May 2, 2013
Petroff gears up for MIAA Championships
By David Boyce
Near the time Northwest Missouri State is wrapping up its 2013 commencement ceremony honoring the new graduates at Lamkin Activity Center Saturday afternoon, junior John Petroff will be 316 miles away in Hays, Kan., preparing to throw the discus.
Petroff, who is receiving a degree in chemistry, promised to help the track team in the MIAA Track and Field Championships, which runs Friday through Sunday at Fort Hays State.
Petroff has a good chance to finish in the top three in the discus and earn All-MIAA honors.
“I am really looking forward to it,” Petroff said. “For the first time since I have been here, I really have a chance to compete and place in conference and be all-conference. I’m really excited about it.”
Of course, Petroff and his family are proud of his academic accomplishment and the degree he has earned. Petroff, though, realizes there are more degrees to come.
“I plan on getting my doctorate in chemistry,” he said. “I will have more important degrees to get. I am going to be in school for a while. I will end up teaching or working in an industry. I just don’t know which one yet. I will figure it out later.”
For now, Petroff’s only concern is to come up with a number when throwing the discus that will top his competitors. He is coming off a nice performance a week ago when he finished first in the Grand View Viking Classic in Des Moines.
Petroff winning throw was 159-0, which was just shy of his personal best, which he established April 6 in the Northwest Open. He also placed fourth at the Mule Relays on April 21.
Those results give Petroff confidence.
“I know I will do well,” Petroff said. “There are two other good discus throwers in our conference and we are all within 10 feet of each other. It will be who lucks out a little bit. We are all very good. Some are a little better than me. I put all that I can put in.”
Petroff is free of injury and has been able to concentrate on track this spring. In his first two seasons at Northwest, he divided his time between track and spring football.
Injuries prevented him from doing either last year.
“This year, football coach Adam Dorrel and the trainers thought it would be wise to stay out of spring ball,” Petroff said. “It has refreshed my body. It has provided me a very good track season.”
Petroff also wants to make the most of his final season of football in the fall. He plays right tackle on the offensive line and has already seen a lot of winning football.
As a redshirt freshman, Petroff saw action in seven games in Northwest’s 2009 national championship season.
“I used to joke that we go into every season that we are going to win a national championship,” Petroff said. “Over the years, you realize how much luck it takes. In 2009, we beat Central Washington by blocking an extra point. We had a lot of good athletes and good players.
“We have the same thing now. I am as confident in this team as anyone we have had since I have been here. It is exciting.”
On Saturday, Petroff’s mind will be on the discus.
“I really enjoy competing,” he said. It is such a change of pace from football. You still get to compete. It is just a different venue
“I enjoy the people I throw with. I made very good friends over the years. I get to rub shoulders with Pitt State football players. We are normally at each other’s throat, but we get along just fine at track meets.”
One thing remains the same: Petroff wants to win. He knows he has plenty of support from other student-athletes at Northwest.
“Everyone is absolutely rooting for each other,” he said. “It is one of the perks of being part of a small school.”
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