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Big man on campus

Salem's Shivers wins D-II discus crown

June 2, 2012
RON FIRTH - Staff Writer ( , Salem News

COLUMBUS - The battle for the Division II state discus title was over on Salem junior Anthony Shivers' first throw.

Shivers unleashed a school-record toss of 190-feet-7 on his first attempt Saturday to become Salem's first discus champion since 1931.

"My goals this year were to be state champion and throw 190," Shivers said. "And I got both today."

Throwing in the second flight, Shivers had the crowd cheering at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium with what turned out to be the winning toss.

"It didn't actually feel that good," Shivers said. "Then they said it was 190 and I knew it was going to be hard to beat."

He knew he was the favorite coming in and didn't feel the pressure until Saturday morning.

"He was nervous, but it was more anxiousness," Salem boys coach Todd Huda said. "He was ready when he got here. At 7:45, he would have threw then."

"I kind of was nervous today," Shivers said. "I listened to some music and hung out with (teammate) Ryan Bush and it kind of disappeared. After the first throw, there was none."

Shivers had the top three throws in the field, including a 183-9 on his second attempt in the preliminaries and a 181-6 on his final toss.

"He's been the most consistent kid in the state," Salem throwing coach Jen Neapolitan said. "He always seems to get better each time."

Shivers - who broke the school record eight times this season- also had a 173-3 in the preliminaries, but the competition was over after his first one.

"That's what we were hoping for," Huda said. "He said he wanted to get one in early and and get to the finals for three more throws. It takes the all the pressure off."

"That's what the goal was today," Shivers said. "I just wanted to get a good one and get relaxed so I get to the finals."

It also impressed his fellow competitors.

"They congratulated me," Shivers said. "One guy said, 'Thanks for taking the pressure off of us.'"

He ended up winning by more than 13 feet.

Geneo Area sophomore Logan Bryer was second at 177-4 and Mansfield Ontario junior Eli Burdette was third at 176-3.

"Hopefully he'll be way beyond that next year," Neapolitan said. "Next year we can put into the side of the hill."

"He has big goals," Huda said. "He wants the state record (206-4) next year. It's a big jump going from 190 to 206. He'll definitely put the time in. He's a worker."

Shivers plans on competing in a national high school meet in North Carolina in two weeks.

"Training starts Monday for next year," he said.

State notes

Salem junior Ciera Trybend was 10th in the loaded Division II girls shot put at 39-7 on her final attempt. She also threw 39-6 1/4.

Nine throwers went over 40 feet in the preliminaries and three went more than 44 feet. St. Clairsville junior Alyssa Robinson won with a toss of 44-10.

Carrollton senior April Sisk placed sixth at 40-6 1/4.

Something for Shivers to take notice of: State record holder Mack Tudor of Mt. Orab Western Brown was upset in the Division I boys discus.

Powell Olentangy Liberty senior Grant Cartwright had a winning toss of 195-0, his personal best by 20 feet. Tudor was second at 187-0.

This was Shivers' first trip to the state track meet.

"I was supposed to come last year, but I had a tough time at regionals," he said.

When someone asked Shivers what his winning throw was. He said 190 feet.

"I don't know the inches," he said.

Shivers watched Friday's weight events in the rain, but Saturday's weather was dry and breezy.

"I was a little nervous (about the weather)," Shivers said. "(Friday) was a bad day and I feel bad for those guys."

Salem's last state champion in the discus was Bill Smith in 1931 with a toss of 121-1 2/5. Six more of Smith's teammates gained top five finishes in individual events that year.

United's Parks sets standard at state

COLUMBUS - United sophomore Allison Parks is too focused on running to follow her time.

She became the first United girls distance runner to score at the state track meet by placing seventh in the Division III 1600-meter run at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

The surprise came at the end when the scoreboard flashed her time of 5:08.83, smashing her school record by 6 seconds.

"My whole goal today was to place," said Parks, a two-year state qualifier. "My goal was to stay with the pack. Of course it was really hard. There were fast runners and are impressive athletes. They really pushed me to get that amazing time."

West Liberty junior Meghan Vogel won in 4:58.31.

But three other runners were less than two seconds ahead of Parks.

Her time is the best in the area in five years.

"Probably do what I'm doing, keep it up and not think too much," she said. ",It's hard to pull out record times with people you run with all the time. They have to want to do it too."

Parks said Saturday's finish made up for Friday's race. A slip by the leadoff runner at the start of the 3200-meter relay put the Eagles behind early as they finished 12th.

"Yes, it actually it does," Parks said. "It proved something to me that I did it."

She said the Eagles talked over their relay experience.

"There were a lot of questions like why," Parks said. "I think it was nerves. Nobody can blame anybody."

The only question after her race Saturday was why not?

State notes

West Branch junior Drake Lohnes was 13th in the Division II boys 3200 run in 10:08.00.

He was third after the first lap and dropped to 13th for the final four laps.

Parks' time is the best in the area since Springfield freshman Monica Ciarniello ran 5:05.33 in 2007. Ciarniello ran that at the Navarre Division III regional and didn't get to state.

Range's O'Leary, Roush make podium

COLUMBUS - South Range junior Andrew O'Leary and senior Ryan Roush returned to the podium at the 105th annual state track meet on Saturday.

O'Leary ran a personal best to place third in the Division III 400-meter dash, while Roush was fourth in the 3200-meter run.

"I'm happy with the place," O'Leary said. "I was hoping to run faster, but the wind was strong in the 100 meters."

O'Leary broke his school record in 49.34 seconds.

"I was trying to get a good place," he said. "I wanted to stay up there (with the leaders) and gave everything I had at the end."

He was seventh in the same event last year.

"It feels really good to improve on last year," O'Leary said. "Hopefully next year I'll keep on improving."

It will not be easy. Sherwood Fairview junior Matt Tobin successfully defended his state title (48.62), while Independence freshman Brian Calvey took second (49.28).

"There are only two more places left, so hopefully I'll go one or two," O'Leary said.

Roush was fourth in 9 minutes and 31.54 seconds - just 3/100ths of a second off his personal best from last week.

"I was just happy to get here," Roush said. "It was a rough season."

Roush was leading midway through the race.

"It was slow through the first mile," he said. "I was at 4:47. I wanted to be at 4:40 and a lot of others did too."

He moved back to second on the fifth lap and third on the sixth lap.

"Everyone knew it would come down to the last two laps," Roush said. "I stayed with them as long as I could."

Bainbridge Paint Valley senior Daniel Gardner won in 9:26.21.

Roush, who was third last season, takes his place among the best distance runners to come out of South Range. The only thing missing is a state title.

"I did my best in my four years," he said. "You can't win them all. I think I've won my share."

State notes

Four runners out of the Navarre regional all placed in the top six at state. Burton Berkshire senior Matt Pelletier was third (9:28.35), Roush was fourth, Independence senior Ryan Polman was fifth (9:32.35) and McDonald senior Kyle Joynes was sixth (9:32.48).

South Range junior Tim Nichols came to watch the state track meet after not advancing in the 3200 meters last week with a 9:36, which would have earned a spot on the podium Saturday.

"He's disappointed," Roush said. "I hope he'll miss me as a running partner. I know a lot of times I stole the thunder."

Roush will be running on the Malone University team next season.

O'Leary is the only South Range runner to place in the 400 dash.

The district had another quarter-miler place in consecutive years as Allen Thornton took fifth and fourth in the 440-yard dash in 1962 and 1963, respectively, for North Lima High School.



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