After school record toss, Norwin’s Schmook targets WPIAL, PIAA success in javelin

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Saturday, April 9, 2022 | 8:01 AM


Aaron Schmook took up throwing an 8-foot toothpick about four years ago.

Watching a javelin soar through the spring sky, like it’s going to spear a cloud and pull it down to earth, brings a smile to his face.

It is fun for Schmook, a senior at Norwin.

But the track and field event means a lot more to him now, especially since it has become his specialty, his passion. His main event.

Who knows? It might be his ticket to a WPIAL and PIAA championship, and maybe to college.

Schmook is now the Norwin boys’ record-holder with his throw of 185 feet, 1 inch, a mark he established March 30 at Latrobe.

The distance broke the previous record of 180-1 set by Justin Moose in 2004. Moose went on to compete on the world long-drive circuit, where he now sends golf balls into orbit instead of javelins.

“The record has been my goal for roughly a year now, ever since last April,” said Schmook, who also played middle linebacker for the Norwin football team. “Last season at the Butler Invitational, I threw 175-8, a huge (personal record) at the time and realized that I was exactly 4 feet away from the record. Then training this past offseason with that record in mind, I increased my throws quickly.”

While he will never outdrive Moose at a driving range, Schmook admires the broad-shouldered bomber’s talents.

Moose tweeted to Schmook after his record fell, saying, “I look forward to watching you throw it even further this year.”

Schmook thanked him for “setting the standard to strive for.”

“I didn’t know much about him until hearing from a former coach of his and looking up his stature (6-3, 240),” Schmook said of Moose. “Seeing his longest drive over 460 yards … wow.”

Schmook, who has a Division I college offer to throw at Duquesne, hit 185-1 on his first competitive throw of the season.

“I hope to keep increasing my throws weekly and keep extending my record even further,” Schmook said.

He took up throwing when he was a freshman and, as he lifted and trained for football, he noticed his distances began to increase.

“I’m so proud of him,” Norwin throwing coach Mark Beck said. “He has been splitting time between football and throwing since last season, and since October, he’s been spot on. He has been in the weight room, drilling, eating right. Plus, he’s been such an asset to the program because he’s been able to pass his knowledge down to the others. Now he’s got to focus on his other goals of moving on to states and putting up his best throws there.”

Schmook came in with the best throw in Class 3A (175-8) but finished 18th at the WPIAL finals last year (140 feet). He believes he can improve drastically and is plotting a big bounce back.

“My goal as of right now is to keep improving my distances each meet along with my run-up and technique,” he said. “My end-of-season goal is to place highly at states and, hopefully, throw my goal of 200 feet.”

It looks like Schmook enjoys competing at Latrobe. He won the javelin title last year at the 18th annual Wildcat Invitational at Memorial Stadium.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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