Hempfield’s DeBone overcomes injuries to finish 8th in pole vault at PIAA meet

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Friday, May 25, 2018 | 6:30 PM


SHIPPENSBURG — Hempfield senior Molly DeBone could hardly lift her legs Thursday.

But nothing was going to stop her from competing in the PIAA track and field championships on Friday at Seth Grove Stadium at Shippensburg.

DeBone ended her high school career by earning an eighth-place medal in the Class AAA girls pole vault. She cleared 11 feet, 6 inches, but the two-time WPIAL champion just missed on her first attempt at 12 feet.

She courageously competed after injuring both quad muscles at practice Monday. She strained her left quad and has a partial tear in her right quad.

“We're so proud of her,” Hempfield pole vault coach Melissa White said. “We didn't even know if she'd be able to compete.”

DeBone also was scheduled to take part in the triple jump but could not because of the injury.

“This week didn't go how we planned it,” DeBone said. “Monday on my first run through vaulting, I felt both of my quads go, and I didn't get to practice all week. I was just resting and taking care of them.

“My goal (Friday) was just to get down the runway. I took Advil, used some Icy Hot and wrapped them up. I knew I had to give it my all. This was my last meet, senior year, and I wanted to give it everything I possibly could.”

DeBone will be attending West Virginia and said she's hoping for better results at the college level.

“I'm super excited to go there and being able to strictly focus on pole vault,” DeBone said. “In high school I was pulled a lot of different ways and did different events. This summer I'll train, and once I get down there with my new coach, big things will happen pretty early on.”

After she failed to clear 12 feet, DeBone was consoled by White and jump coach Nick Keefer.

During her event, DeBone and junior Mackenna Orie spoke briefly after Orie was awarded a sixth-place medal in the shot put.

Orie, who had thrown 43-10 earlier this season, was able to step on the podium with a throw of 40-2½.

“I'm happy to earn a medal because indoor states was a struggle.” Orie said. “I was a mental case, but I think I've overcome that this season.

“That's probably the most important part of being an athlete: to overcome your fears. My first throw was 35, and I built up to 40, so I was pretty happy with that.”

Orie was competing against Berwick senior Payden Montana, who set the state meet record with a throw of 51 feet, beating the mark of Trinity's Elaine Sobansky in 1980 (50-1 14).

“That was awesome watching her,” Orie said. “Watching her do that gives me something to strive for; she probably feels amazing.”

Orie also will compete in the discus Saturday. She was the WPIAL champion with a personal-best 141-0. She is seeded second behind Montana, who has thrown 154-8.

Greensburg Central Catholic graduate Colleen Rosensteel's throw of 165-8 in 1985 is the state record.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

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