By Collin Catman 

As the Hayward Field crowd gave its respects to accomplished former Ducks Mitch Modin and the 2007 Pac-10 champion javelin thrower Ryan Brandel, defending NCAA Division III champion Seth Nonnenmacher of George Fox University was quietly preparing to win an event that eluded his grasp last year.

And that is just what he did.

After finishing third in the men’s javelin last year at the Oregon Twilight Meet, Nonnenmacher secured first place with his first throw, which traveled 227 feet, 6 inches, beating out Andrew Bloom of Whitworth, the second-place finisher in the Twilight last year, by eight feet.

“There was some good competition out there last year as well as this year,” Nonnenmacher said. “I was fortunate to pop off a good one there right in the beginning. And the further I go on, it’s nice to stay on that level. But sometimes you fall off, and you saw that there at the end.”

Nonnenmacher’s subsequent throws did not come close to equaling his first, as his next closest throw was five feet short of the winning throw.

Nonnenmacher fended off his Division III rival Bloom, currently ranked No. 2 behind the defending champion, as Bloom also had his best throw in the first attempt.

“I do like it when there is good competition and when people are stepping one up on the other that is motivating to throw it further,” Nonnenmacher said. “Andrew is a great thrower and he’s been very consistent in the 220s and he’s awesome. But we’ve had an ongoing competition for quite a while.”

Bloom and Nonnenmacher went back and forth after their first throws, as Bloom beat out Nonnenmacher on the fourth throw by a foot and on the sixth throw by two inches.

“Two weeks ago at our conference meet, he threw 229 and I threw 234, which are two great marks,” Nonnenmacher said. “It’s awesome to have that competition where we’re constantly pushing each other and we’re making each other better. We’re right there on the same level right now.”

Rounding out the top three was Ryan Brandel, a former Pac-10 champion, who finished with a throw of 208-3, besting his mark last year by five feet.

Looking ahead, Nonnenmacher knows there is still work to be done, despite being the No. 1 seed in Division III.

“Just kind of getting my timing down and my speed,” he said. “A lot of times I’m coming way too quick into the throw, so my body can’t really handle it. Sometimes I try to correct that, and then I go too slow and I don’t have enough energy, and I try to arm it.”

Though he won, Nonnenmacher didn’t quite accomplish everything he hoped in the Twilight.

“I was hoping to get a PR,” he said. “My goal is to throw 75 meters, and my PR now is 71 ½, I believe.”

If Nonnenmacher gets to the 75 meter mark, he will be the all-time leader in Division III history. Having already won the national title, being the all-time leader is the only landmark not in Nonnenmacher’s possession.