2024 PIAA Championship Preview: Shot Put, Javelin and Discus

The PIAA State Championship is this weekend. What can we expect out of this year's final and who are the contenders in each event?

Girls' Throws Preview | Boys' Throws Preview

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AA Girls Shot Put - Saturday 9 AM

Editor's Prediction: Sasha Garnett continues to dominate and wins the PIAA Final with a throw of 43-3.5.

Sasha Garnett (Richland) and Maggie Goodlin (Greenville) enter with the top seeds. Garnett has consistently been the best shot put thrower in the state, regardless of division. She is undefeated on the season, and threw a personal best 47-7.75 at a tri-meet earlier this year. She is coming off of a win at the District 6 Championship where she threw 42-9.25.

Goodlin threw 40-4.5 at the District 10 Championship. That was her best throw of the year. She is also undefeated on the season and finished second at the PTFCA Indoor State Championship this Winter.

Liv Kopitsky (Mount Carmel) won that state championship, and she'll be in the mix again this season. Her season best of 39-1 puts her on the cusp. She won the District 4 title.

Other Contenders: Freshman Anna McKinley (Shenango) ranks sixth in PA, Mikayla Anderson (Beaver Falls) ranks third in PA, Emily Jackson (River Valley) ranks 10th in PA.

AA Girls Discus - Friday 9 AM

Editor's Prediction: Margaret Bila continues her win-streak with a PIAA Title and a throw of 129-7.

Margaret Bila (Lancaster Catholic) finished sixth at last year's championship but she's back and ready to move up the leaderboards. She has been nearly unstoppable this year and has consistently thrown in the mid-120s over the last month.

Sasha Garnett is actually the top returner in this event. She was the 2023 runner-up. She had a slow start to the season, including a 16th place finish at the Shippensburg Roddick HS Invite, but she has picked up steam and has now won four-straight with considerably better marks.

Kyndra Seddon (Lakeview) should also mix-in. She has been really consistent this season and is undefeated since April 19th. She just won the District 10 Championship with a personal best throw of 128-11, so she could be primed for a big day on Friday.

AA Girls Javelin - Friday 12:30 PM

Editor's Prediction: Sophia Mazzoni cracks the 160-foot barrier and wins her first PIAA State Championship.

This one will likely be the Sophia Mazzoni show. The Derry Area junior unleashed an unreal 159-0 to win the District 7 Championship. This was the second time she threw for that distance. She is ranked eighth nationally and tops 2A by over 13-feet in the rankings. She finished second at the PIAA Championship last year, but will come in as the heavy favorite this year.

Mary Grusky (Punxsutawney) finished second to Mazzoni at the Altoona Mt. Lion Classic. There she threw 145-3 for her season best mark. However, she was second to Ayanna Ferringer (Cranberry) at the District 9 Championship this past weekend.

Other Contenders Include: Karlee Buterbaugh (Knoch) who was sixth at last year's final, Mackenzie Lopez (Milton) and Maria Puglia (North Schuylkill).

AAA Girls Shot Put - Friday 9 AM

Editor's Prediction: Rosalind Gergely shocks the field and steals a PIAA Title in the Shot.

The field in the 3A girls shot is close together and there is not a clear-cut favorite.

Erin Miles (Milton Hershey) is the top returner in the field. She finished fourth at last year's final and threw a personal best 41-2.75. She hasn't been able to duplicate that mark quite yet this season and finished fifth at the District 3 Championships. 

Laci Nelson (Manheim Central) won that Championship with a throw of 38-8.75. She held off Maria Clark (Mechanicsburg Area) who has the best mark in 3A this year. Clark hit a 41-9.25 at the Bruce Dallas Invitational. She has hovered in the mid-30's since mid-April.

Jamie Frisco (North Allegheny) enters with the best mark from Districts week. She was the only 3A girl to throw over 40-feet last week when she threw a 40-1.25 to win the District 7 Championship. She held off Maggie Clair (Canon-McMillan) who will be dangerous again this week.

Other contenders include Sophia Rivera (Ephrata), Rosalind Gergely (Blue Mountain), and Jaya Jones (Central).

AAA Girls Discus - Saturday 9 AM

Editor's Prediction: Maria Clark will use her experience from a year-ago to win the PIAA Title. She will throw a mark of 137-2.

There are three girls who will find themselves ahead of the field on Saturday, Zianna Dobson (North Penn), Maria Clark (Mechanicsburg), and Genesis Castro (JP McCaskey). All three are ranked inside the top-three in 3A with marks of 135-0 or better. They have over a seven foot-gap on the rest of 3A in the rankings.

Dobson won the District 1 Championship with her new personal best of 135-01. That was the best throw of the week. 

Over in District 3, Clark and Castro were caught in a fierce battle for the district crown. Clark overcame Castro with her throw of 135-0. That was Clark's first time over 130-feet since last year when she placed fourth at the PIAA final with a heave of 134-3. She is the top returner from that field.

AAA Girls Javelin - Saturday 12:30 PM

Editors Prediction: Gergely gets the job done again. Finds the strength to throw a personal best mark, 157-1.

Rosalind Gergely (Blue Mountain) is the defending PIAA Champion and New Balance Nationals Outdoor Champion in this event. She threw 154-08 to win the District 11 title, but she won't be without challengers.

Her teammate, Makayla Keck, is surging at the right time. She actually beat Gergely at the Schuylkill League Championships, before throwing a personal best of 149-10 to finish runner-up at the District 11 Championship.

Eliana Schneider (Cedar Crest) could also contend. She threw 153-1 to win the Lancaster Lebanon League title, which isn't far off of Gergely's season best.