Ligonier Valley junior Higgins turning heads in the javelin

Saturday, May 15, 2021 | 6:23 PM

Ligonier Valley junior Miles Higgins turned some heads recently.

When Higgins won the Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association javelin with a throw of 180 feet, 4 inches, it became the top throw in either classification in the WPIAL.

Higgins goes into Wednesday’s WPIAL Class AA track and field championship at Slippery Rock seeded No. 1.

But he knows what he threw at Latrobe only places him in the top position. Now has to do it again, and the stakes will be even tougher.

He is ranked eighth overall in the state in both classifications. Tunkhannock junior Matt Prebola has the best throw in the state of 210 feet.

In Class AA, he is third behind Bedford senior Elijah Cook (189-1) and Scranton Prep senior Thomas Dickinson (187-2).

This is Ligonier Valley’s first season in the WPIAL in more than 40 years. The school district rejoined the WPIAL after spending years in the PIAA District 6.

“I was super excited to win the county event,” Higgins said. “I’ve been working hard the past year. My sophomore season got cut short, and I’m really happy to get out here and do what I planned to do last year. It’s really fulfilling for me.”

Higgins said he hopes his skill at throwing the javelin helps him earn a scholarship to college. The three-sport athlete also plays football and basketball.

“I love javelin so much that, hopefully, I can get a college scholarship and go somewhere,” Higgins said.

Higgins said being a quarterback in middle school and as a freshmen in high school got him interested in the event. It also took a little convincing from his coaches.

“I’ve always had a pretty good arm, and during my first year in track, coaches asked me if I wanted to throw javelin and I was like, ‘Sure.’ “ Higgins said.

Higgins has excelled in the sport. He also competes in the long and triple jumps for the Rams. He said he does those events for fun.

He already has achieved one goal: qualifying for the WPIAL championships.

“I’m seeded No. 1, so I want to win WPIALs and qualify for states and, hopefully, win,” Higgins said.

Higgins said he has thrown 190 in practice, and he feels 200 feet is with his grasp.

“I think I can win states with a 200 throw,” Higgins said.

Hot on Higgins’ heels are a couple Westmoreland County throwers: Southmoreland’s Ray Hribal, who had a 165-foot throw, and Yough’s Hunter Bakewell, who has thrown 162-4.

North Catholic’s Nick Schzune has a 161-4 throw, and South Park’s Sam Nakyama has thrown 159-10. Norwin’s Aaron Schmook has the best throw in Class AAA of 175-8.

But none are better than Higgins in the WPIAL.

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


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