Rebekah Miller qualifies for PTFCA State Championship Meet


February 18, 2023 the PAHS Track & Field team competed in the TSTCA Championship Meet held at Edinboro University. The team did really well with 9 kids placing within the top 8 (out of kids from 71 different schools) and the 4×4 Relay team breaking the school record. 


Rebekah Miller, Senior, did well enough in the shot put that she qualified for the PTFCA State Championship Meet held February 26, 2023 at Penn State University. 


“I had no doubt she could do it. There was no doubt in my mind that all of her hard work and everything else didn’t pay off so that she could make it to the states. She has done it in the past and I’m sure there was a little bit of pressure there but I think she overcame it. It’s something that she’s done before so it comes easier after that.” Said Joel Bowers, Athletic Trainer. 


“To me it was just another meet. I try not to hype myself up, I’m a head case if I do that, but it was nice to get to go for my last year.” Said Rebekah Miller.  


The shot put explained by Rebekah is “a 4k, which is 8.8pounds, and you throw it either in a spin or glide.”  


Rebekah has been in the shot put for six years and although she hasn’t meant her goal of breaking the school record (yet) she still enjoys it. At the end of outdoor track season she wants to have broken the school record. 


Rebekah said she keeps going because “The coach I had, Marvin, was great and he made me work hard. Also, I have a great group that really encourages me to keep going and I am good at it (shot put).” 


Over the years Rebekah has had to deal with the side effects of doing the shot put. 


“In any upper extremity sport like volleyball, tennis, baseball, softball, throwing in track, any improper balance of muscle or any improper form can lead to a wide array of injuries that I choose not to elaborate on. It can be so simple, such a simple change. Looking at baseball throwers or short stops, they might choose to have more of a side arm whenever they throw. That’s gonna put more stress on the ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow so then you have Tommy Johns, Tommy Johns surgery. The shot put it’s not necessarily a throw but a hard push so looking at Becca herself having a chronic condition in that shoulder denfinly makes things more difficult. Is it improper throwing on her end? Maybe, at this point is she going to be able to break that cycle? Probably not, it’s just one of those things. Athletes get so used to doing the same thing over and over and over again that you try to change the way they do it and they don’t see results anymore so they don’t feel like they are getting anywhere.” Said Bowers. 


Even with her shoulder, she still continues to keep going. Rebekah said, “if you really want something keep working for it”. This shows how much hard work and dedication she has put into it. 


“The population of Punxsutawney isn’t an athletic population, let’s just put it that way. The parents, we are not a wealthy community, can’t push their kids for athletics: to get them to lessons, to get them to personal trainers, get them a weight lifting coach and so on and so forth so that you see them peak in high school and everything else. It comes down to the choices that those kids make and seeing the kids at punxsy make it to states and everything else that just shows their character. Looking at Becca’s perspective, nothing against the track and field team here but we don’t have a throwing coach. We have coaches that know a little bit here and there but we don’t have a specific coach who coaches throwing all the time. Becca did most of her practices on her own so going through the indoor season she made her own workouts. She did her own thing with that injury trying to figure out the periodisation of her workouts to make sure that she is not overly sore or anything else along those lines coming up to a competition. That explains even more. What if she had a throwing coach that laid out a workout everyday? Where would she be? Top 3 top 5 I don’t know. Just her hard work and everything else leading up to indoor and now with outdoor coming up I just know we gotta work a little bit more with her. That way outdoor is more comfortable in her own mind and with her shoulder itself.” Said Bowers. 


Rebekah scored 14 overall at the PTFCA State Championship Meet. And with the amount of hard work, dedication and planning it’s exciting to see what happens during this outdoor track season.