Berks natives compete at NCAA Championships
Penn State junior Morgan Shigo (Blandon native, Fleetwood graduate) walked into his first NCAA Championships on Wednesday, June 6, and left with First Team All-America honors with his sixth-place finish in the men’s hammer throw at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Ore.
“I had four throws over 70 meters, I couldn’t ask for a better day,” Shigo said. “The last time the men’s hammer throw will be at Historic Hayward Field, it is cool to go out as an All-American.”
Competing in the first flight, Shigo opened up with a toss of 232-10 (70.97), which was four centimeters shy of his personal-best toss of 233-0 (71.01) set earlier this year. With his three attempts in the books, Shigo had to wait to see where he would stand after the second flight of throwers. After the second flight, Shigo’s mark of 232-10 held up as the sixth-best mark, which qualified him for the finals.
On his fourth attempt, Shigo bested his own school record with a toss of 2378, which moved him to fourth after four rounds of throws. He then fouled his fifth attempt and then on his sixth, and final, throw he recorded a personal-best toss of 237-9 to finish sixth overall.
With his finish on Wednesday, Shigo recorded the highest finish for Penn State in the men’s hammer throw since Al Jackson finished fifth in 1976.
Making her NCAA Championships debut on Thursday, junior Steph Sievers, a Daniel Boone graduate, finished 22nd in the women’s javelin throw with her toss of 144-4. Through she wasn’t thrilled with her finish, Sievers is already looking forward to the 2019 NCAA Championships with more of her teammates with her.
“As a competitor you are always wanting more unless you hit a personal-best you can’t be completely satisfied,” Sievers told the Penn State athletics website. “At the end of the day I am thankful for great teammates to keep me going and now I get to enjoy the rest of the meet and cheer them on.
“Going into next year I know that we have a lot of people in my mind that are right on the bubble that can do it, they just have to show up to regionals and we all will be there,” Sievers added. “For me, I can now describe to them my experience of being here and knowing that getting here is no different than anything else. You go out there and are competing with everyone, they may seem like they are so much better, but I think that it is reality and not some big dream is really helpful.”
Fellow Daniel Boone graduate Xavier Smith capped his career with a third trip to the NCAA Championships. His 4x100 relay team was 14th after preliminaries and did not advance to the finals.