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Rachel Fatherly Returns To The Penn Relays

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By Kyle Lucas, Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Freshman Rachel Fatherly made her Penn Relays collegiate debut Thursday competing in the shot put, discus and hammer throw.

8887262.jpegHowever, Fatherly isn't a rookie when it comes to the prestigious games. At last year's event she took the women's high school title in the shot put with a toss of 47-5.

"Coming in, I took an indoor mark, so coming in I wasn't seeded very high," said Fatherly. "It was good to come out as an underdog. It was one of the best competitions of my life."

"We literally went back and forth," said Fatherly of the competition between her and Theresa Picciallo of Immaculate Heart in New Jersey. Picciallo was one of the top high school throwers in the nation in 2012.

"It showed competitiveness and who wanted it more," added Fatherly.

This year in the shot put, Fatherly wasted no time showing she'll be a force to reckon with the next few years. Last year's Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state champion captured third-place with a toss of 47-11.25.

The Williamsport, Pa. native's success began earlier in the day when she placed sixth in a field of 24 girls in the hammer toss. Not bad for an event she's still learning to master. Fatherly's best throw came in at 173-0.

"It was very interesting because I didn't grasp the concept very well," Fatherly said about learning the weight toss, and indoor event similar to the hammer toss. "I started out with hammer pretty well and I'm excited to see where I can be because I had a good start. Just listening to my coach and following him, I think the sky is the limit."

In her final event of Thursday's action, Fatherly finished at No. 11 in the discus with a recorded throw of 151-0.

Fatherly attributed her ability to find success so early in her career to a smooth transition into college. With her hometown being roughly an hour away, for her it feels like she never left.

"It feels like home, so I don't have to worry about thinking about my parents because they can easily come up," she said. "I feel like the Williamsport community is behind me and supporting me 100 percent of the way."

It has helped her focus in on her goal of hitting the 50-foot mark in the shot put and qualifying for the NCAA first rounds in all three of her events.

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