Mikayla Pivec stands out again

Freshman Mikayla Pivec throws a javelin at the OSU home High Performance track meet. A week and a half after completing a season on the OSU women’s basketball team, Pivec talked to the track and field head coach about getting a spot on that team.

Division-I athlete excels in two sports: track and basketball

A true athlete has the power to make a statement with the character they exude, the passion they have developed and the effort they have worked their whole lives to build. Freshman Mikayla Pivec has done so on the basketball court and now on the track.

Mikayla has proven her dominance during basketball season, when she earned herself a PAC-12 conference championship title and has continued to build her name throwing javelin.  

Mikayla threw 134-4 meters at her first meet, then beat her personal record the following weekend of 142-4 at the Oregon Twilight Meet in Eugene. Mikayla followed up the next weekend at the PAC-12 meet where

she threw 138-5.

 “I actually didn’t know she threw javelin, but now that I do, I can honestly say I wasn’t surprised. As an athlete, Mikayla is capable of doing anything she sets her mind to and javelin didn’t seem like something she wouldn’t be able to handle on top of basketball,” Janessa Thropay, Mikayla’s teammate on

the basketball team, said.

Just a week and a half after basketball season was over, Mikayla talked to the head track coach in the hope they were looking for more bodies. Mikayla had a week of spring break to visit home, her parents and her sister, who was her workout partner and live-in best friend, to talk about it together.

“I did track in high school and in the back in my mind I was thinking if it worked out I would love to throw javelin again. I did distance running in high school, but I am retiring the shoes,” Mikayla said. “My sister was running track at home and that sparked my interest. I started working out for three weeks prior to my first meet.”  

According to Mikayla, her family has always supported her decisions and pushed her to become the athlete that she is. Alumnus of the University of Washington, athlete and Pivec’s father, Mike Pivec, went to all of Mikayla’s sporting events and drove her to all of her practices.

“Whenever it would get tough, my dad would always tell me to keep pushing through.  He would always be my rebounder and my workout partner at home,” Mikayla said.

Mikayla played a sport every season in middle school and high school, and there were times she was playing multiple clubs and travel sports at a time. Eventually she had to start eliminating sports and narrow it down to what she wanted to pursue in college.

“She followed basketball which is her favorite thing to do and everything else kept her in shape and gave her an opportunity to spend time with her sister and friends. Basketball is something that she hopes to play beyond college” Mike said.

According to Mikayla, there are a lot things it takes to become an athlete and overcoming obstacles is one of them. Fortunately, she has not had to deal with many long-term injuries, however mental obstacles can be just as demanding as physical ones.

“In high school, we won one state title my junior year, but my sophomore and senior season we lost in the state championship,” Mikayla said. “My junior year, it was a really exciting experience, so we worked all summer and the whole year and our only focus was to help the team repeat, but sometimes it doesn’t work out, but you just have to use it as fuel for the future.”

Mikayla reports to a military conditioning class at 6:15 a.m. and then continues to attend classes, go to practices and go to Dixon Recreation Center for some extra work afterwards.  According to Thropay, Mikayla’s success is due to her amazing work ethic.

“She does not only do so many things that the average person would have an anxiety attack, but she does all of those things well and to the best of her ability. She doesn’t know how to give less than 100

percent,” Thropay said.

According to Mike, when it came down to choosing a college, she was looking at Oregon State University, University of Washington and Stanford.  

“Every day that I drive 15 miles past University of Washington and still have 250 miles to go visit her, I think about ‘Should I have convinced her to go closer?’ But she chose Oregon State because she really believed in the coaching staff and the direction of the program,” Mike said. “I would love to see her every weekend because she is one of my best friends and I miss her, but I know that in Corvallis she is growing up.”

According to family and friends, Mikayla is so much more than a hard worker and skilled athlete. There are a lot of great students in the PAC-12 and a lot of skilled athletes and she is working hard at maximizing what separates herself from the rest.

“Mikayla’s personality is one of the sweetest, most genuine and pure personalities out there,” Thropay said. “She has done great balancing both so far and I’m sure she will be consistent in that, just like she is

in everything else.”

Mikayla has stayed in touch with her father and continues to be inspired by the talented  athletes that surround her and her future

success to come.

“I am proud of the person she is becoming,” Mike said. “I know that she is going to work hard and try to be as good as an athlete and teammate as she can be, but the steps she is taking in other areas like her academics and throwing javelin are allowing her to take advantage of the full college experience.”

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