After not participating in track and field during his freshman year, Shamokin’s Brian Hornberger has jumped onto the scene as a top performer in shot put and discus.
Hornberger ranks fourth in the Pennsylvania Heartland Athletic Conference in the shot out after finishing 25th last season.
The junior’s best time so far this year was a 48-9 at the Purple and White Invitational, which was held earlier this month. His best mark in 2018 was 41-1.5, which was set in the PHAC Championship Meet.
For Hornberger, he has put in the time and paid attention to key details, while consulting his trainer.
“I just want to go to college for the sports I’m doing now. Track or football, I’ll try to get a scholarship in one of them if I can. I’ve been lifting pretty much every day with our trainer, Tony and he keeps me motivated,” Hornberger said.
Hornberger also emphasized the importance of having good form when participating in shot put. The multi-sport athlete discussed a change in his technique this season.
“I was shuffling at the beginning of the year. It’s kind of like a two-step drill. Our coach had somebody else come in to try to teach us how to glide, which is pretty much what everybody does. I started doing that and I kept getting different PRs, so I stuck with that and it’s been pretty good,” Hornberger explained about the changing of his movements.
With the District 4 meet scheduled to take place tomorrow and Saturday at Williamsport Area High School (6 p.m. and 9 a.m. start times, respectively), Hornberger has created a schedule that allows his body to get some rest, while making time to prepare for the big stage.
“Districts (for shot put) is Saturday, so I’m not going to throw Friday probably. I’m not going to throw Wednesday. I try to take two days out of the week to not throw and just work on form,” Hornberger explained about his game plan for the remainder of the week.
The Shamokin shot putter is currently 31st in the PIAA 3A state rankings statewide. Last spring, Hornberger finished 244th in that category.
In the discus, Hornberger has found himself in the top five in three meets this season, including a second place finish against Loyalsock last month. He also has a personal best of 111-6, which he reached in the Jim Taylor High School Classic, on April 13.
During his hard work and determination, Hornberger has listened to the advice of different coaches, including Shamokin boys track head coach Mike Rogers. The coaches have stressed the key detail of having Hornberger’s head stay up when throwing.
“Since I’m newer to this, I don’t know everything like the other guys do. But, they (coaches) tell me to keep my head up and make everything one motion, instead of slowing down,” Hornberger described about the helpful bits of information.
Rogers said that Hornberger has done whatever it takes to win, which includes little drills and not just relying on throwing.
“He became more diligent with drilling. Instead of just going up and throwing, throwing, throwing, which is what a lot of guys want to do. He became more focused on doing the little things. Th little drills that we talk about doing. Once he started to do that, he started to see the gain,” Rogers said about Hornberger’s work ethic.
More goals are yet to be accomplished this season for Hornberger. He said that he had to make an adjustment after reaching one he set earlier in the year.
“I want to try to hit 50 by the end of this year. My goal was 48, but I broke that a couple of weeks ago. I want to try to hit 50 and make it to states this year.”
With Shamokin sports having a good year and continuing to do so by having both softball and baseball clinch a playoff spot, Hornberger said that he and his teammates want to climb to new heights as well.
“We think about how we were and we’d rather be champions — compared to what we were,” Hornberger said.
Rogers added that he hopes the Indians keep the good times rolling in the district championships and build off of their PHAC performance.
“We have the potential to get all those points at the district meet. I feel positive about it. We were very lackluster when we went to the PHACs, because after prom there was no real energy. We just kind of went out there and did our business. They slept in the tent. They were laying there, but we put up some really good times and shocking times. So, hopefully that wasn’t our peak. Hopefully our peak is Saturday and we blow up,” Rogers said about his team.