Mooney’s Jornigan takes fifth in shot put
By Brian Dzenis
Kyle Jornigan took the state tournament seriously and it showed.
The Cardinal Mooney junior fit the profile of somebody who does track and field as a side activity in the spring. Known more for his football prowess than throwing ability coming into Friday’s Division II shot put competition, a mere seven inches separated him from being projected to be the lowest competitor in the field.
He beat the odds and numerous competitors to finish in fifth place.
“Any time you can compete at state in any sport, it’s big,” Jornigan said. “I’m glad to be here. Hopefully I move up a few places next year.”
It initially looked like Jornigan would live up to his seeding in the first few throws, fouling the first two tosses and hitting 50 feet, seven inches for his first score. Then there was another foul, and a throw of less than 50 feet, but for a grand finish, he threw 53-01 to get on the podium.
“My expectations were high. I knew I’ve been a decent thrower for a while and I really stepped it up this year,” Jornigan said. “I was hoping to be at least top 10.”
Jornigan is still a football player first. The Cardinals’ offensive tackle is considered to be a three-star prospect by rivals.com and he’s fielding Division I offers from Cincinnati, Kent State, Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, Pitt, Purdue, Rutgers, Temple and Western Michigan. It’s a lot to weigh.
“I have to get along with my position coach, the academics have to suit what I want to be and I want the experience to be like a family,” Jornigan said of picking a school. “I don’t want to walk in there and feel uncomfortable with where I am at.”
Jornigan said he could make a decision on his football future in August. For now, there’s some track glory to enjoy.
“I still think about football all the time, but it was good to get away. I could clear my mind a little bit,” Jornigan said. “I love football, but sometimes you need a break. Track is a good alternative and I love it.”