Saldutto battles back to earn bronze
Sophia Saldutto made a triumphant debut in more ways than one at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations track and field meet in Ottawa earlier this month.
The 17-year-old, Grade 12 student at Notre Dame earned a bronze medal in the senior girls discus and also placed fourth in the javelin.
Normally, those accomplishments are noteworthy on their own, but they become even more impressive considering it was Saldutto’s first time at OFSAA.
The OFSAA championships were cancelled in Saldutto’s Grade 9 and 10 years due to the COVID pandemic and she missed last track season after a suffering a serious knee injury which required surgery.
“I was going into discus hoping to get silver because I knew I wouldn’t beat Julia because she’s crazy (good),” Saldutto said.
Saldutto earned her bronze with a throw of 37.9 metres. Julia Tunks of Oakridge took home gold with a throw of 55.62 metres.
Saldutto missed out on bronze in the javelin with a throw of 37 metres, 1.95 metres behind the third place finisher.
“In javelin, I knew it was going to be a fight for the top three,” she said. “There was five of us. I was happy with what I got but I didn’t throw my best so that kind of sucked. If I did, I would have had a medal, but overall I’m pretty happy.”
Saldutto only began training again in January after undergoing surgery last June for a torn meniscus and ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) as well as parts of her LCL (lateral collateral ligament)and MLC (medial collateral ligament).
“It’s been a very long recovery,” she said. “I haven’t been back for that long.”
Saldutto admitted while the rehab was successful — she said the knee doesn’t bother her competing — that doesn’t mean it was a smooth ride.
“There were definitely times when I wanted to give up but I just kept pushing because I wanted to get back and compete again and because I’m trying to get a scholarship to the States,” she said.
Saldutto injured the knee at a javelin training session.
“I could tell right away,” she said. “When it happens its not painful. It’s just a pop and its painful afterwards.”
Saldutto was well acquainted with the knee injuries after watching older sister Sarah Saldutto go through a similar situation.
“In Grade 11, she did the same thing but it was worse. She hasn’t competed in a while and is still rehabbing.”
Her older brother Callan Saldutto is also a thrower on scholarship to the University of Louisiana Monroe and is in the process of transferring.
“I haven’t got something completely lined up yet,” she said. “I’m still trying to. I might take a gap year.”
Sophia Saldutto, who is off to the US High School Nationals in Philadelphia this week, trains with the York University Track and Field Club as well as occasionally with the Thorold Elite Track Club where mom Kelly Saldutto coaches her in javelin.
Dear reader. If you liked this story or one of the 5,100 other stories found on our website, please consider hitting the Support Us button on the right-hand side of our home page and making a PayPal contribution to our website. Your support would be much appreciated. If you are a business owner, please consider advertising on our site. Our rates are reasonable and we provide plenty of exposure for your business. Contact email@example.com for more information.