The Savic family was driving along I-75 in Ohio, working their way back toward Windsor, when Milan Savic looked at his son Milos and smiled.
“We were at a track meet in Akron and then we drove back to Windsor for a volleyball game in the same day,” Milos Savic explained. “He said, ‘I thought I was done with that. It looks like we’re doing this again.’
“It’s kind of brought my dad some nostalgia.”
It, being the busy slate that is Milos Savic’s life.
When you approach Savic to engage in conversation, you half expect him to tell you he doesn’t have time.
And really, that wouldn’t be a lie.
A CIS bronze medallist in the pole vault last year for the Windsor Lancers, the sport he intends to specialize in beyond university, the fourth-year student decided to add what he describes as his favourite sport, volleyball, to his repertoire this season, playing as a left side hitter with the Lancer men’s team.
Most days, he’d practise twice. Sometimes, it was three times a day.
Lancers setter and Savic’s good friend Blase Wasser convinced him to return to his first sporting love.
“He said it would be sweet if you were on the team,” Savic said. “I tried out, made it. It was my last chance to be in an actual team sport.”
As much as the Lancers, who play host to the OUA track and field championships this weekend at the St. Denis Centre, strive to create the team environment within their squad, it just can’t emulate the atmosphere created by teammates working together toward the same objective.
“I’ve always had a huge passion for volleyball,” Savic said. “Not playing it for four years, I really wanted to get back into it. I kind of missed having a locker room with the boys, travelling as a team.
“At the university, we take track as a team sport and the team spirit is beyond any school I’ve seen. At the end of the day, it is track and field and you’re going against heights and yourself.”
That’s especially evident in pole vault, as specialized an individual pursuit as there is in track.
“You basically fail every time, because even if you do better, you wish you would have done even better,” Savic said. “Vault is something else. Track itself is a different sport but vault itself is a sub category.
“It’s real stressful on the body and it’s very technical. At the end of the day I’d say it’s 90% mental. You have the strength, you have the speed, but it’s putting all those little components together on the day in that split second. So it is hard on the mind.”
Savic, a Herman grad who owns a personal best of 4.71 metres in the vault, also competes in the heptathlon. “That’s just for (team) points,” he explained. “I don’t even train for it.”
Away from playing surfaces, he’s earned his degree in visual arts and communications, media and film.
“I’m a little more on the production side,” Savic said. “I film and edit for the university. I have my own side business.”
Yeah, he’s a busy guy, but Savic figures it’s all worth it, because come next year, he’ll be all about the pole vault.
A dual Canadian-Serbian citizen, Savic vaulted for Serbia in the Balkan Games last summer.
“It is a little tougher, but adding a third thing, another sport, was good for me,” Savic said. “It was to kind of get my mind off pole vault for a while, because it is a stressful event, doing the same thing over and over.
“It is nice to step away for a bit and try other things.”