Thursday, May 19, 2016

Jillian Kilmer signs with Sacred Heart for track and field

Jillian Kilmer at her signing Thursday at St. Paul Catholic High School. From left to right
are coaches Jim Husbands (track and field), Meaghan Pattani (track and field) and Joe Mone (basketball).
For senior track and field standout Jillian Kilmer, Sacred Heart University is the next closest thing to St. Paul.
Kilmer, who also had interest from Mount St. Mary's in Maryland and even a school as far away as Florida, went on a visit to Sacred Heart and fell in love with the school. 
"I really thought it was a good fit," Kilmer said. "It's like a bigger St. Paul."
Central Connecticut and Southern Connecticut state universities were also interested, but Kilmer's heart was set on Sacred Heart, the private Catholic school located in Fairfield.
On Thursday, Kilmer committed to the Pioneers when she signed a National Letter of Intent in front of family, friends and coaches from her three sports -- track, basketball and soccer.
"I can't wait!" Kilmer said. "It's going to be great. I love it."
Kilmer was truly appreciative of the support she has, not only Thursday, but during her lowest points while dealing with a torn ACL in her left knee. 
Sacred Heart wasn't scared away by the torn ACL. Kilmer did miss most of her basketball and track senior seasons, but she amazingly qualified for the state class meet recently in track in two different events while putting most of the pressure on her right knee.
"I was going to the gym a month after surgery and working out on the elliptical," Kilmer said, which gives an example of her determination. That will only help her at the Division I level.
For Kilmer, the biggest obstacle with the injury was a mental one. The injury occurred during the annual Rybczyk Memorial basketball tournament in Plainville last December. Kilmer walked off and said she begged head coach Joe Mone to put her back in. Mone told her she needed to get the knee checked out.
"It's always a possibility (torn ACL), but it wasn't the first thing I thought of," Kilmer said.
Kilmer, who has always been a great athlete at St. Paul, goes to physical therapy two days per week.
"It can't stop me," Kilmer said with a laugh.
Kilmer stood out in track, especially during the heptathlon at the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London.
"There are way more people competing from all over the state, and they are my motivation," Kilmer said.
High jump is Kilmer's favorite event.
Kilmer has every intention of doing well at Sacred Heart. As long as she's healthy, more excellence from her would be no surprise at all.

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