SHIPPENSBURG — The first medal picked up by the Wyoming Valley Conference at the PIAA Track and Field Championships found a familiar neck to adorn.
Whisked away from congratulatory greetings from family and friends immediately after the conclusion of her event, Tunkhannock senior Gabby Alguire stood on the medal stand at Seth Grove Stadium after a second consecutive fifth-place finish in the Class 3A javelin.
She proudly carried on a family tradition. Her brother, Ken, also reached the medal stand twice in Shippensburg.
“I look up to my big brother,” Gabby said. “He was a two-time state medalist, and now I am.”
Notorious for her first attempt being her best, Alguire took the road less traveled to earn her medal.
She reached the finals of her event with her last preliminary effort. At 130 feet, 2 inches, she moved up to the fourth spot heading into the final round.
“Coming in fifth or better was my goal at the very beginning,” Alguire said. “I try not to think about what the other people throw. I just go out there and do my best.”
Battling cool temperatures and a chilling headwind on the runway, Alguire was passed during the finals as Morgan Defloria of Hempfield unleashed a throw of 137 feet, 3 inches. Then Eliabethtown’s Tiffany Heisey followed with a toss 5 inches better than Alguire’s mark.
Alguire’s second finals attempt followed those two efforts, but it caught a breeze and hooked to the left, landing shy of her expectations.
“I knew the wind was going to be a factor,” Alguire said. “It was strong. As long as I waited, it just wouldn’t stop.”
As the lineup entered its final attempts, she noticed the other competitors trying to wait out the wind on before their approach. But her coach had words of wisdom for her.
“Coach told me not to worry about what I had done earlier,” Alguire said.
Instead, her approach and technique unchanged, she charged into the wind for her final try. The javelin was true as it left her hand and stayed right down the middle of the landing sector. It struck the ground 132 feet, 5 inches later, good enough to bring the Tigers senior her goal.