Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Central Catholic Junior a Title Threat

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Central Catholic Junior a Title Threat

Article excerpt

Central Catholic's Bricen Garner used his natural talent to take second place in the triple jump in last year's WPIAL Class AAA individual track championship.

Now a year older and a bit wiser, he's doing all he can to bring home the gold in 2015.

"Track is pretty much 60 or 70 percent God-given ability, so a lot of times, things come easy to the kids and they don't really work for it," Central Catholic track coach Maurice Lucas said. "But this year he started to get a little bit of attention for football, had some success with that and basketball didn't go the way he wanted it to go, so he's really pushing this year in track."

Garner, a 6-foot-3, 170-pound junior from Highland Park, is also a standout safety in football and has already received offers from more than a dozen schools, including Temple, Toledo and Bowling Green. Last year in track, though, he finished second in the WPIAL Class AAA individual meet with a triple jump of 45 feet, 7 inches that left him behind Woodland Hills' Isaiah Brooks by one-quarter inch.

On April 11 at the Tri-State Track Coaches' Association meet at West Mifflin, Garner was the only athlete on either the boys or girls side to win multiple individual titles as he captured the long jump with a leap of 21 feet, 2 inches, and the triple jump with a 42-10 effort.

He didn't quite have the same success at the Butler Invitational on April 17, however, as he fouled on all three attempts at the long jump and was disqualified. He did not compete in the triple jump and instead watched as Brooks took the titles in both events.

"It wasn't that damaging for him because Butler decided to do the long jump on a roll-out surface and, instead of a board, you're jumping off a painted line and your speed is going to be different and the way you're going to plant your foot is going to be different," Lucas said. …

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