Mo Reiner was sitting down eating breakfast with the rest of her Milton teammates prior to the PIAA track and field championships at Shippensburg when Milton coach Rod Harris let her know that she qualified for nationals in Oregon.
Reiner was intrigued, but didn’t really think much about it. She brushed it off and continued her breakfast, focusing on reaching the medal stand at Shippensburg.
After placing sixth at states, however, Reiner talked to Harris again about the event in Oregon.
“We came back to it after the state event and talked about it. I said it sounds fun, lets do it,” Reiner said.
Fast forward a few weeks after the state meet at Shippensburg and Reiner’s track season is still ongoing. The Black Panther junior not only had an outstanding performance at the Emerging Elite National Championships at the Nike National Track and Field Championships, she outright won her event.
Reiner won the javelin contest with a throw of 138 feet, 7 inches in Eugene, Oregon, to claim the Emerging Elite national title. She also set a PR by roughly nine feet in the process.
“It means a lot, especially with the exposure that will hopefully come with it as well. It’s just huge,” Reiner said. “It was the goal coming into this season because I knew I could throw it and believe I could.”
Reiner’s continued to improve since March when the high school spring season began. Reiner seemingly hit a PR every time she picked up a javelin. She PR’d at the District 4 track and field championships, then PR’d again at the PIAA track and field championships before once again upping her mark, this time on a national stage against competitors from Florida, Arizona, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and elsewhere.
“That’s what really motivated me to really push to come out here because I knew I wasn’t quite done yet and I knew I had more in me,” Reiner said. “With the streak so to speak that I was on (of PR’ing), I didn’t want to stop that and kind of just knew that I’d do well.”
And the competition against some of the country’s top javelin throwers helped fuel Reiner and make her perform well. Reiner’s winning throw was roughly four meters ahead of the next-best thrower in Eugene, which was Alexandra Bohanan of Ponte Vedra, Florida.
“That’s probably the biggest thing that I love about javelin is meeting the type of people that comes with it. It’s insanely cool to talk to other student athletes that are very familiar with it and just to talk to them and how it’s like for them and how similar they are to me, so to speak.”
Reiner won the javelin event with her final throw in the finals. Reiner was the last competitor to throw, and knew where she was sitting as she approached her final attempt. After it left Reiner’s hands and she watched it soar, she knew she was a champion.
“It flew out of my hand and I kind of stood there, watched it, made sure I didn’t step over line because that would have sucked,” Reiner said with a laugh. “But I saw it land past that 40-meter mark and knew it was big to even know before I saw official mark that I just crushed.”
Reiner credits coach Bing Pursell as to being a huge reason she’s doing as well as she is currently.
“I had a little rough patch in the middle of the season, but I can’t give enough thanks to my coach for what he did and how much he believed in me going through that whole process,” Reiner said. “He just kept my head in it and kept pushing me and through all the success and all troubles, he was there and I can’t thank him enough because he’s person who got me to where I am right now.”
Reiner never had much interest in doing javelin prior to reaching high school. She didn’t have a freshman season in the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic and just played soccer and basketball earlier that year. So when track season rolled around in 2021, Reiner thought she would probably just do running. After all she had stamina from running up and down the court in basketball and during soccer season. Pursell told her she’d probably be good at the javelin, though, and so begin her climb in the event.
“He threw me into the fire and said here’s a sharp stick,” Reiner joked.
It turned out to be a great decision as Reiner is a two-time state qualifier, won the District 4 championship this spring and placed sixth at states and still has a senior season to go to build off that resume. Reiner is now turning her attention to the upcoming JavFest at East Stroudsburg in mid-July.
“We’re going to keep training and keep pushing and not let this thing drop,” Reiner said. “Hopefully the goal is just to throw even better there.”