The Slippery Rock University outdoor track team is coming off an eventful weekend at West Virginia University. The Rock took place in the WVU Mountaineer Showcase and brought back 24 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) marks and four NCAA provisional marks.
Of those participating, senior JJ Ollio continued to dominate in the discus and shot put and broke his previous school record in the discus throw. Ollio recorded a 53.43-meter throw to win the discus, as well as record his career-best and the top mark at The Rock. Ollio beat his old record from last spring of 52.81 meters. His throw also moved him up from 17 to 11 among Division II athletes this season. Ollio would also go on to win the shot put with an NCAA mark of 16.40 meters.
“I hope it is. With track, everything builds on each other; all the lifting, all the practice, all the reputation is building up and I’m hoping this is just a preview of what can happen,” Ollio said.
Ollio’s career at The Rock is coming to a close with the PSAC and NCAA Championships just around the corner.
“JJ has developed into quite a leader for our team. A lot of times there are some cases where your best athletes aren’t necessarily the ones you want the others to follow. But in JJ’s case, he is very hardworking, very committed in doing his best as a thrower and he is a great teammate and likes to help others. We are definitely going to miss him,” head caoch John Papa said.
Since Ollio has come to Slippery Rock, he has recorded a ton of career highlights, which are as follows: 17-time PSAC Championship qualifier, an eight-time all-PSAC honoree, seven-time USTFCCC all-region selection, two-time national qualifier, PSAC field athlete of the week, and PSAC Spring Top 10 in 2018.
Ollio has also been named a PSAC Scholar Athlete and a Division II Athletics Directors Association academic achievement award recipient.
As Ollio closes his career, he is planning on using this week as a training week in preparation of the PSAC Championships.
Depending on where he finishes in rankings for discus and shot put, the opportunity for Ollio to go to the National Championships in Texas from May 23-25 is a possibility.
Currently Ollio sits with the 11th best mark from the discus and the 33rd best mark in shot put against all other Division II athletes; however, being that he recorded his best mark so close to the end of the season, he has a better chance to make the tournament as not many people will move around in the rankings.
“I think that this point is pretty good; it’s not a guarantee, but it’s pretty solid,” Papa started. “Next weekend there are a lot of conference championships, so a lot of guys have their best throws this time of year. So, we are hoping he has some more.”