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P.O. Female Athlete of the Week: Lizzie Peppernick

The Fannett-Metal track & field team introduced a legacy to the podium last week as the second Peppernick sibling climbed to the top of District 5 in the discus.

Junior Lizzie Peppernick won district gold in the girls discus with a throw of 110-6, following in her older brother Tom's footsteps as their sibling rivalry continues to grow.

"He was in track before I was, so once I joined I had big shoes to fill," Peppernick said. "He's kind of always been pushing me to do better, always saying, 'I did this, or I did that,' so I was ragging on him after districts. He only got third in his junior year, and I got first."

Peppernick also placed fourth in the shot put (31-2) after winning both events in the Inter-County Conference Championships. She is the P.O. Female Athlete of the Week.

"She's very consistent; whatever the competition is throwing, she finds a way to win," Fannett-Metal coach Mathern Mellott said. "In all the meets we had this year she was the winner with the discus. She seems to be able to rise to the occasion and do what is needed and get the job done."

Her consistency, in part, is thanks to her brother, who throws for Shippensburg University. Now that the college season is over, Peppernick says Tom works with her on the weekends and sometimes at practice during the week.

"He's more of a coach to me now that he has graduated (from Fannett-Metal)," Peppernick said. "He really helps me with my form."

This week, Peppernick will compete in the PIAA Championships and hopes to make another appearance on the podium.

"Districts was the first time I ever stood on a podium, so it was really nice to be up there," Peppernick said. "I'd love to do it again and get a state medal, but my ultimate goal is to make it to the national championships."

With a 3.7 GPA, and 12 college credits as a junior, Peppernick has already been in touch with college coaches about her plans after high school.

"She started a more rigorous weight-lifting program this year, and I was talking to Tom and he thinks she can get to 140 if she gets everything right in her technique," Mellott said. "She and I have aspirations of going to the national meet and she has another year to really push in that direction. And with her grades, there's no doubt in my mind that colleges are going to want her."

Lizzie Peppernick, Fannett-Metal

Sport: Track & Field

Events: Discus, shot put, javelin

Grade: Junior

Height: 5-foot-7 

Parents: Keaira and Dan Peppernick 

Other interests: She also plays basketball and volleyball for Fannett-Metal, and plays clarinet and the saxophone.

Surprising fact:  She is an actress and had a role in the school play, 10 Little Chipmunks. 

Athlete most inspired: Her older brother Tom Peppernick. 

Statistics: Peppernick won the District 5 championship in the girls discus on her first throw of 110-6, beating out the competition by more than four feet ... She also took fourth in the shot put with a throw of 31-2 ... She won a pair of gold medals last week at the ICC championships, in the shot put and discus.