A Full Circle State Championship For Warren & Livers

Even after the medal ceremony, Ron Livers was still coaching Christina Warren.

Livers, the jumps coach at Perkiomen Valley, wanted to sure up some of the technical aspects of his star senior pupil's approach in the triple jump. Her PIAA career may be done, but she still has some big summer postseason meets awaiting her.

Warren had just won her third straight AAA state title in the triple jump. It was another big series in what has been a career of big series's for the senior. But of course, there's always room for improvement.

"My coach wanted me to aim for the record," Warren said, referencing Sheena Gordon's 2002 state meet and all-time wind legal state record leap of 42-10.25 in the event. "If I put everything together, it would be close."

With the win already wrapped up Warren had one last jump to go after it. It wasn't the record, but it was a still a nice pop, a 41-04.5, tying her own US No. 6 in the triple.

"I matched my PR, so it's OK," Warren added with a smile.

Warren, who is headed to Arizona State University in the fall, has been smart to listen to Livers throughout her career. Livers starred at Norristown High School back in the 70's and has a pair of state titles to his name. He also holds the boys' all-time PA state record in the triple jump at 51-07.25 from 1973. He was twice an NCAA champion and in 1977, he had the best triple jump in the world at 56-04.75.

When Warren came to high school, she was no stranger to the long jump and hurdles, where she had plenty of success, but she had never triple jumped perform. As a coach, Livers saw an opportunity.

"Her natural talent in the hurdles and the long jump, I knew that would convert into a triple jumper," Livers said. "I saw her stride pattern and the spring in her legs, and I knew she wouldn't have a problem picking it up."

He was right.

He worked with her on the single-arm technique before introducing the double-arm technique, which she got down pretty well about midway through her sophomore year. Warren has been improving steadily every season of her high school career.

After a 14th place finish during her freshman year at the outdoor state meet, she didn't lost a state title outdoors in the event since. She also won two indoor state titles during her career. She first topped the 40-foot barrier indoors during her sophomore season. During her junior season she was more consistently jumping in the 40-foot range, including a number of jumps in the 41s.

Warren is going out with a bang during her senior outdoor season. She leapt her wind-legal best of 41-04.5 at the Penn Relays, where she took fourth overall and finished as the top American in the field. On Friday at Shippensburg, with multiple jumps in the 41-foot range in one series, it was yet another big day in a career that has seen Warren continue to get better each season.

Warren perhaps summed it up best: "It's definitely kind of a full circle moment since it's my senior year," she said. "It means a lot."

It's a full circle moment for Livers, too.

"It's unbelievable that you can translate the talent you have into another younger athlete and see it grow and progress the way you want it to grow and progress," he said.

He didn't waver at all when asked if he saw himself in Warren.

"Without a doubt," Livers said. "When I was competing, I always wanted to be the best. It's hard work. It's dedication. She's the supreme athlete as far as that's concerned. She's a generational athlete."

Warren's season isn't over. Ranked sixth in the country (and fourth in the country counting just wind legal jumps), she'll be one to watch at New Balance Nationals Outdoor in the triple. She has qualified for the USATF U20 Outdoor Championships set for June 21-23 in Miramar, Florida. She'll look to compete for a spot on Team USA for the Pan American U20 Athletics Championships, which will be held in Costa Rica on July, 19-21.

To cap off a special day on Friday, Livers was asked to present Warren with her state medal on the podium at the center of the infield. Just two generational athletes, sharing a special moment.

"It's an honor beyond words for me to present her with her medal," Livers said. "It's the icing on the cake."