Penn Hills shot putter goes back to basics, hits PIAA qualifying mark

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Sunday, May 30, 2021 | 11:01 AM


Angelo Allen knew something wasn’t right with his approach in the weeks leading up to the WPIAL Class AAA track and field championships.

The Penn Hills junior shot putter responded by consulting his team of advisers, including his coaches and dad.

“It’s definitely a hand-in-hand process,” said Allen, who qualified for the PIAA championships by throwing a state qualifying standard of 53 feet, 5.5 inches at the WPIAL meet. “I’ve been throwing for 11 years and can tell when things are wrong. My coaches see things I need to work on, and my dad sees things. It goes hand in hand.”

Allen was the only PIAA qualifier from Penn Hills, which was scheduled for May 29.

Lee Zelkowitz was pleased Allen got himself right at the WPIAL meet. The previous few weeks had made things difficult.

“We just wanted him to relax and fight through it,” Zelkowitz said. “You always want them to do the best you can because every day isn’t going to be great. You have to remember those days when you aren’t 100 percent how you fought through it.”

Allen battled at the WPIAL meet. He hit the state qualifying standard on an early throw and had another throw of over 55 or 56 feet that was taken away because of a foul.

Getting the right steps down was his major focus.

“I started to hammer down on those little things in my rotation that were holding me back a bit,” Allen said. “I felt good going back into WPIALs. I felt confident that I could hit my marks, technique-wise. I got to where I needed to be.”

Keeping things where they need to be was his major focus for states.

Allen didn’t want to let one bad throw derail his day.

He just wants to make the right adjustments — and planned to lean on his knowledge and support system to be in the right place.

“I’ve been going nonstop with throwing and the sport for six months now,” Allen said. “I just want to compete at that level with all of the guys who are the best in the state. Also, there are competitors who I have been going against our entire high school careers. All of them are seniors, and I’m looking forward to competing against them again with all of us at our peak.”

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