COLUMBUS - There weren't many local athletes competing in the Division II throwing events at the state track meet Friday. The ones that did, however, made their mark.
Salem seniors Ciera Trybend and Anthony Shivers as well as Minerva junior Maddie Fischer reached the podium at the Division II state meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Shivers, the defending state discus champion, finished sixth in shot put with a throw of 54-feet-2 1/2. He is the heavy favorite entering today's competition in the discus. Nevertheless, reaching the podium in shot put is a rewarding experience for Shivers.
"My shot really started coming on a few weeks ago," Shivers said. "I knew I had a chance to do well."
Shivers finished seventh at regionals a year ago, failing to qualify for the shot put at Columbus. While he continues to have success at discus, his shot is relatively new to his repetoire.
"I focused more on my strength," Shivers said. "That was one of my limiting factors last year. We made some adjustments, like speeding up my spin. We spent a lot more time on technique, and I think that's how I got here."
Trybend and Fischer each reached the podium in the girls discus. Fischer placed fourth with a throw of 126-7 and Trybend was fifth at 124-11.
"It was very nerve-wracking," Fischer said. "But it's an awesome feeling to make a podium. That wasn't my best throw, but it was one of my better ones."
It was Fischer's first visit to Columbus, though she hopes to improve upon her placing when she competes in her senior season.
"I want to work really hard on my form," Fischer said. "I'd like to get my distances a little farther."
Trybend reached the podium for the first time in her career. Last year she finished tenth in shot put.
"It's overwhelming," Trybend said. "I tried to improve on about everything from last year. I didn't throw as well as I could, but how you could be upset? I was just hoping to make it to finals."
She joins 2008 graduate Sarah Brobeck as the only Salem girls to place in a field event at state.
Trybend committed fouls on her first two throws, so she had to scale back just to land one in fair territory.
"It's very stressful knowing that this could be your last throw of you senior year," Trybend said. "I typically foul once a meet, but not like that."
Trybend will compete in the shot put today where she hopes to improve upon last year's result and reach the state podium for the second straight day.
West Branch junior Andrew Filp finished 11th in the boys shot put (51-5 3/4).
Shivers is the third Salem boys in the last six years to place in the shot put, joining Jeremiah Folger and Mike King.
Defending state champ Dylan Dyke of Waverly won shot put with a throw of 62 -5. In 2012, Dyke threw 60-11 1/2es.
The girls discus was won by Alex DeVincentis of Liberty-Benton with a throw of 134-5.
Trybend will compete against the defending state champ in shot put today. Alyssa Robinson of St. Clairsville won last year's title with a toss of 42-6 1/4.