Five questions with Vincent Ciattei

Editor’s note: Every Wednesday throughout the fall, we’ll catch up with track and field student-athletes and coaches for five questions.

Q: What was it like having a breakout year last spring?

CIATTEI: “My redshirt sophomore year I was getting back to full-health, so outdoors was sort of like my first breakthrough – ACC Outdoor Championships specifically. I ran a big PR in the 800 and that was a sign that things were trending in the right direction. But last year, it was my first year of stringing together really consistent training and it showed with my results in indoor and outdoor.”

Q: What is a way you keep your body in check and stay in shape?

CIATTEI: “So, every week we have Tuesday mornings on your own for pool, and I’m a strong proponent in doing it. I missed a lot of meets my sophomore year due to an injury, so the pool was a way for me to have some sort of aerobic development while I couldn’t be running at full-body weight. We all train pretty similarly for cross country, but on the track, obviously some of those cross country athletes will turn around and do the 800, while some will continue running 5K and 10Ks. So, if your body can’t hold up to the cross country type of mileage, then the pool is a really good way to supplement that without all of the pounding on your body.”

Q: You touched on your injury earlier in your career, how did you bounce back?

CIATTEI: “My freshman year I had osteitis pubis, which is caused by imbalances and specifically for me, it was my groin and hip abductors. It took a long time to even get a diagnosis because it bothered me in the spring, but I didn’t get an MRI until I got back to Blacksburg in the fall. The solution was I needed to take a break and then start rehabbing in the pool and utilizing the AlterG (Anti-Gravity Treadmill), which has a belt that seals around your waist with a closed air-bubble where your legs are and you can control how much body weight you want to run at.”

Q: Do you have any superstitions about running?

CIATTEI: “I’m just very superstitious about certain things. So, I’ve started wearing this wristband last year and I take it off before each race. I read it and remind myself (it says iWorkout), like it’s ironic because it’s a rec sports wristband, but at the same time I read it and I’m like ‘wow, okay,’ because everyone gets very nervous before races, psyche themselves out, especially this year because I was finally getting to those big stages that I always dreamed of. So, it just reminds me that the works been put in. Coach [Ben] Thomas always says ‘Control, what you can control,’ and if you do that, you just have to trust your training at that point."

Q: Does it feel pretty crazy that you’re a senior now?

CIATTEI: “Oh yeah. In terms of time wise, everyone says it, it has felt like it has gone by very fast. Looking back at my choice of school during my senior year in high school (his top three were Virginia Tech, Georgetown and Yale), the team titles here is something I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else. That in and of itself, like contributing to those, has made it worthwhile. And, that’s what I’m excited about because I have a chance my final year to be a part of possibly one, two or three more of those this year.”

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