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Sports Article
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Riggins Earns Silver Medal at Districts
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Grayson Riggins defeated his Pioneer Athletic Conference rival last weekend at the District One Class 3A Track championships. However, the standout hurdler gained a new adversary.

            The Upper Perkiomen sophomore captured a silver medal in the 110 meter hurdles on Saturday, May 18, at Coatesville High School. Riggins contended in the 300 meter hurdle event before withdrawing due to a nagging injury. 

Darius Reed, Micah Keller, and Grason Riggins won med-

als at lat weekend's District One Class 3A Track Champ-

ionshipt.  Keller and Riggins will compete in this week-

ends PIAA Championships.

            "I wanted go states in both events," he said.

            This weekend, Riggins will compete in the 110 hurdles at the PIAA Championships, at Shippensburg University. The top-ranked sophomore hurdler in Pennsylvania expects to return to the medal stand.

            "If Grayson runs his best, he's got a great chance to finish in the top three," Indians head coach Clayton Mowrer said.

            Riggins will be joined at states, beginning Friday, by Micah Keller. The Upper Perkiomen junior qualified by earning a gold medal in the wheelchair shot put class. Keller finished 14th overall in the shot put with a throw of 18 feet, 1 1/4 inches.

            Darius Reid posted the only other podium finish for the Indians. He ended up in eighth place in the high jump (6 feet, 1 inch) and added an 11th place showing in the 400 meter dash.

            The freshman's time of 49.6 seconds came in under the state qualifying time.

            "Darius did excellent for a ninth grader," Mowrer said. "He's on the same path as Grayson was last year."

            In the 110 hurdles, Riggins used a strong finish to post a time of 14.47 seconds and pass Pottstown senior Tyrese Washington for second place by one-hundredth of a second. Lucas Band, a senior from West Chester Rustin, finished first with a time of 14.13 seconds.

            "Grayson ran a very good race," Mowrer said. "He came out hot. He was running so fast that he was clipping the hurdles."

               Riggins said he was determined to beat Washington, the defending state champion who defeated him one week earlier at the Pioneer Athletic Conference championships. The Pennsburg resident rallied down the stretch despite displaying sloppy technique.

            "I was happy with my start," Riggins said.

            Riggins toughest challengers at states will likely include Washington, as well as Band, and Tyler Burgess. The junior from Palmyra won the gold medal in both hurdles events at last weekend's District Three Class 3A Championships at Shippensburg University.

            Burgess broke his own school record with a 13.88 second performance in the 110 hurdles. He also set a new district record in the 300 hurdles (36.82 seconds).

            "The field will be very challenging," Riggins said.

            According to the coach, Riggins likely would have contended for the title in his other event. He qualified for the finals in the 300 hurdles by finishing third in his heat with a time of 39.05 seconds, well below the state qualifying time.

            "Grayson didn't push himself at the end of the race," Mowrer said.

            Citing less-than-ideal conditions and a reoccurring physical issue specific to hurdlers, the coach withdrew Riggins from the event. Mowrer said the risk of further injury far outweighed the benefit of allowing him to compete.

            "Grayson was disappointed," the coach said. "But the decision was easy." 

            Samantha Pedrick finished 10th in the pole vault. The junior cleared 10 feet, 6 inches.

            In the pole vault, Theodore Deskevich cleared 12 feet for 13th place.

            Abigail Rowland ended up in 14th place in the 1,600 meter run. The sophomore posted a time of 5:14.81.






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