Westmoreland athletes of the week: Norwin’s Ryan Weinzen, Hempfield’s Mackenna Orie
By: Andrew John
Tuesday, March 5, 2019 | 1:05 PM
Claim to fame: Weinzen (32-4) captured the 220-pound title with a takedown with 46 seconds left to upset Armstrong’s Ogden Atwood, 2-1, at the WPIAL Class AAA championships at Canon-McMillan on Saturday. Weinzen will participate in the PIAA tournament this week in Hershey.
“I’m thankful for the people in my life. I had a concussion for eight months and since then my family and coaches helped me. It made me proud to prove a lot people wrong,” Weinzen said.
What was your mindset in the final minute of the bout?
That was the worst match I wrestled this year due to nerves. I knew I had to wrestle a lot better in the last minute, and I pulled it out.
What does it mean to you to give Ogden Atwood his first loss in the WPIAL championship match?
I’ve known Ogden for a while. I knew he had put a lot of work in. I know everyone is beatable. It was cool to be the underdog, and I deserve to be on the podium.
What is your mindset heading into PIAAs?
I’m very optimistic heading into to states. I feel like I have a good seed in the bracket. I’m ready to grind the next few days and prove to people I should be there.
How have you grown as a wrestler throughout the season?
I’ve matured a lot in both aspects. I’m getting into those big matches, growing from them and just wrestling. I’m giving it my all the whole six minutes. I’m not worrying about the results because I know everything will pan out.
What is your favorite meal?
After the season when I’m not worrying about eating healthy, I love to eat pepperoni rolls. My go-to food during wrestling is chicken and rice.
Sport: Track and field
Claim to fame: Orie, a DePaul recruit, captured the shot put title with a throw of 47 feet, 7.5 inches in the Pennsylvania indoor track and field championships at Penn State on Feb. 23.
“I’m very excited. I PRed by a foot and half to take down the two people in front of me,” Orie said.
What made you commit to DePaul?
The coaches there are amazing, and I know they will take me to the next level. I love the city of Chicago and they have my major. The teammates and track team is amazing. They are on the rise. (I’m majoring in) health sciences. I want to be a PA or PT with that.
What does it mean to you to break the 2010 record set by Rachel Serafin?
It means a lot. Rachel was a wonderful thrower. Every time when I saw that record, I wanted to know how that felt for her, and I got to experience that. She was such a good thrower for a long time.
How can you use this win as a springboard for the outdoor season?
I think it’s going to bring me a lot confidence. I lacked some confidence at states last year, and I placed sixth. I want to go for the state record in the discus.
What does it mean to you to become the fourth thrower in Hempfield history to win a state title?
It means a lot. There have been a lot good throwers at Hempfield, and for me to be added to the list makes me feel great.
What’s your favorite subject?
Ceramics. It’s the easiest class. I think it’s very relaxing with all the calculus and AP biology work I have. We are making a teapot right now. I wouldn’t say I’m good at it, but it’s very relaxing.
— Andrew John