PDT Sports Writer
LUCASVILLE — One parent was a college athlete at Rio Grande while her older sister is on a college track and field team, so why not combine the two.
Valley senior McKenzie Coriell did so, opting to continue her track and field career at the collegiate level at Rio Grande. She chose running for the Red Storm over NCAA Division III Wittenberg.
“My mom (Indians head volleyball and girls basketball assistant coach Beth Coriell) played basketball at Rio Grande so I’ve always known that and I’ve always wanted to compete at the next level since I was a little girl,” Coriell said. “I always, playing three sports, kept in shape through all of the years. In track, just the way I run, it just comes real easy to me.”
Coriell enters her final year in high school with one state meet appearance under her belt and looking to make it a second. Last year, she finished 14th in the Division III Long Jump with a leap of 15 feet, seven inches.
Her high school coach, Jason Fell, is glad to see her have a plan when it comes to moving on to the next level.
“McKenzie has had a great career in terms of the long jump and running different sprints for us at Valley,” Fell said.
She did share one memorable moment from her time competing in Columbus.
“I jumped and the (official said), ‘you’re one of the only girls that actually smiled back at me when it was your turn,’” Coriell said. “He said good luck.”
Her sister, Carrie, was ninth in the discus a year ago with a throw of 117 feet in her-second straight appearance at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. She is currently a walk-on freshman with the Marshall track and field team.
“She lets me know that it’s a job, doing a sport in college is a job but I should not be scared of it,” McKenzie Coriell said. “She (said) the runners (at Marshall), all they get to eat is pasta and fish.”
Even though a storm took place during the day they competed, the weather could not damper either sister’s spirits of being at Jesse Owens.
“We were just so excited just to be there,” Coriell said. “There’s so many different people, it’s just a different environment to run in. You feed off of it, it may not be for you but you just feed off it anyway.”
Fell believes having both Coriell sisters compete at a high level and continue the sport in college is beneficial to the program.
“They both have been important to our girls’ track success here,” Fell said. “Also (their) family has played a big role in both of their successes.”
Coriell will look to go into education with the goal of teaching pre-school or kindergarten-aged children. But before she trades in her purple and gold for red and black, Coriell has personal bests she wants to set. In the long jump, she wants to eclipse 17 feet, she wants to run a sub-12-second 100-meter dash a 25-26-second mark in the 200 and under one minute in the 400.
Cody Leist can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 294, or firstname.lastname@example.org.