thorpe, 9:56.0
400 relay: East Stroudsburg South, Stroudsburg, 43.1
1,600 relay: Pennridge, 3:17.72 (FAT)
3,200 relay: Pennridge, 8:14.97 (FAT)
110 hurdles: Tyler Horton, Bethlehem Catholic, 14.4
300 hurdles: Tyler Horton, Bethlehem Catholic; Colby Trauger, Pennridge, 39.2
High jump: Griffin Schwab, Nazareth; Anthony Cruz, ES North, 6-5
Long jump: Nicholas Lombardo, East Stroudsburg South, 22-3
Triple jump: Daniel Reichenbach, Salisbury, 44-7.25
Shot put: Bryan Pearson, Bangor, 53-7
Javelin: Tyler Hope, Tamaqua, 194-5
Discus: Bryan Pearson, Bangor, 188-7
Pole vault: Joey Fogle, Pocono Mountain East; Ethan Flynn-Scarsella, Stroudsburg, 13-0
FAT: Fully Automatic Timing
Based on results reported to The Morning Call through Wednesday. Coaches can report updates, corrections by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 610-820-6651, or by sending a direct message on Twitter to @TomHousenick.
Copyright © 2013, The Morning Call