Nerves were a big factor in Hannah Marth's performance in states last year, an outing she wasn't too fond of.
This year was a different story.
The Northampton senior placed 14th in the Class AAA javelin event last Friday at the PIAA Track and Field Championships at Shippensburg University, finishing with a mark of 119 feet, nine inches.
"I was pretty calm, and knew I could throw 120," Marth said. "I just had to stay calm and do what I know I can."
A year ago, Marth threw a 104-1 and placed 25th in the same event during her first trip to the state level. She took from what she learned a year ago, benefited from that, and threw over 15 feet further in her final event of her high school career.
Calming those nerves and not focusing as much on the pressure had much to do with that turnaround from 12 months ago.
"I wasn't as nervous," Marth said. "And I knew going into that there was no way I was coming in and winning it if a girl is throwing over 180. The pressure was off. I was just doing what I could."
While Marth did throw that 119-9 mark on her first attempt, there were still plenty of obstacles standings in her way at Shippensburg.
During a practice session on Thursday, the day before competition started, Marth threw over 120 feet. But when the event began on Friday, the runway's surface had an effect on a number of the throwers.
"This year the runway was really torn up, so I think I would've done a lot better," Marth said. "I threw a 119 on the first throw and then I slipped [on the second throw], so it was kind of on my mind that I was going to slip again. My third throw wasn't very good."
Marth also had to deal with Connellsville sophomore Madison Wiltrout, the returning champion in the javelin from a year ago and the favorite once again. Not only did Wiltrout win the event in back-to-back seasons with a throw of 182 feet, eight inches, she set the national record and threw over 50 feet further than second-place finisher Madison Smith of New Oxford.
"She looks like she is throwing like everyone else, and then it goes a lot further," Marth said. "I was excited to watch her throw."