Lucciano Pizarro, a Cherokee graduate and Penn State junior, bombed one of the biggest shot puts ever by a New Jersey native Saturday at the Big Ten Championships in Bloomington, Ind.

Pizarro, who came into the meet with a 61-1 ½ PR, uncorked the five best throws of his life with the 16-pound ball, including a 65-0 ¾ on his final attempt to move up from 7th to 4th. That’s the best throw by a Penn State athlete in eight years and No. 4 all-time.

His 65-0 3/4 is No. 17 among U.S. men this year, according to the World Athletics database, and it’s No. 6 in New Jersey history and No. 4 ever by a South Jersey thrower. He took over the Burlington County alumni lead from discus specialist Steve Muse of Kennedy High in Willingboro, who threw 61-8 on March 28, 1987, as a senior at Boise State in a tri-meet against Oregon and Fresno State in Fresno.

Pizarro moved into the No. 15 spot in NCAA Division 1 and No. 6 in the East, which easily qualified him for the NCAA Championships East Prelimins at North Florida’s Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville May 24-27.

Pizarro PR’d with a 62-1 on his 1st attempt and again with a 63-7 ½ on his 2nd. He surpassed 63 feet again on his 3rd throw with a 63-0 ¾ and after fouling to open the finals, he hit 62-11 ¼ on his 5th attempt before the 65-foot bomb to finish.

He averaged 63-4 on his five legal throws, so his average throw went more than two feet farther than his previous personal best.

Pizarro moved into the No. 4 spot on a very strong all-time Penn State list behind two-time Olympic silver medalist Joe Kovacs [69-2 in 2012], 2016 Olympian Darrell Hill [68-5 ¼] and the late 1996 Olympian C.J. Hunter [65-5 in 1990].

All-Time New Jersey Shot Put Alumni Top 10
73-1 ½ … Josh Olayinka Awotunde [Delsea], July 17, Eugene, Ore.
71-5 … Stephen Mozia [Hackensack / Nigeria], July 19, 2016, Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic
67-7 … Nick Vena [Morristown], July 19, 2019, Kutztown, Pa.
67-5 ¾ … Jordan West [Rahway], May 12, 2023, Baton Rouge, La.
66-3 ½ … Braheme Days [Bridgeton], April 23, 2016, La Jolla, Calif.
66-2 ¾ … Jon Kalnas [Paulsboro], May 2, 2008, Princeton
65-0 ¾ … Lucciano Pizarro [Cherokee], May 15, 2023, Bloomington, Ind.
62-11 ½ … Adam Kuehl [Monmouth Reg.], March 24, 2007, Tucson, Ariz.
61-8 ¼ … Steve Muse [Kennedy], March 28, 1987, Fresno, Calif.
60-11… Ray Wilks [Bridgeton], May 15, 1999, Chapel Hill, N.C.

At Cherokee, Pizarro won the 2019 Meet of Champions at Northern Burlington with a 60-11 throw.


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