The Highland Bulldogs first three-time track and field state champion, Lena Giger isn't taking any time off as she prepares for her freshman year at Stanford University.
Competing in the USA Track and Field Junior Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore. last Saturday, Giger took home the fourth place medal in the women's hammer throw.
Giger, who won her third straight Class 2A state title in the shot put in May, had a top throw of 178 feet 3 inches. Haley Showalter from Miramar, Fla. won the title with a toss of 188 feet 8 inches.
Three other local athletes also competed in the USATF Junior Outdoor Championships which were held at famed Heyward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.
Cahokia High School junior Jamari Ward earned top 10 medals in both the triple jump and long jump.
Ward placed seventh in long jump with an effort of 24 feet 6 1/2 inches. That effort was well behind champion Travonn White, of Central Arizona University, who had a top jump of 26 feet 4 3/4 inches.
Ward placed fifth in the triple jump on Sunday. The Comanches standout jumped 50 feet, which was more then three feet less then champion Nate Moore of Castro Valley, (Calif.) High School. Moore's winning leap was 53 feet 6 1/2 inches.
Also claiming a top 10 finish but failing to make the finals was Belleville East junior William Session.
Competing in the 110 meter hurdles, Session had the ninth best time at 14:05 seconds in the preliminary round.
However, only the top eight athletes qualified for the finals.
Competing in his first USATF national final, Martinus Mitchell, of Collinsville, placed 16th in the shot put.
The Class 3A state champion in the shot put, Mitchell's best throw was 53 feet 5 1/2 inches. Mitchell will attend Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville beginning in August.