Saturday, January 16, 2021

Ciccarelli improves on and off track

When Anthony Ciccarelli isn’t hurling metal shots or himself in the air for Plattsburgh State’s track and field team, you can find him helping organizing events like Around the World for Yeardley as a SUNYAC Representative for PSUC’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee or enjoying one of his more recent past times — eating at Griddles. 

The sophomore criminal justice major has been making waves on the track team this year by winning the heptathlon at the All-Atlantic Region Track and Field Championship in Ithaca last month. It took a personal-best in the 60-meter dash of 7.20 seconds and 4,477 total points for Ciccarelli to end up on top.  

Ciccarelli has been running track since his freshman year in high school and has stuck with it since. 

“I love the team aspect,” he said. “I love how I have to work together with my teammates. It is partially individual, so I have to work hard on my own but then also you get your teammates to cheer you on. It’s an awesome atmosphere.”

Ciccarelli initially paid no attention to PSUC as a possible candidate for college in high school; he had his sights set toward schools like Central Connecticut State University and other SUNY schools like Cobleskill.  

“I remember thinking, ‘That’s too far away; I’m not even gonna look,” the Long Island native said, “but then my parents encouraged me to come look. I took a campus tour, and everyone always says about college that there’s that one thing that just clicks.” 

For Ciccarelli, the combination of the campus’ beauty and sense of independence that came from being farther away from home than he has been in the past started to change his opinion toward PSUC. 

“And then I spoke with coach [Nick] Jones, and he said I had a spot on the team, and that just sealed the deal for me,” he said.

Ciccarelli has found one of his biggest supporters since becoming a college student in assistant track and field coach Sarah Bechtel.

“She always has my back, always supportive and motivating,” Ciccarelli said. “Through thick and thin, she gives you a reason to keep going and keep working hard.”

Ciccarelli initially struggled academically his freshman year but has since scheduled time for himself to do class work before practice. Bechtel started helping coach the track and field team last August and was made aware of his past problems with classes and made an effort to check on him often. 

“His marks has really improved from what I heard of him last year,” Bechtel said. “ He wasn’t all up to par, but I think a lot of freshmen have trouble their first year in college. I check on him time to time, but now I just get out of his hair.”

Bechtel has been most impressed by Ciccarelli’s sense of leadership with the team. 

“He’s been stepping up big,” she said. “He’s still a sophomore, but you can really count on him to help out.” 

 Whether it’s helping carry out equipment for the team to use before practice or helping out his teammates, Bechtel says Ciccarelli can be counted on as a helpful presence. 


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