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Flud Finishes Fifth at Penn Relays
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2023-05-03

            Tommy Flud Jr. made the most of his opportunity to compete against premium competition on an historic stage. Last week, the Upper Perkiomen standout javelin thrower delivered a quality performance at the Penn Relays.

Grayson Riggins competes in the 110 high hurd-

les event.

           The senior finished fifth in the High School Boys' Javelin Throw Championship on Thursday, April 27 at Franklin Field in Philadelphia. The second-ranked thrower in Pennsylvania reached a distance of 194 feet, 3 inches, finishing just two inches short of third place.

            "Tommy did everything he could to try to win," head coach Clayton Mowrer said. "I was very happy with his mindset."

            Flud became the first participant from the high school in seven or eight years, according to Mowrer. The coronavirus pandemic canceled the 2020 event, where Tyrese Reid was slated to compete in the 200 meter dash.

           "I performed very well," said Flud, who qualified for the event last year. "There's not much more I could have asked myself to do."

            Mowrer described the Penn Relays as the closest experience possible to the PIAA championships. The top six finishers all exceeded 193 feet.

            Flud, who finished seventh in the PIAA Class 3A championships last season, tossed a personal best 201 feet on April 15 at the 2nd Annual Coach Ron Livers Viking Invitational at Perkiomen Valley High School. The coach described the accomplishment as similar to running a four-minute mile.

            "Everyone starts paying attention to you after that," Mowrer said.

            Another Upper Perk athlete, ninth grader Grayson Riggins, has excelled in the 110 meter high hurdles. Riggins is one-tenth of a second off the district qualifying time, according to Mowrer.

            Riggins set a personal best time of 15.65 seconds on April 12 against Pottstown. It remains the fastest time among all ninth graders in PIAA Class 3A.  "I've been waiting for the number to fall," the coach said. "But it hasn't."

            Mowrer described Riggins, at 6-foot-3, as a natural at the event. The coach said Riggins will likely compete for a medal in the Pioneer Athletic Conference Championships later this month.  "He's got all the tools," Mowrer said.

            The coach said that the first time he saw Riggins complete the race in practice this season – with minimal instruction – he knew the ninth-grader would be ver good.
            "We'll try to get him some high-level coaching," Mowrer said.

            According to the coach, Riggins has held his own this season against a handful of competitive 11th and 12th graders. Mowrer said he usually dominates his classmates and 10th graders.

            Last weekend, Riggins breezed to a gold medal at the 9th and 10th Grade Pottsgrove Invitational. His winning time of 15.89 seconds was 1.5 seconds faster than Jahiem Pratt, a sophomore from Pottstown (17.31), and more than three seconds faster than Evan Ainge, a ninth grader from Boyertown (19.2).


 

 

 

 

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