February 9, 2015 10:41PM
By Sean Krofssik
WALLINGFORD — Sheehan senior shot-putter Michaela Mendygral has been a force in the circle throughout her high school career. The well-decorated thrower intends to bring that same intensity to the Division I college level.
The two-time state champ recently inked a National Letter of Intent to attend Bucknell University.
“It’s a big commitment, but I’m excited about it,” Mendygral said. “I look forward to competing, working and lifting at that high level. It will be something new, but I’m ready for that challenge.”
Mendygral burst onto the scene as a Class M indoor shot put champ as a sophomore. Last spring, as a junior, she threw 38 feet, 8 inches to claim the Class MM outdoor title.
Last Friday, Mendygral finished a disappointing second in the SCC championships. She has title expectations for the CIAC postseason, which begins this weekend with the class meets at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven.
“It’s been a difficult season for me,” Mendygral said at the SCC finals. “I’m a senior and I’m trying to push myself and I get nervous. I have to live up to my expectations and have fun with it. I don’t want to let myself down. That’s the most important thing to me. I want to reach my goals.”
Mendygral’s best toss this winter has been 37 feet. She is hoping to get back up to where she was last spring when she threw that career-best 38-8 at the outdoor Class MM meet.
Sheehan coach Charles Farley said Bucknell is getting the real deal in Mendygral.
“It’s a great school,” Farley said. “I think she will fit in very well there. The coach is excited to have her. She is absolutely one of the best throwers in the state and Bucknell is getting a very good athlete.”
Mendygral had other options, but after a visit to the Lewisburg, Pa. school, she felt at home.
“It’s going to be a challenge with some good competition and some hard workouts,” Mendygral said. “I didn’t know where to go. I wanted to compete in track in college and finding something with my major was important. I went to the visit and I thought the school was good for me. It had everything that I wanted.”
Another draw to Bucknell was having a former teammate at the school. Sheehan grad Tara Lee is now in her junior year with the Bisons. Lee was also a state champion shot-putter for the Titans before moving on to Bucknell.
“I talked to her a little about it,” Mendygral said. “She loves it and I liked it myself, and that was most important thing. But it will be nice knowing someone. She knows me and I know her and it’s pretty awesome to be together again. She has always been my mentor when I was a freshman and she was a senior at Sheehan.”