Shady Side Academy’s Melissa Riggins repeats at PIAA track championships

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Saturday, May 25, 2019 | 6:36 PM


SHIPPENSBURG — Shady Side Academy sophomore Melissa Riggins successfully defended her PIAA 800- and 1,600-meter titles Saturday at the state track and field championships.

And Riggins did it in style, breaking the Class AA record in the 800.

“I definitely was going after the record, but I don’t know if I expected it,” Riggins said as she prepared to run a leg in the 1,600-meter relay. “It was a fast pace. I was a little concerned when the one girl started out in a sprint, but once I got going I felt good.

“When I made the turn on the final lap, I felt strong, and I knew I had to hold off the people behind me. The competition behind me helped me reach my goals”

Riggins’ record time of 2minutes, 8.86 seconds beat the mark of 2:09.16 set in 2011 by Homer-Center grad Angel Piccirillo.

In the 1,600, Riggins ran a 4:49.88 to earn honor roll status. Piccirillo still owns that record at 4:39.42, which Riggins could challenge in 2020.

“It’s amazing to win both,” Riggins said. “I play soccer so I’m trying to balance both sports. All the sacrifices I’ve made at school, it feels great that everything paid off.”

Now that Riggins has won two titles, her goal is now to win two more times.

Piccirillo’s 1,600 record could be in jeopardy if Riggins continues to progress.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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