MANSFIELD >> Cherokee High School senior Lucciano Pizarro won the shot put title in thrilling fashion at the 51st annual NJSIAA Meet of Champions June 8 at Northern Burlington Regional High School here.
In third place entering his sixth and final throw, Pizarro heaved the shot a school and personal record 60 feet 11 inches for the victory.
“It felt great (to win today),” said Pizarro, who was the top seed in the field of 36 throwers, after receiving his medal. “I came into the meet with some momentum after a PR last week. It was definitely sluggish in the trials, but I tried to pick up the pace come finals time. And the last throw did it for me with a 60-11.”
The senior's throws on Saturday were as follows: 57-1, 54-4 and 55-6 1/2 in the trials; 52-11, 57-9 1/2 and 60-11 in the finals.
Pizarro has been on a roll as of late, starting with a 58-6 throw in the trials of the state Group 4 championships June 1 at Franklin Township High School. That toss broke the Cherokee school record of 57-4 ¼ set by Gary Roskoski in 1999. Pizarro went even farther with a 59-9 in the state Group 4 finals.
Pizarro is the first Cherokee male athlete to win at the Meet of Champions since Marc Pelerin’s victory in the 1600 (4:12.74) in 2002.
“Saturday was great,” said Cherokee throws coach Ed Kramer. “Luc was the No. 1 seed coming into the meet and was sitting in third place before his final throw when he launched the big 60-11 throw. It was amazing to see him come up clutch and win the meet on his final throw of the competition. He has been on a roll this season especially the last month during championship season.”
Pizarro, who plans on attending Penn State University and study engineering, will next compete in the nationals on Saturday, June 15 at North Carolina A&T University.
“Hopefully I can catch another PR and keep this string going,” said Pizarro of nationals.