Busy week ahead for Ligonier Valley javelin standout Miles Higgins

Tuesday, April 26, 2022 | 3:44 PM

It will be a busy week for Ligonier Valley senior Miles Higgins.

Higgins, the reigning Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association javelin champion, competed against Derry in a key section dual meet Tuesday, will travel to Philadelphia on Thursday to compete in the Penn Relays on Friday then return Saturday to defend his county title at Latrobe Memorial Stadium.

The returning WPIAL Class 2A champion, who placed fourth in the PIAA championship, was hoping to compete against good friend Aaron Schmook of Norwin in the county meet. However, Schmook, who recently won the Butler Invitational with a school-record throw of 198 feet, 3 inches, will miss the county meet because of a choir commitment in Dollywood, Tenn.

Higgins, whose best throw is a 192-5, will battle another Norwin thrower, senior Cody Scherle.

“I was bummed out when I learned Aaron wasn’t competing,” Higgins said. “But the other Norwin kid is talented, and I’m sure there will be other good throwers competing.”

But Higgins is really pumped about competing at the Penn Relays, where he will compete against some of the top throwers in the world.

“The field is stacked with good throwers,” Higgins said. “I hope to finish in the top five.”

Higgins’ best throw of the season came in early April at Mt. Pleasant. Since then, the weather conditions and rain made throwing difficult to undertake.

But with the extended forecast calling for dry conditions this week, Higgins hopes the throwing area will be conducive to some big tosses.

Schmook and Scherle found the difference that can make while competing at Butler, where they had some of their best throws of the season.

“It was the first time I went over 190 this season, and I did it three times” Schmook said. “It was a good runway and a good day. I was looking forward to competing against Miles.”

While Higgins proved last year that he was one of the best throwers in the state, Schmook had a day to forget.

Both are hoping to surpass the 200-foot mark and contend for PIAA titles.

“I think about that day a lot.” Schmook said. “I use it as a chip on my shoulder. I was the top dog, and I threw out of sector twice and finished 18th with a throw of 140 something.

“I’ve been working on my form. I’m more technically sound. Coach (Mark Beck) has helped me a lot over the year.”

Scherle said he has improved his distance this season. He’s looking forward to competing against Higgins and the rest of the field.

“I’m learning a new form, and I’ve learned a technique,” Scherle said. “I’m a foot or so away from the old record of 179-8. I’m at 178-3. I’m really excited to see what Miles has got and looking forward some good competition.”

One of the things different about Scherle is his run up.

“I’ve improved a lot,” he said. “I have a longer run. I’ve perfected my hips and getting better execution. I look at Aaron’s form and see where I can improve.”

While Higgins has signed to compete at North Carolina-Wilmington, Schmook and Scherle are uncommitted. Schmook named a dozen NCAA Division I programs that are interested in his services, including Kent State, Youngstown State, Louisville and Penn State.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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