October 01, 2014
Susquehanna’s athletics program has boasted nearly 70 All-Americans over the course of its history. Eight of those All-Americans have been javelin throwers, all but two of whom received All-America status since 1998. This spring, two more javelin All-Americans were added to the list, Jared Minori ’15 and Gabby Alguire ’17.
There is a clear history of success at Susquehanna in the javelin, but how did Susquehanna get to this level of success in the first place?
Minori and Alguire point to veteran throws coach Cris Delbaugh ’91 and the winning tradition set by the track & field programs as a whole.
Delbaugh’s coaching philosophy, which has translated into the success, can be summed up in a few words. “Hard work, dedication, family and love are what I’ve built everything on,” he says. “I like to push hard to get students to do the best they can.”
Delbaugh may not give himself enough credit for his actual coaching acumen, however. His approach to training his athletes is anything but commonplace.
“I can’t say that I know what everybody else does, but I know that physical conditioning has always been a major aspect of my throwing programs,” he says. “There are days when a thrower might be taking 24 throws plus warm-ups, so the conditioning is good practice for the championships. It ends up helping in the end.”
Two Susquehanna throwers who were undoubtedly aided in the sport by Delbaugh’s coaching are Minori and Alguire. Delbaugh has seen a lot of successful athletes come through the program during his career, and he easily identifies the qualities that make Minori and Alguire successful.
“They share the love of the javelin,” Delbaugh says. “They’re students of the event, and they just work so hard at it. They’re a product of their own desires to do well.”
Next year, there will be even more reason to have confidence in the program’s continued success. Thanks to the support of several generous donors, a javelin runway, complete with a top-ranked Mondo surface, is being installed this fall and will be ready for use in the 2015 outdoor season.
As Delbaugh gets set to embark on his 25th year with the Crusaders, his love and passion for the sport remain at as high a level as when he started. “I just love the atmosphere, the competition,” he says. “I’ve been blessed with great athletes, and I want to coach for as long as I possibly can.”