Neighbor Spotlight: Fox Chapel’s Jing McCann earns national award for work in weight room

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Thursday, May 6, 2021 | 11:01 AM


Editor’s note: Neighbor Spotlight is a monthly feature that aims to let our readers learn more about the people in their communities who are working to make them a better place, who have interesting stories to tell or who the community feels deserve “15 minutes of fame.” If you would like to nominate someone as a Neighbor Spotlight, visit foxchapelherald.com, select the “Post Story” button in the upper right corner, click the “New Article” button and complete the form to publish your nomination. Questions? Email Neighborhood News Network editor Katie Green at kgreen@triblive.com.

When the coronavirus pandemic started last spring, Fox Chapel senior Jing McCann decided to use her time wisely and improve in her throwing events any way she could.

After talking with Fox Chapel’s strength and conditioning coach Brandon Peifer, McCann picked up Olympic weightlifting to help with her strength and explosiveness. She started to put in a lot of work in the weight room, and over the past year, Peifer had taken notice.

“Jing truly embodies everything we believe a student-athlete should be,” Peifer said.

McCann put in enough work that Peifer nominated her to become a National Strength and Conditioning Association All-American, and just recently, McCann was honored with an award.

She was named an All-American Strength and Conditioning Athlete of the Year, which is an honor that recognizes high school and collegiate athletes whose athletic accomplishments reflect their dedication to strength and conditioning.

“It felt really great to get the award because I was working really hard in the winter to get stronger for throwing, and it has been really helping me,” McCann said. “I’m a short person, and in throwing, you either need strength, height or technique, and unfortunately, I was not strong before the pandemic. So my goal was to really get stronger so that it would help me in my throwing events and with my confidence.”

So far this season, McCann’s work ethic in the weight room has paid off. The Seton Hill-bound thrower placed second in discus and fifth in the shot put at the Butler Invitational, which is one of the biggest high school track and field events in the area.

Her second-place throw of 117 feet, 5 inches in the discus wasn’t even her best throw of the season. She posted a throw of 118-5.5 at the Pine-Richland Mini-Invitational on April 17, taking first place. Her throw of 33 feet in the shot put at the Butler Invitational was her best throw of the season.

McCann feels like a lot of her improvements have come from her work in the weight room.

“I definitely think that it’s both my weightlifting and my technique, but I also still have a lot to improve on strengthwise,” McCann said. “But I’m also really looking forward to building off of what I’ve started here at Fox Chapel when I get to college at Seton Hill. I know they have a great weightlifting program, and I want to continue to get stronger.”

While being named an All-American was a rewarding experience for McCann, she also said seeing her results day in and day out in her throwing events is special as well.

“It’s rewarding to know that I’m getting stronger, making progress and that I can see it through the distances that I’ve been throwing,” McCann said.

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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