2018 Youth Olympics: Skylar Ciccolini sets U.S. prep javelin record

by Jim Spier

Day 6 in Buenos Aries

Photo courtesy of Jiro Mochizuki

Massive 180-8 throw for Project Javelin standout

This was the final day of the Youth Olympic competition in athletics and a good one for the U.S.

Skylar Ciccolini (Mifflin County, Lewistown, PA), a senior and 3rd-year athlete with the NSAF's Project Javelin, set a National High School Record for the 500-gram Youth javelin on her first throw – 55.07 (180-08).  It was the first time over 180 feet for her with either the 500- or 600-gram (high school and levels beyond) implement.

We watched her on Saturday and she appeared a bit tentative.  It was her first international championship competition and she had a hard time relaxing and getting into her rhythm.  She threw 49.90 (163-08).  And she was not happy with her performance. 

But today was a different story.  Her body language told the story.  She walked around like she owned the place; not cocky, just confident.  She told us later that she told herself to relax (of course, this is what the coaches have emphasized over the years!).  And the result was the “monster” throw.  She finished sixth overall, but only 5-½ inches out of fourth place.  Her series was (180-08, 155-06, 161-11, 174-08).  That’s pretty amazing considering that it’s October 16 and she peaked at the end of June!  The winner, by the way, was a very impressive Greek girl named Elina Tzengko at 202-06 (she had thrown 207-09 on Saturday).

Skylar was extremely happy and excited about her performance.  Being with her in the mixed zone today was in stark contrast to that of Saturday.  And that’s what happens when you get the jitters out of your system at your first international championship.  She said that she is really looking forward to the outdoor season (less than 6 months away).   We all expect big things from her in 2019.

General Impressions of the Youth Olympic Games

Aside from having no press tribune at the track stadium and being limited to only the mixed zone (and not being permitted anywhere in the stadium except for the press seats), it was a very good experience.

After the track and field competition had finished each day, we visited other events as time permitted: diving, boxing, gymnastics.  All of these certainly had an Olympic “feel.”   There were concerts each evening at an outdoor stage, and a seemingly infinite number of food trucks and eating options.

The crowds were enormous and the lines to get into the venues were never ending.  In fact, some people waited for hours without ever getting in to see an event.

The volunteers were terrific as usual and the transportation system from the hotels was generally good.  I would highly recommend Buenos Aires as a destination, tourist or otherwise.

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