Hempfield thrower Orie wants record, gold medals
Wednesday, April 3, 2019 | 8:44 PM
One of the state’s oldest records in track and field could be challenged this spring.
Greensburg Central Catholic grad and U.S. Olympian Colleen Rosensteel’s discus throw of 168 feet, 11 inches, set in 1984, is in the crosshairs of Hempfield senior Mackenna Orie. Rosensteel also owns the WPIAL (167-7) and PIAA (165-2) Class AAA championship records.
Orie’s best throw of 2019 in 146-3 ranks sixth all-time in the WPIAL, but Hempfield throwing coach Dave Murray said once the weather warms up, the mark could be broken.
Orie is third in Hempfield history behind Kim Kanala (149-9) and Beth Obruba (146-9), and she recently passed Rachel Serafin’s best of 144.
“I’ve seen Mackenna have some big throws in practice and warm-ups,” Murray said. “She had a big indoor season. She broke the school record (47-51⁄2 ) in becoming a state champion.
“She’s been practicing really well so far outside, hitting some huge throws in the discus. She’s coming off an eighth-place finish in the national meet last summer, so we’re really excited and she’s trying to win both in shot and discus.”
Orie had an outdoor personal record in the shot of 45-3 on Tuesday at Penn-Trafford.
Orie, who will attend DePaul, said her goal is to win state titles in the shot put and discus and break the state record in the discus.
“I feel if you throw for distance, you don’t throw as well,” Orie said. “I feel throwing loose is the best way to do break the record.
“It’s my last year in high school, and I’m ready to throw. I want to practice really hard, try to hit big numbers but not try to hit a certain number. I’m trying to throw as far as I can.”
Orie said winning the indoor state title will help her confidence in big meets this season.
Knowing Orie wants to break the state record, Murray said he is encouraging her to just have fun.
“She’s come close to the state record over the summer but hasn’t hit it yet,” Murray said. “Not to put any more pressure on her, I actually think she can break the state record in the shot put. I’ve seen close to that in practice, too.
“She was only a couple feet off of it in indoor. The record was 49-5, and she was 47-5 and fouled one that would have broken it. Mainly, I just want her to have fun, keep improving, get ready for college and win two gold medals.”
While Orie is the Spartans’ top female thrower, Murray is encouraged by the progress of junior Delaney O’Shea, sophomore Bella Gera and freshman Charlie Cieslo. He feels they are making good strides.
The two male throwers who have Murray excited are junior Dillon Ferretti and sophomore Daniel Norris.
Ferretti is one of the top returning discus throwers. He has reached 152 feet, and Murray said Ferretti, who had a late start because he wrestled in the state meet, is starting to round into form.
Norris is a different story.
“He’s going to be a stud,” Murray said. “He almost hit the state mark in the shot in the first meet and the discus (148-9). He’s hit 160 in practice, and I believe he can get over 50 in the shot put.”
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .