The following article on Michael Sayers appeared in The Post-Journal on July 20, 2016.
Local resident Michael Sayers has had a passion for the javelin throw for quite some time.
From his time in high school as a Fredonia Hillbilly, to his collegiate career at SUNY Brockport, to being honored by the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame, the 61-year-old Sayers has racked up accomplishments in the javelin and several other track and field events throughout his successful competitive career.
His most recent accomplishment, however, is certainly one of the most impressive.
In June at the Empire State Games, which were held at SUNY Cortland, Sayers' mark of 49.97 meters in the javelin throw shattered the All-American standard of 39 meters.
But that's not all.
That impressive mark of 49.97 meters puts him as the best in the United States in the updated rankings for World Masters Athletics in the 60-64 age group and it's good enough for Sayers to hold the top spot in the world rankings for the same event and age group as well.
"I have a personal best (in the javelin throw)... which is like almost 68 meters (68.5 meters), which was back in (1979)," Sayers said. "I like throwing things. Rocks, snowballs, anything i can get my hands on. Throwing the javelin was just like throwing a spear.
"I hadn't really known about (the rankings), I hadn't really thought about it until somebody said, 'Hey, have you checked the rankings?'" Sayers continued. "It means a lot."
As he has gotten older, Sayers has attributed a great deal of his success when it comes to throwing the javelin to his superb technique.
"I think my biggest strength is technique," he explained. "I'm not as big as half the guys that I throw against and I'm not as strong as half the guys I throw against. But I have good technique and I have (solid) arm speed. I think a combination of speed plus technique has (allowed me to excel)."
Although he is currently dealing with an injured shoulder, Sayers has no intention of slowing down once his injury is healed.
"It's nothing I want to give up," he emphasized. "Right now. I've got a little shoulder problem I'm trying to work through and that's hampered my javelin throwing a little bit, but I still try to keep in shape even though I'm not throwing all out. So as far as getting a lot of (other) meets in this year, I might not because of my shoulder. But, if I let it rest, then that will (help) make me better next year. I love doing it."
Michael Sayers was inducted into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.
Visit the CSHoF Exhibit HallHall Hours: Generally 12:00 - 3:00pm
Location: 15 West Third Street, Jamestown, New York 14701
Arrangements can be made for a group to tour the hall anytime it would like by contacting Bill Rollinger at 716-763-8229.
Help Build the Collection
The Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame is an organization formed in 1980 to honor Chautauqua County, New York area sports celebrities. You can help with that mission by sharing what you may know or have.
We are interested in collecting:
- Stories about sports in Chautauqua County and our inductees
- Photographs about sports in Chautauqua County and our inductees
- Artifacts related to sports in Chautauqua County and our inductees