Ciccolini ends outstanding debut season | News, sports, jobs



Sentinel photo courtesy of Hunter Dyke / Mizzou Athletics
Mifflin County graduate Skylar Ciccolini competes in the 2021 NCAA Track and Field Championships for the University of Missouri. Ciccolini broke the Tigers program record in javelin throwing earlier this season and qualified for the 2021 Olympic Trials in their outstanding debut season.

COLUMBIA, Mo – No matter where the sport of track and field Skylar Ciccolini has taken, she has had great success, and it comes as no surprise that her freshman season in a Tigers uniform was unforgettable.

The Mifflin County graduate had a stellar redshirt freshman campaign at the University of Missouri that not only broke the school’s javelin record, but also made her one of the best in the nation en route to the NCAA meeting at historic Hayward Field made in Eugene, Oregon.

Ciccolini threw well enough to reach the final, but an injury prevented her from making her final throws. Ciccolini finished ninth in the nation as a freshman and received the Second Team All-American Honors for their efforts with a throw of 176 feet (2 inches).

“It was definitely not that great” Ciccolini said he struggled through a gnawing back injury that crept in after the SEC championships. “I was satisfied with the three litters and of course I had to stop. My goal for the day was to reach the final. I knew I wouldn’t do all of my throws, so I was happy with what I could achieve at the meeting. “

It was a unique experience for Ciccolini to compete in Eugene at Hayward Field, where several USATF championships, Olympic trials and NCAA events were held.

“It was such a cool atmosphere” said Ciccolini. “It was very exciting to be at Hayward Field and to be able to attend such a high level meeting. I think the experience was really beneficial. Hopefully this will only help me get better in the years to come. “

Missouri’s trainer Brett Halter was delighted with Ciccolini’s tenacity, which enabled her to reach a top 10 finish.

“Skylar has got us off to a great start and I know their teammates are inspired [by her]” Halter said “Your performance is one of the bravest NCAA championship endeavors I’ve seen in my time at Mizzou. A top 10 placement and All-American awards is an amazing feat given the deep pain she was in. Skylar’s courage will add to an already wild, competitive armor that she will take with her into future championships. “

Ciccolini plans to use the meeting as a learning experience that she believes can only help her develop as she has been able to excel despite battling pain.

“It gives me a lot of hope and excitement for the future if I can get well.” She said. “I now know how to throw and how to compete in a less than ideal situation. When I can hopefully achieve 100 percent again, I’ll be excited to see what can happen. “

Ciccolini stormed the stage with the Tigers from the start, breaking the school record at the event with a throw of 56 meters (183 feet, 9 inches) at the War Eagle Invitational at Auburn University, beating her teammate Sophia Rivera. who could not compete in 2021 due to injury.

“I was very happy with the grades and it’s really exciting for the group”, said Ciccolini. “I can see that this school record will be called into question in the next few years. My training partner had the previous school record and was out this year due to an injury. When everyone competes again next year I am really excited to see that because I think it will be a great way for everyone to push themselves.

“I am very fortunate to have a great group of training partners”, She added. “I have so much confidence in the training programs my trainer puts together for us. Since we’re in such a high-profile group, we keep pushing each other and that’s what I wanted. I think the only way to get better is by stepping out of your comfort zone and finding people who are better than you in many ways. “

With her record-breaking throw, Ciccolini exceeded the Olympic Trial standard of 54.00 meters, but was unable to throw on Friday due to an injury.

“I’ve had back problems since our conference, and the closer the national team got, the worse it got.” said Ciccolini. “I have a really good sports medicine group and athletics department coach because I believe it was their job that allowed me to even throw at national championships. I was pretty crazy after the regional meeting and really didn’t train in the week and a half leading up to the national celebration. I was just trying to rest, to do my best, to compete. “

While the 2020 Olympics were postponed for a year, Ciccolini had a chance to qualify, but her goal was always 2024. Qualifying for the exams gave Ciccolini an opportunity for a dress rehearsal as her long-term goal is the 2024 Olympic team.

“I’m going through the process because it’s a very different meeting and feeling. My coaches and coaches and I decided after the international match that I would not throw. “ said Ciccolini. “After talking to a couple of doctors there really was no question – I wasn’t going to throw.

“Even before COVID and the games were postponed by a year, the focus was always on 2024.” Ciccolini added. “This year the plan was always to go and see what exams are like and get a feel for when I’ll be back in a few years. Hopefully I’ll be able to get into the team in earnest. “

With the Olympic Games just around the corner, Ciccolini’s greatest goal is to get back to 100 percent and gradually work towards this goal.

“Forming the team in 2024 is a goal. At the moment the goal for me is to find out how to get well. “ said Ciccolini. “That is the main goal and the focus. In order to create the team, I have to throw over 60 meters, in other words long-term, that’s the next goal. “

Overall, despite the circumstances, Ciccolini is happy with how her debut season went.

“I’m very excited. I think even though I’m not completely healthy and don’t have to compete this weekend, I’m really happy with where I am.” said Ciccolini. “The future looks really bright, especially with the group we have (in Missouri). As a team, I’m really excited to see what we can do. I think the next year can be really special. “

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