Wheeling University assistant athletic trainer Jessica Battilochi is about to embark on her first international athletic competition with Team USA Wrestling at the 2019 Pan American games.
Battilochi will join the USA U15 wrestling team in Panama City, Panama, from Oct. 29–Nov. 4, where she will serve as an athletic trainer.
Although this will be Battilochi’s first international competition, she credits a 2018 trip to Beijing as a crucial step in her preparation for this dream opportunity.
“In December of 2018, I traveled to China with the USA Senior Women’s Freestyle Wrestling Team to serve as their athletic trainer for a 10-day training camp,” says Battilochi.
“It was a very unique opportunity for our athletes, many of whom aspire to compete in the Olympics, to train hard with the Chinese team almost every day. It was cool to see both teams train and push each other to get better, despite the language barriers.”
In the spring of 2018, Battilochi applied for a volunteer position with USA wrestling, which led to her Beijing opportunity. She believes her experience during the Beijing training camp and the relationships she formed with USA wrestling coaches and staff led to her being chosen for this competitive opportunity at the Pan Am games.
Her responsibilities in Panama will include helping the USA U15 athletes prepare for and recover from competition through manual therapy, stretching and other conditioning techniques, as well as tending to any injuries that may occur.
“I’m excited to get my first international competition experience as an athletic trainer,” says Battilochi. “I’m hoping to do well and be invited back by the team for more competitions in the future. Obviously, I hope Team USA leaves Panama City with plenty of medals and a team title!”
“As part of our continued commitment to service, for and among others, we encourage our staff to engage in community projects both near and far,” noted Ginny Favede, university president. “The university provides mission and community leave that affords our employees the opportunity to give back as part of their commitment to serve under our university mission.”
Battilochi, a 2013 graduate of Wheeling University, has served as the assistant athletic trainer at Wheeling since fall 2017. Battilochi has worked with the wrestling, rugby, women’s lacrosse, women’s soccer, baseball and men’s basketball teams at WU. During her tenure as assistant trainer, the Wheeling Cardinals wrestling team earned the 2018 national runner-up ranking in NCAA Division II.