Mohawk Standout Nate Mallard Competes in Meet of Champions
Piggott Mohawk junior standout Nate Mallard competed in the Arkansas Meet of Champions Saturday in Russellville, earning a top 10 finish in the shot put. Mallard had earned the spot among the best-of-the-best by winning the 3A state shot put title the previous week at Prescott.
Saturday, the talented PHS underclassman made a strong showing, finishing 10th among the 12 competitors, setting a new personal best in the process.
Making his second straight appearance in the 3A state meet, Mallard had advanced to the Meet of Champions by putting the shot 46 feet and eight inches, a full two feet longer than his district winning distance. Last year, as a sophomore, he finished third in the state in 3A, edging out teammate Seth Lacey.
This past weekend Mallard once again rose to the level of his competition, as he recorded a distance of 46 feet and 11 inches, just over two inches shorter than the ninth place finisher from Vilonia. First place went to Matt Campbell, of Russellville, with a distance of 53:03.50.
“Nate has worked hard at his craft over the past year,” PHS Head Track Coach Michael Harrell said of Mallard. “He knew he had a good shot at a state championship this year. And, his hard work paid off when he won the state title with a throw of 46-8.”
Harrell indicated Mallard is already looking forward to defending his title, and going for a state record in the process. “His goal this next year is to repeat his state championship and go after the state record set by Klint Harvey, of Corning, back in 2015.”
A product of the PHS athletic program's “Bigger, Faster, Stronger” effort, Mallard has continued to develop as an athlete in a number of ways. In addition to his play on the football field, and performances in track and field, he is also a member of the top-notch Mohawk weight lifting team.
“I'm really proud of Nate, he's had an outstanding junior year,” Harrell added. “He was a key component in our nine-win season this past fall. He was voted All-State and the number one lineman in our conference. Now he can add a Class 3A state championship and being named All-State in track and field.”
Coach Harrell observed that Mallard's success is no surprise, based on the effort he has put into preparing. “It just shows that hard work pays off,” he surmised. “Nate is just another example of the amazing kids we have here at Piggott High School.”
As for the future, Mallard is already drawing interest from a number of colleges—including some Ivy League schools. Short term, he'll continue to work in preparation for his senior year as a member of the Mohawk football and track teams, and earlier this year hinted he may play basketball as well for the Tribe.