By BRIAN CARSON
LEWISTOWN – Mifflin County track and field standout Josiah Sechler recently competed in the javelin at the prestigious Penn Relays in Philadelphia.
The Husky junior placed 13th with a throw of 163-11 as he continues to grow in stature in the javelin. He was one of four Pennsylvanians to place.
Despite this, Sechler wasn’t happy with his performance. Part of his disappointment occurred before the event even began.
“I did not like my performance at all. I wasn’t nervous, but we got lost in downtown Philadelphia before I competed, so that definitely stressed me out a lot,” Sechler said.
One thing Sechler enjoyed was the atmosphere and competition at the Penn Relays.
“It was one of the best track atmospheres I’ve ever been a part of,” Sechler said. “Just having the number of outstanding athletes and college coaches present was an amazing experience.It was great to compete at the Penn Relays.”
Sechler, who also is a runner and jumper, took to the javelin like peanut butter does to jelly. The results speak for themselves. He is now one of the top javelin throwers in the Keystone State.
Sechler owns a high throw of 181-11. He did that at the Tim Cook Invitational in March. The throw is the fifth–best by anyone in Pennsylvania, third–best in Class 3A, and a school record. The top throw in Class 3A belongs to Norwin’s Aaron Schmook at 198-3.
“I like that I don’t get nervous with the javelin. Sometimes I get really nervous before competition in races or jumping, but that doesn’t happen with jav,” Sechler said. “I know I’m going to have fun every time I step out on the runway.”
Sechler keeps his focus on track even with the adversity his family faces right now. Scot Sechler, former Mifflin County football coach, and Josiah’s father, is battling melanoma. Josiah knows his dad has his back, no matter what.
“It’s been a process, but I wouldn’t consider it hard to focus,” Josiah said. “No matter what he’s going through, I know he’s still going to be there rooting for me, and that’s all that matters to me.”
As Sechler gears up for the postseason, he feels confident he can come away with district gold and a berth at states.
“I’m feeling really good coming into districts. My training has been going well. I think if I’m feeling good that day, I could pop a big throw out there,” he said. “I’m out for revenge this year at districts.”
An all-around athlete, Sechler competes in the long jump, triple jump, and the 100-meter dash. This year, his best in the long jump is 22-3, which is top 10 in the state in Class 3A and a PR. Josiah is a wide receiver and defensive back on the Husky football team.
Sechler helped lead Mifflin County track to a 4-3 record overall and in the Mid-Penn Commonwealth.
The District 6 championships are Thursday, May 19, at Mansion Park in Altoona. The action begins at 4 p.m.