Chase Tarr said the trip to the NCAA Division I West Regional Track and Field Preliminaries was split between competition at Texas A&M and waiting around at a local coffee shop.
Tarr, a Marysville High graduate and redshirt sophomore javelin thrower for UC Santa Barbara, said that once he hit his mark of 213 feet, 7 inches, he headed to a coffee shop with his trainer and head coach to wait it out and see if the throw would be good enough to make his first trip to Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, for the outdoor national championships.
“I wasn’t watching anything,” Tarr said.
Once Tarr got word that the mark would hold up within the top 12 (finishing 11th) in the region his wait instantly turned into tears of joy for everything he had been through as a member of the Gaucho track program.
Tarr underwent Tommy John surgery his sophomore year and spent 14 months in rehabilitation working with his trainers and head coach Cody Fleming.
He said it was a lonely process where at times he questioned whether it was worth it.
“Two years I was just thinking about being back on the runway,” he said. “It takes a toll on (your) mental health and can go one way or the other.”
Tarr said if he wanted he had an easy tap out because of the injury, but instead he pushed through and overcame the adversity that goes along with battling sports injuries in college.
Tarr said he wouldn’t be here today on the precipice of a spot in the national track championships without both his athletic trainers and head coach.
“The relationship I have built with them is second to none,” Tarr said.
Tarr said for any young athlete competing out of Marysville or the Yuba-Sutter-Colusa region it is important to stay vigilant and focused on your dreams.
“Dreams come and go but if you don’t pursue them what is the point of having them in the first place?” Tarr said.
As a UCSB grad student and redshirt sophomore Tarr has two more years to compete in college track and field.
“I am (going) to grad school and see if I can do it all over again,” Tarr said.
More details for programming for the outdoor D-I track championships will be released soon.