PIAA Feature: Wiltrout hits PIAA Meet Record through wind

In an instant, Connellsville Area's Madison Wiltrout had the spectators gathered for the Class AAA javelin wanting more.

A few moments later, Wiltrout and the crowd knew the wait for another national record in 2015 would be a little longer than they hoped.

The sophomore obliterated the state meet record on her opening throw but was forced to skip the finals after injuring her elbow. The end result was the second-longest throw all time at 182 feet, 8 inches and another state championship for the right-hander.

"The 182 is definitely a great throw for me," Wiltrout said. "I wanted to try and PR, but this wind made it so difficult to do it. I knew that it was going to be a hard day to try and do it.

"That's why I was hoping the first one was far enough to get the PR, but it wasn't so I was looking forward to finals ... but then the third one I dropped my arm too bad."

Throwing last in the field of 31, Wiltrout caused a brief delay in the competition as her first-round throw sailed long and true down the left side of the sector.

Initially, Wiltrout's opener was announced at 182-5. Following an informal conference by officials, the distance was measured and verified by a trio of PIAA officials and announced as 182-8.

Head field judge Jack Hedlund said standard PIAA procedure was followed in not using a steel tape to confirm the sophomore's new meet record. He also said the pending ratification of her national record from earlier this month further negated the need for the steel tape.

Gone is the Class AAA record of 158-0 by Williamsport's Ruby Radocaj in 2004 and the overall state meet mark of 167-2 by Lakeview's Fawn Miller in 2008.

"She was ready, she wanted to go for it today," said Mike Coleman, Wiltrout's javelin coach. "She wanted to break her (national) record."

The aforementioned wind forced Wiltrout into a brief holding pattern as she readied for her second throw. That effort hit the ground at 155-6.

With that throw possibly still on her mind, the sophomore tried to work her way around the wind, breaking technique and bringing her day to an end with a throw of 166-4.

"I think that's the first time I dropped my elbow that much," Wiltrout said. "I don't know if it was in my head about the wind."

Coleman said the decision to sideline his thrower for the remainder of the competition was difficult and easy at the same time.

"It's not conducive for her to throw any more today because if she tears something in her elbow then we are done for the rest of the season," Coleman said of Wiltrout's first throwing-related injury. "We are just going to let it go for the rest of the day and let her enjoy her win. She'll be alright."

About an hour after the competition ended, Wiltrout's right elbow was still wrapped in an elastic bandage and feeling the effects of the wind-altered throw.

"I can still feel it if i want to pull with the muscle," she said. "I can still feel it a litle bit."

Her next scheduled competition - and opportunity to extend her national record - will be at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor in late June in North Carolina.

According to PIAA Executive Director Dr. Robert Lombardi, the record application for Wiltrout's 185-8 throw at a WPIAL qualifier on May 7 has his signature and the others necessary at the state level. It will be forwarded on Tuesday to the National Federation of State High School Associations in Indianapolis for final approval.

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