TRACK & FIELD: Tribal member to throw shot for Mars Hill

by Nov 30, 2023SPORTS di-ne-lv-di-yi0 comments


One Feather Asst. Editor


The Mars Hill University track and field team is gearing up for its 2023-24 season and includes a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI).  Antonio Lorenzo, an EBCI tribal member and a May graduate of Smoky Mountain High School, will throw the shot put for the Lions this season.

“I started track and field in my junior year of high school, because I tore my meniscus playing football,” he said.  “I started to take it seriously by the end of the season because I was the only thrower to make it to regionals in shot put.”

Antonio Lorenzo, a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and a May graduate of Smoky Mountain High School, will throw the shot put for the Mars Hill University Lions this season. (Photo contributed)

Lorenzo didn’t have a throwing coach, but that didn’t stop him.

“During winter track, I started to research and learn a new technique called the glide. I would practice it and do drills but didn’t compete with it much because I was afraid that I would look silly and foul my throws.”

He then sought out advice and tips from coaches for other schools that paid off in his senior season.  “They gave me tips that would help me out down the road. With those tips I would go on to qualify for state for indoor track, breaking Smoky Mountain’s indoor track shot put record with 43’9”. Then, by the state meet, I broke my own record, using the glide technique, with a throw of 44’9”, placing fifth at state.”

Lorenzo kept the momentum going into spring track and field with the goal of qualifying for the 3A state meet.  “I finished the season strong – competing against the biggest rival – Franklin High School.  The best feeling was beating Franklin’s thrower in the (Mountain 7) Conference Championship earning my first first place all season and a personal best of 48’11”. Going on to regionals, I threw another personal best of 49’5.50” coming in second. Finally, state comes around – it wasn’t my best performance, but I threw 47ft 4in coming in seventh place.”

Now, he is training for his collegiate career to start.

“My training is drilling, lots of throws, and lifting weights. I drill about 30 minutes a day on technical positions you have it hit being a rotational shot putter. I spend 6 days a week at least 2 hours throwing and 3-4 days a week in the weight room, hitting compound lifts such as bench press and barbell back squat.  Also, I do a lot of stretching, which can help prevent injuries, as well as working on mobility when throwing an implement/shot.”

He added, “Now having a program to go off of is 100 percent different from working out on my own during high school, especially at the collegiate level. It’s unique having this program I didn’t have during high school. I like it because I know where I stand as a thrower at Mars Hill University. I haven’t had my first meet yet, but I am excited to see what it is like at a collegiate level meet.”

When asked what he likes best about shot put, Lorenzo stated, “It was the first implement shown to me by one of my friends, saying ‘Hey man, you’re strong, come and throw shot’.  That also encouraged me to participate in track and field. I also liked that a better thrower helped me with my technique at some meets which also inspired me to help other younger throwers or new throwers.”

Lorenzo is currently studying health and human performance at Mars Hill with the goal of becoming a coach for football and track and field at the high school level.