Maura Fiamoncini has been progressing as a javelin thrower ever since she decided to go out for Mount Carmel’s track and field team as a freshman in high school.
The multi-sport athlete first stood out to most locals on the baseball diamond, playing at a high caliber in little league and then as a junior high softball player. But, instead of pursing softball at the varsity level, Fiamoncini decided to give track and field a try.
She said giving the sport a try was something she always thought about and now, as a two-time Second-Team All-American and two-time qualifier for the NCAA Division I Women’s Outdoor Championships as a junior at Bucknell University, it’s safe to say she made the right choice.
Fiamoncini broke Bucknell’s school record in the javelin throw as a freshman by throwing a mark of 184 feet, 5 inches, in her first collegiate event. Last season, she finished ninth in the nation at the NCAA championships, jumping four spots from her 13th-place finish in 2018. And this season, the junior had the bar set even higher.
“My goal this year was to finish in the top eight at nationals, which is the cut-off for being a first-team All-American, and throw the qualifying mark for the Olympic Trials,” Fiamoncini said.
She has put in countless hours training over the offseason in an attempt to reach those goals this season but last week, she found out she would have to wait another year for her collegiate season to take place. Her 2020 season was canceled last week due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“It was upsetting. Originally, spring athletes were suppose to go back to campus and we thought we would have a few more weeks to spend with all of the seniors, so it was upsetting,” she said.
There have been some obvious immediate repercussions for athletes since they heard the news that their season has officially been canceled. One of the toughest, however, are the potential outcomes that have yet to take place, which are still uncertain.
For Fiamoncini, competing in the 2020 Olympic Trials this season is one of those unknowns.
As of late Thursday night, the track and field trials are still scheduled to take place from June 19 to June 28 in Eugene, Oregon. Fiamoncini said that the U.S. will take 24 javelin throwers to fill the field at the trials and that she currently ranks 11th with a mark she previously set at a competition. She added that she’s been getting updates once a week about the trial’s status, but there is uncertainty — not just about the event, but about what she is exactly training for.
“One of the things is that we are not sure if we’re in the offseason or if we’re in-season. Everything is questionable. Nobody really knows,” she said.
Nevertheless, Fiamoncini is trying to train and get better by completing home-workouts that have been provided to her by coaches.
One positive the student-athlete has taken from the situation is that the time at home has allowed her to focus on academics. She, along with other Bucknell students, is finishing the semester online for the remainder of the academic year.
The NCAA said last Friday that it has mapped out a plan to provide all spring athletes with eligibility relief, which would allow them to compete in their respective sports another year. The extra year of eligibility for spring athletes was recommended by the NCAA Division I Council Committee and has received lots of support — but that’s all that’s assured.
It has only been a short period of time for spring athletes to consider options, but Fiamoncini — like some of her teammates — are considering graduate school.
Details will be released at a later date, but the eligibility relief is expected to be for spring athletes only and will not be for winter athletes who completed the majority of their seasons.