Five questions with Matija Muhar

Editor’s note: Every Wednesday throughout the fall, we’ll catch up with track and field student-athletes and coaches for five questions.

Q: How was the transition coming from another country to the United States your freshman year?

MUHAR: “The transition was tough because I didn’t know anyone but my brother, Jaka. I also didn’t live on campus, so I lived off campus but I did have my brother, which was a positive thing. I really didn’t have any friends my first and second semester outside of the track and field team. But my brother told me that I needed to get involved with groups and talk to people in class. So, I started doing that and it helped me out because I got to know more people. The language barrier was pretty tough, too. But I learned quickly and got used to the English language fast with my brother teaching me. After each semester, I would get more and more comfortable with talking to people, so that has been good.”

Q: What was is like winning the ACC Championships in javelin your first season?

MUHAR: “Well, I won the European Championships before I came and actually got injured that meet. I was a little scared of what that would mean when I came to Virginia Tech. Initially when I moved here, we were going to do surgery right away, but after another look at my shoulder we decided to not do that and just rehab leading up to the season. So, I got a cortisone shot before ACCs and had one good throw that won the title.”

Q: You’ve had to go through two shoulder surgeries. How do you fight through that adversity with a positive attitude?

MUHAR: “I think I got a lot of that from my brother. He was here for like four or five years and he was injured most of the time, unfortunately. He had surgeries on his Achilles and ankles, but he still competed. He said ‘Never give up,’ and I’m hearing that in my head through my own injuries. My folks, coaches and roommates have all helped me and have been supportive. But it was really hard after I got the message that I would need another surgery. The next two days after that news, I was depressed and didn’t want to talk to anyone. I actually broke down and expressed how I felt to my roommates and they understood and made me feel much better, making me have a sense of relief. But the feeling when you are doing something that you like doing, that’s the best. So, with now being back on the track, it’s amazing.”

Q: What are some of the goals you would like to achieve this upcoming season?

MUHAR: “Well, if I could, I would like to compete. I would also like to have my eligibility for three more years. If there are any setbacks in the next few months, since I’m coming back from the surgery, I will take another year to rehab and fully recover. Then I would compete in 2019.”

Q: You have been tabbed on the ACC All-Academic team previously. Why is academics high on your agenda?

MUHAR: “Basically when I come home from practice, I usually do my homework right away so I don’t forget. I don’t like to study during the day, so I study in the night. And then in the morning when I need to, because I like to sleep (laughing). Also, we have great professors here and they have helped me along the way as well.”

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