Berks na­tives com­pete at NCAA Cham­pi­onships

The Southern Berks News - - SPORTS -

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.

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