With incredible determination and countless leaps in the air, graduate student Anthony DiMaulo put together an unforgettable season for Montclair State University Track and Field in 2023.
DiMaulo, who earned Honorable Mention All-NJAC a year ago, improved off his campaign from last season and took second in this year’s New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championships on May 6 with a jump of 7.1 meters, a mark that would extend his season and qualify him for regionals.
Those who qualified for the All-Atlantic Region Track and Field Conference (AARTFC) Championships would travel to Susquehanna University on May 17 and May 18 to compete and from there on, it was the start of a special couple of weeks for the long jumper.
The stage was set for the Red Hawks at Susquehanna University, and DiMaulo felt ready with his team there to support him.
“That day I felt good,” DiMaulo said. “The track was really bouncy, and the weather was okay. We had a lot of teammates there, so it didn’t feel like a small meet. We had people lined up right at the edge of the runway and them watching me, I think gave me confidence. It gave me energy, you see, and everybody was expecting me to do well and I wanted to deliver.”
And he did. DiMaulo stuck to his game plan and received advice from Head Coach Ian Carter during it all.
“I was really trying to steer, it’s called,” DiMaulo said. “I was really trying to get my feet down fast right before the board so I could get on the board and be explosive off the board using my strength. And Coach Carter gave me an excellent cue that day. Instead of jumping horizontal, I kind of project myself more up, that’ll give me more displacement, more distance. And that’s exactly what happened on the first jump, I was horizontal on the second jump, got more vertical, resulted in a PR.”
DiMaulo crushed the competition and became the regional champ in impressive fashion. After hitting 7.2 meters on his first attempt, DiMaulo flew 7.36 meters for a new personal best and beat second place by a comfortable .13 meters. DiMaulo’s performance put him at 14th in the country while climbing 29 spots.
Becoming regional champ meant DiMaulo had a ticket to the national stage and Dimaulo’s 7.36 meter jump also set a Susquehanna University facility record.
There were many emotions running through DiMaulo’s mind after winning the event and he was ecstatic, however, he believes remaining calm will be key for more success in the future.
“I was trying to stay calm because sometimes success can change a person you see, and you’ll start doing things differently than what it took to get there,” DiMaulo said. “And doing what it took to get there is what will take you to the next level. It can be a little bit different, but you don’t want to change is what I’m saying. So I was trying to remain calm, all the praise I was getting, but I was happy. And I heard an athlete once say it’s like a relief because, you know, the work pays off. So feeling that sense of relief and trying to stay calm while enjoying it was nice.”
And while DiMaulo has always been a joy to coach for Carter, he has noticed significant growth since they met in the way he prepares and carries himself.
“I think that it’s one thing to be physically prepared,” Carter said. “You know national competitor, champion, it’s another thing to be mentally prepared and I think Anthony has taken that next step. You see the change in the last couple of years, he truly is trying to be a master of his craft and that’s mentally, physically, spiritually and you know I truly appreciate the opportunity of watching him grow as an athlete and grow as a man.”
The 2023 NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships were held in Rochester, New York from May 25-27 and with DiMaulo attending, Montclair State has now made it three consecutive seasons of having at least one competitor.
In what was DiMaulo’s first NCAA Championship event, he registered a distance of 7.12 meters on his first attempt which was his second furthest of the season. He faulted on his second try and then finished the heat with a 6.93 meter jump. Dimaulo placed fourth in his heat and he missed out on qualifying for finals by just .07 meters.
It was nothing short of an amazing season for DiMaulo as he capped it off with an 11th place finish nationally.
Since conference championships, Coach Carter has spent more time with DiMaulo than ever including going on the trip to Rochester with him. They have developed an even closer relationship, and Carter sees DiMaulo as a key figure in his and the program’s future.
“It was an excellent trip, man honestly,” Carter said. “It doesn’t take much for us to have a great time, we were riding up listening to music you know and the thing with us is it was so different, like we could be having a serious conversation about life and then turn it back on something going on in the world or with the team, me and him, we just connect. And I’ve always liked being with Anthony but I think this year really solidified it. I see Ant being a part of this program’s future and my future for many years to come.”
DiMaulo has another year remaining and his story remains to be written but, he has certainly been flying like a Red Hawk.