Long-time rivals and javelin All-Americans Curtis Thompson and Chris Mirabelli made their highly anticipated 2019 debuts Saturday, and both enjoyed exceptional days.
Thompson is a graduate of Florence and Mirabelli Holy Cross. They have battled head-to-head at the conference, county, sectional, state, national and international level since first facing each other in the spring of 2011.
You can read about the history of their long-running rivalry here.
Thompson, the 2016 NCAA champ for Mississippi State and Olympic Trials runner-up, had an injury-plagued 2017 and competed only sporadically last year.
He opened his senior year by throwing 248-9 at the Al Schmidt Bulldog Relays Invitational at his home track in Starkville.
That’s the No. 1 throw by a U.S. thrower early on this outdoor season.
Thompson placed second to teammate Anderson Peters, the NCAA champ, national record holder from Grenada and world #23-ranked thrower last year.
He recorded the 248-9 on his first throw of the competition but had a very consistent series. He followed the 248-9 with throws of 244-10 and 237-9 in the trials and after opening the finals with a foul he finished by throwing 239-5 and 240-2.
Peters threw 271-1 for the win. Peters and Thompson are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the early going in the NCAA Division 1 javelin rankings.
Thompson competed in only two meets last year, although he did win the USATF national title with a season-best 249-3 throw.
Mirabelli, however, threw Saturday for the first time in two years. The Rutgers senior, who red-shirted last year and didn’t compete, threw 237-2 to win the South Florida Bulls Invite in Tampa.
In his first meet in 21 months — since the 2017 Olympic Trials, where he was eighth — he recorded his best throw since a month before that, when he won the Big Ten meet at Penn State with a 246-7.
Mirabelli only got off three legal throws, but any of them were good enough to win over teammate Greg Harnett, a Rutgers junior. Mirabelli threw 218-0 and 229-3 on his first and third throws of the trials with a foul in between. After opening the finals with two more fouls, he popped his 237-2 to finish.
Thompson’s PR is 271-11 from the 2016 Olympic Trials in Eugene, Ore. Mirabelli’s PR is 251-6 from the 2017 Penn Relays.
Mirabelli’s younger brother, Nick, a Rancocas Valley graduate and Texas A&M freshman, threw a PR 234-2 earlier this month https://sjtrackblog.com/2019/03/23/rv-grad-nick-mirabelli-throws-four-javelin-prs-in-college-debut-moves-into-all-time-texas-am-top-10/.
Between the three former BCSL throwers, they are now ranked No. 2, 3 and 5 in NCAA Division 1, with another South Jersey thrower, Cade Antonucci – an Auburn sophomore from Holy Spirit – now at No. 24 with a 217-7 at the Florida State Relays.