Liggitt shines at ASD meet
Zachery Liggitt has only been throwing discus and shot put for a couple years. And he’s already one of the best in the league and district at both events.
Not only did the Northampton senior win both events Friday at the Allentown School District Invitational, but in the process he also established himself as the person to beat in the upcoming league and district championships.
“Right now I’m first in the district for both,” he said after receiving his second gold medal. “I didn’t think I was going to (throw a personal record) because of the conditions, but it was a pretty good day. I think the competition and the field that we had with all these good throwers, it pushed me to throw farther.”
Liggitt was one of two Northampton gold medalists at the meet and one of five that earned medals last Friday on a cool windy day at J. Birney Crum Stadium.
Alexis Barrall (pole vault) also earned a gold medal, while teammates Hannah Flaven, Jared Jackson and Jared Sebesta also made trips to the medal stand.
Liggitt came into the meet seeded at 148 feet in discus. He threw a career best 151-6 to easily beat Wilson’s Camerson Pozar (126-0).
In shot put, Liggitt’s previous best was 47-5. He threw 49-7 1/2 Friday to beat Souderton’s Kyle Jia (45-10).
A three-year varsity football player at Northampton, Liggitt gave up baseball last year to give track and try. He earned top 10 finishes at districts in his first season and now he’s got his sights set on larger goals.
“The school record for discus is 153 (feet),” he said. “For shot I’d like to throw 52 or 53 (feet). State qualifying for shot is 53. State qualifying for disc is also 153, but it just happens to be the school record.”
He attributes his quick success in the sport to Northampton coaches Steve Caffrey (head coach) and John Blick (discus, shot put coach).
“I think I have the best coach in the district,” he said. “Blick and Caf are awesome coaches and it really helps me.”
Barrall, a returning league and district champ in pole vault, was happy with her gold medal but was frustrated was a bit frustrated by winning with a height of just 10 feet. She cleared 9, 9-6 and 10 on her first attempts.
“Honestly, I’m not too happy with how I performed,” said Barrall. “I wanted 10-6 because it was finally a warmer day than we’ve had the past days. I feel like I was very tired when we got to 10-6.”
While the day was warmer, a constant breeze brew across the pole vault pit.
“Wind is literally a pole vaulter’s worst nightmare,” she said. “
Barrall won districts last year at 11 feet and is hoping to get back to that mark by this year’s postseason, and maybe even get to 12 feet, a goal she set after clearing 11 feet during her championship campaign as a junior.
“I was asked this question last year at districts and it was 12,” she said. “I’m going to keep my answer the same, but the way it’s going I’ll be happy to get back to 11.”
Flaven ran to a second-place finish in the 400-meter run. She’s also looking to reach a mark she set last season when she ran 58.65 for third place at leagues. Friday Flaven broke 1:03 for the first time this year, running a 1:02.88 to finish behind only Whitehall’s Lindsay Solderitch.
“I was looking to run faster than 1:03,” said Flaven. “My PR last year was 58 seconds. This season has been a lot different from last year. I’ve been kind of plateauing at 1:03. I was just hoping to run faster than that.”
Jackson took home two medals and was not far from a third. He finished second in long jump at 20-9 and third in the 400 at 51.79. He also grabbed fifth place in the 100-meter run at 11.66.
Sebesta earned a third-pace medal for throwing 42-10 in shot put.
Other Konkrete Kids finishing in the top five in their events were Doug Sacco, who tied fourth in high jump at 6-3; Beth Albright, who finished fifth in 800 at 2:31.79; Nicholas Bodnar, who ran to fifth place in 300 hurdles at 42.51; and Brandon Kitz with fifth place in 400 at 52.63.
The Kids have a few more regular season meets remaining before competing in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Championships on May 8-9. The District 11 Championships are one week later. Both meets will be held at Whitehall.