Piperi brothers talk passion, past, shot put

Ethan Ferguson, Senior Sports Reporter

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in the Feb. 4, 2022 flipbook.

Tripp and Patrick Piperi grew up on sports. 

Whether it was starting track at eight years old or being linemen in high school, their father, Adrian Piperi, pushed them toward athletics. Now, the Piperis say it is the time on the field that made all the difference.

“I think all the sports we did helped shape us into the athletes we are today,” Patrick Piperi said. 

Tripp said he found shot put through his track career. The passion would later lead to an impressive collegiate career, becoming the men’s Big 12 indoor champion in 2018 and holding a personal best of 21.74 meters. 

“When you have fun with something it’s not incredibly challenging to get better at it,” Tripp said.

Patrick, his younger brother and a junior at Texas, saw his brother excelling in shot while he was running 400s for the track team, and decided to make a change. 

“Seeing how successful he was definitely motivated me even more,” Patrick said.

Tripp has created a lasting impact throughout his duration at Texas, earning the title of No. 2 performer in UT history in both indoor and outdoor shot put. He’s broken Ryan Crouser’s indoor record at Texas and has goals of breaking his outdoor record.

Crouser threw at UT and is known as the greatest shot put thrower of all time. Tripp said he looked up to Crouser when he was younger, but has started to admire him differently. 

“I’m (getting to) a point where, in the next few years, I’m gonna be competing with him all the time,” Tripp said. “I look up to more of his mental fortitude when he’s competing.” 

When it came time for Patrick to choose a college, his brother played a large role in coming to Texas. 

“I was texting him every single day about the advantages of coming to Texas,” Tripp said. “It is nice to have somebody here that understands you more than anyone else.”  

Tripp and Patrick agree that it’s an interesting dynamic, but said they’ve built a stronger connection being on the same collegiate track and field team. “We have our own ways of encouraging each other,” Patrick said. “We always want each other to do well.”

One of their favorite performances together came from their triumph at this season’s Red Raider Open. Patrick earned a lifetime personal-record in college with his 18.00-meter throw to finish in fifth. Tripp had his season best throw of 20.99 meters and won the event. 

“I was up on the railings yelling for him to get that number,” Patrick said. “Whenever we see one person get a big throw, it makes us want to get one.” 

Tripp is pursuing a graduate certificate, but continues to throw for Texas through COVID-19 eligibility. He plans to throw professionally. 

Over the past year, Patrick has learned how to fight with an interest in Muay Thai. He has goals of getting into MMA after college. Patrick’s objective is to hit the Olympic standard for shot put before he graduates.

As of now, Tripp and Patrick say their performance up to this point is where it needs to be. This season, they have goals of sweeping the Big 12 Championship.