Throwing the javelin is a family affair for state champion Bradly Stevens
June 7, 2012
By Sebastian Moraga
It began with an innocent question between siblings Kyle and Bradly Stevens over the phone: How was your day?
Kyle, a junior at Washington State University, was asking Bradly, a junior at Mount Si High School.
Bradly said his April 2012 day went well. Had a track meet that day. Threw the javelin.
Kyle, a former javelin thrower at Mount Si, asked Bradly the question on both of their minds.
“Did you break my record yet?”
“Yup,” Bradly answered.
And so opened the third chapter in a story that becomes more unique with each time it happens: a Stevens becoming the top javelin thrower in school history.
Jim Stevens graduated as the record-holder in 1985. Almost a quarter-century later, his son Kyle became the new record holder in 2009.
Then, this spring, Bradly broke Kyle’s record. And on May 16, he broke his dad’s record at districts in Seattle, earning a spot at this year’s state meet. He broke it again at state May 26.
Breaking his father’s mark, though, won’t appear in any record books. In between Jim’s mark and Kyle’s mark, the weight distribution on the javelin was changed.
“In the early 1980s there was a gentleman in Europe who threw the world record and it landed on the fourth row of seats,” Jim said.
So, he added, they moved the javelin’s weight forward to shorten its flight.
Thus Jim’s mark lived on, with the unseen asterisk that it’s an “old-style” record.
Kyle and Bradly have broken records using the newer javelin.
“The new record should plain old eclipse the old record,” Jim said a week before Bradly did just that.
Jim then broke out in a big, proud-papa laugh.
“I really don’t care. It’s my kids. I love it,” he said.
Jim finished second at state one year. His younger brother Phil threw the javelin for Mount Si in the early 1990s.
“One year,” track coach Dave Clifford said, “Phil threw nine times in a season and finished fifth in state.”
Bradly and Kyle’s sister Leslie, now at Gonzaga University, also threw the javelin for Mount Si.
She’s the fourth-best female thrower in school history.
Bradly and Leslie reached state last year. He finished 10th; she finished 12th. Jim’s squad was co-state champions in 1985. Kyle said his state performances fell short of being worthy of the family scrapbook.
Both Kyle and Bradly said that Dad did not push them into practicing the javelin.
Kyle started because his teacher Chris Jackson — a track coach at Mount Si to this day — talked him into it. Bradly said he started because what Kyle did looked like fun.
“Dad did good, Kyle did good, so I thought I probably would be good at this, too,” Bradly said.
Bradly started in eighth grade. Kyle started as a junior.
“Kyle would have made his mark a bit higher if he had started sooner,” Jim said. “But he is very supportive of Brad.”
Kyle said he loves watching his little brother throw.
Bradly said people can’t compare him to Kyle.
“He’s so much better,” Bradly said.
Siblings will be siblings and athletes will be athletes, though. Weeks before the how-was-your-day phone call, Bradly called Kyle to tell him he was 75 inches tall now.
“You know how tall that is, right?” Kyle recalled Bradly asking him.
Kyle Stevens is 74 inches tall.
“We have a little rivalry,” Kyle said. “But it works out. It’s fun.”
Bradly first broke Kyle’s mark of 190 feet, 7 inches in April, three years and one week after Kyle set his record.
That day, Bradly’s throw measured 193 feet. On May 9, he broke his own record with a throw measured at 193 feet, 5 inches. On May 16, his throw measured 202 feet, four inches, surpassing his father’s mark of 199’9”.
Then, at state, Bradly’s throw reached 205 feet, good enough for state champion and a new school record.
Rooting like mad for his kid brother was Kyle.
“I hope he sets it high enough so that no one can break it,” Kyle said of the record. “Not until my kid goes (to Mount Si).”
Sebastian Moraga: 392-6434, ext. 221, or email@example.com.