Girls Field Performer of the Year: Machovec among county's best

Most kids are excited about heading off to college, being on their own and getting away from their parents.

It's a right of passage and Eve Machovec is no different in that respect. But the Dacula senior might be a little more enthused about the idea since she's spent a great deal more time with at least one of her parents than most teenagers. Her dad, David, has also been her throwing coach for her whole life.

They've spent a lot of hours together making Eve into one of the best throwers in Gwinnett County history. Her only competition in that regard might be Brookwood's Mandy Kinney.

Machovec's discus mark of 149 feet, 2 inches at a meet in April ranks third in Georgia's record book (Kinney is sixth). She also moved up to 10th all-time in shot put (Kinney is fifth) with a throw of 44-10 in March.

Machovec, the Daily Post's Field Performer of the Year for the second straight time, won four state titles and eight region championships during her terrific career at Dacula.

She finished with a third state discus crown with a meet record 148-9 last month in Albany and just missed a second title in the shot put. A fault on what would have been a record throw left Machovec, the shot's defending champ, runner-up.

There's no question Eve's work with her dad has been exhaustive and fruitful.

There's also no doubt she is looking forward to a new experience at the University of Georgia with its throwing coach, Don Babbitt.

"I'm really excited for it," Machovec said. "(My dad) is a good coach. But it's kind of like getting away from dad, you know?"

Not surprisingly, Machovec had options when it came to choosing a college.

"I got other (scholarship) offers," she said. "But Georgia was the main place I wanted to go to. It was so ideal for me. The fact that my brother (Israel, also a state champion thrower) was there, too, it just seemed really ideal."

Part of UGA's appeal is its proximity to home. So it's not as though Machovec is trying to get very far away from her parents. A little distance can go a long way.

Eve laughs when asked if Babbitt and her dad have different styles of coaching.

"Oh, definitely," she said. "Part of it is just because he's my dad, too. He'll stay on me to do stuff and then it's just like, 'This deals with throwing, not that stuff, you know, that happened last night at the house.' You know what I mean? Stuff like that. It's like, hey, chill out. Oh! But never tell my dad to chill out, by the way.

"(Babbitt) just has a different way of coaching. If you're not having a great day, it's not like, oh, it's the end of the world. It's just like, OK, we'll pick it up tomorrow."

After the state meet, Machovec took two days off before getting back to practice with her dad.

On the third day, Machovec asked if she had to throw that day. The answer was not a huge surprise, but Machovec still heaved a sigh at the "yes."

"And he said, 'You go two days and you get an attitude with me,'" Machovec said. "I'm like, 'OK, all right, I'll throw, it's fine. I don't throw for another three weeks from now and I still throw every day."

She'll be competing in two meets this summer and then reporting to Athens, where Machovec expects her schedule to be a little less hectic.

"I think it's going to be really laid back for me," Machovec said. "Because I won't be playing three different sports (volleyball, basketball and track) in one year. I'll just be able to focus on track.

"When I went on my official visit, I got to see how the day goes. Everybody goes to classes in the morning, you go to your workouts and then you have the rest of your night to yourself. You don't have to go home, clean, do homework, all that stuff. It's pretty laid back.

"I am so looking forward to that."

However excited Machovec is about going, she still cherishes the memories from high school and appreciates everything her dad did to help her succeed.

"I do want to thank my dad for coaching me all these years," she said with another smile.

His work, after all, pushed her to the elite level, where scholarships allow you to leave home.

SideBar: Girls All County Track and Field

Runner of the Year: Amanda Winslow, Collins Hill, Jr.

Class AAAAA state champ in 1,600 and 3,200

Field Performer of the Year: Eve Machovec, Dacula, Sr.

Discus state champion and shot put runner-up in Class AAAA

Coaches of the year: Andrew Hudson and James Ramsey, Collins Hill

Led Eagles to county, region and state championships

100: Taren White, Grayson, Soph.

Third at state, region and county champ

200: Taren White, Grayson, Soph.

Fifth at state, region and county champ

400: Symone Glover, Collins Hill, Jr.

Fifth at state, region and county champ

800: Nicky Akande, Collins Hill, Soph.

AAAAA state champ, first at county and region

1,600: Nicole Dimercurio, North Gwinnett, Jr.

County champion, third at region

3,200: Allyson McGinty, Collins Hill, Sr.

Second at state, region and county

100 hurdles: Imani Ellis, Collins Hill, Sr.

Second at state, region and county champ

300 hurdles: Imani Ellis, Collins Hill, Sr.

Second at state, region and county champ

Long jump: Jessica Tuggle, GAC, Soph.

Second at state

Triple jump: Tiffany Clarke, Norcross, Jr.

AAAAA state champ, first at region and county

High jump: Anne Marie Armstrong, Wesleyan, Jr.

AA state champ, first at region and county

Discus: Creeann Perkins, Shiloh, Soph.

Eighth at state, Region 8-AAAAA champ, second at county

Shot put: Ashley Razey, Buford, Sr.

AA state champ

Pole vault: Kara Ashley Dobbs, Grayson, Sr.

Third at state, first at region and county