It was just a normal practice in the middle of the track season when Jersey Shore’s Lyndsay Malicky came up with a plan to get out to hurdle practice.
Malicky is like most people. She doesn’t want to run around in the heat and thought about how she could get out of her workout. The thought of throwing the javelin quickly crossed her mind, and before she knew it, she would get out of running practice.
Her first season of throws didn’t go well. Her long throws fell somewhere between 50 and 60 feet. What started as a way to get out of running practice quickly grew into a passion for Malicky as she dedicated her summer to getting better with the javelin.
“I was doing hurdles and to be honest I just wanted to get out of doing the running workouts all the time,” Malicky said. “I was awful at throwing at first. My coach told me that I could come back and work in the summer. Ever since that summer I never took more than two weekends off.”
Malicky might have wanted to get out of running, but she rarely took time off from the javelin since her first throws. She always had the dream of reaching the PIAA Track and Field Championships, but it was going to take work. She also had her eyes on the school record in the event.
Her senior season progressed with both of those goals looking more and more like something she could accomplish. Her throws of the 50s and 60s were a thing of the past. She topped out at 121 and knew the school record of 132 was looking shorter and shorter for her.
“After that summer of work I came back and threw a 121,” Malicky said. “It was a major PR from being in the weight room and all that stuff. After that, it just kept going from there. I just kept getting better. My school record was 132, and my goal was to try and beat that and get on the podium. That was really all. It was just those two things.”
Malicky qualified for the PIAA Track and Field Championships as the 12th best thrower in the Class AAA field. It was going to take a personal best and school record to reach her goals. As a senior, it all came down to three throws at Shippensburg University.
Malicky reared back and threw the javelin for the first time at Shippensburg. When it landed, she thought it might have been a pretty good distance. Little did she know at the time it was going to be a personal record and good enough for the fourth longest throw in the state for 2018.
“My first throw is always my best,” Malicky said. “I knew that if I didn’t get it on my first throw, I wasn’t going to get it. I could just feel my arm had been much faster than it was in the past. Just to feel that and see it. I went crazy.”
As Malicky celebrated the school record and goal being reached, she quickly settled down to watch some of the other competitors. It was the longest moment of her competitive life as she still had to watch the second flight of throwers.
As she sat there and cheered on her competitors, but at the same time hoped her throw would hold, Malicky had a chance to reflect on her journey to becoming the best javelin thrower in Jersey Shore history.
“It’s great because it was three years in the making,” Malicky said. “I started as a sophomore, and that was my main goal the whole time. My first throw was 55 feet. I was stuck at 50 and 60 feet for a long time. To get here is really awesome. Once you get it, you don’t know what to do. I started running around crying. It was awesome.”
Malicky’s long throw of 134-1 will hang in the history books for at least one year before a new crop of throwers attempt to break it. At the state meet, in boiling heat conditions, Malicky’s long throw held and pushed her into the finals of the PIAA Track and Field Championships. She continued to throw and realized her dream, placing fourth and grabbing a state medal.
“After everyone throws you just listen for the call and think is this person going to beat me?” Malicky said. “As soon as I threw that I just started freaking out seeing my javelin in the air. My family was yelling at me, and it was just crazy. I needed that big PR to get up on the podium and then I finished fourth. It was great.”