For Maggie Woginrich, winning state gold was part of the journey
Wilsonville senior Maggie Woginrich's journey to a state championship was an interesting one. While it culminated with winning the gold in the shot put at the 5A track and field championships at Hayward Field in Eugene on Saturday, May 19, it actually began in Newberg.
As a sixth grader, Woginrich was inspired by her older sister who threw for Newberg High School. To hear her say it, it looked like a good time, chucking heavy things long distances.
"I thought it looked fun, throwing things around," Woginrich said. "I wanted to do that. My mom signed me up for middle school track, and then she was really good friends with the high school throwing coach, at the time. She said, 'Sign me up.' That's how it started. But it ended up not working out in middle school."
After sustaining a rib injury that came from a throw, Woginrich ended up not wanting to participate in the sport anymore. A couple of years passed, and she and her family ended up moving from Newberg to Wilsonville. Woginrich was a new kid on campus, and wanted to get know people.
"For me, I moved here freshman year and knew no one," Woginrich said. "I did basketball, volleyball, and track freshman year. I just wanted to get to know people. Getting involved in track, you make a ton of friends that will last a lifetime. One of my best friends, Sierra Bishop, I met her through track and we became best friends."
Her freshman year, Woginrich only threw shot put, but ended up adding discus to her repertoire in the following track and field seasons. Throughout the time, that social aspect in the midst of intense competition kept Woginrich coming back. The budding thrower made it to the state meet her sophomore and junior year, but the air about this year's track and field finals was different. It was, well, more fun this year.
"I went to state sophomore year and junior year, but I didn't know anyone," Woginrich said. "The vibe compared to sophomore and junior year and this year was completely different. We were all talking and laughing and having fun. I was laughing, and it took a bunch of weight off of my shoulders to have a buddy with me."
The buddy who was with her was fellow shot putter Sierra Bishop, the aforementioned friend made Woginrich's freshman year. It was having her best friend around that kept things loose for Woginrich as she competed against the best in the state, Bishop included. It helped propel her to the top.
"When I have fun, and then step into the ring, I'm focused," Woginrich said.
Being focused was even harder during that weekend for Wilsonville's top female shot putter. On Friday, a day before she threw 40 feet, 4 inches to win the gold, Woginrich signed to throw shot put, discus, javelin, hammer, and weight throw for Northwest Christian University. Her future coach was there to watch her do her thing.
Approaching the big moment, Woginrich retired to the stands and listened Spotify to get herself in the zone. Once on the field, she had fun with Bishop, and took to the ring.
To get the big numbers, like she did the week before at the Northwest Oregon Conference Championships with a personal record 40 feet, 6 inches, Woginrich is using a step back throw. While she has used a throwing technique called the glide in the past, Woginrich switched to the step back in order to ease the wear and tear on her right knee. For a right handed thrower, the glide requires springing off of your right foot across the ring for the throw. This became tough for Woginrich after a surgery in December left her without cartilage in her right knee.
"I had a hard time bending my knee, and it was hard for me to stay down," Woginrich said. "As the season progressed, it really helped my throw. Walking hurts sometimes. They had to take out the cartilage in my knee so it grinds a little bit. I couldn't run. Putting any pressure on the knee hurt itself. I had to get used to the pain. I wore a brace that helped a lot. Doing the step back helped to take a lot of the pressure off."
Her new technique paid off. Woginrich ended up taking first place in the shot put, and made it to the awards stand where she was given her medal in front of a crowd of supporters.
"I was thinking, 'I can't believe this is happening,'" Woginrich said. "It still hadn't sunk in that I had gotten first and was a state champion. My coach, he was the winning coach, when he put the medal around my neck, when that happened I was about to lose it. Seeing him, seeing my parents in the crowd, it was surreal."
Even back at school after the track and field season has ended, she is still adjusting to life as a state champ.
"A bunch of people were congratulating me in the hall, and I thought, 'Oh, I'm a state champion,'" Woginrich said. "It's so weird to say that."
Now done as a high school athlete, Woginrich just needs to finish out her time at Wilsonville before she heads off to college. At Northwest Christian University, Woginrich wants to pursue studies in the medical field. Having received many broken bones and grown up going to chiropractors, Woginrich wants to do what she can to assist others.
"I want to do something in the medical field, so, either biology or exercise science," Woginrich said. "I like helping people really. My mom works for a chiropractor. I've known my moms friend, the chiropractor, since I was five years old. I had my first adjustment when I was seven, and I just thought it was cool that she could move my bones into place. I've broken a lot of bones. I have a fascination with it. It's cool to fix people."