Lisbon's Dom DeFilippo finished third in discus in Division III.
By JOE SCALZO
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
COLUMBUS -- One of the best throwers in area history was in no mood to reflect on his career on Saturday. It wasn't because he took second in the discus; it was because he wasn't at his best.
"Had I thrown my [personal best] and finished second, I'd have been happy," Springfield senior Nick Panezich said. "But I didn't and that's what hurts."
Panezich's throw of 178 feet, 8 inches was 2 inches short of the toss by Columbus Grove senior Blaine Maag, who won the event in 2003 before losing to Panezich last year.
Had Panezich thrown his personal best of 190, or even last year's state-winning throw of 184-2, he would have won easily.
"I'm kind of upset about that," he said. "Every meet, I go out there and try to throw my personal best. But it all comes down to who has the best release and the best form. It's not really about who's strongest."
Panezich, a University of Tennessee recruit, won a state title in the shot on Friday after winning state titles in both events last year. He was a state qualifier all four years.
"When I look back on the last four years, I'm real happy with what I've accomplished," he said. "But this is just not something I wanted to end with. It's something I'm going to take with me down to Tennessee.
"Hopefully, I won't let it happen again."
Lisbon senior Dom DeFilippo placed third in the discus after finishing sixth last year. Maplewood senior Justin Wajda was sixth and Leetonia senior Aaron Merrill placed eighth.
"It feels weird because I'm happy to get third and I had one of my best throws, but the two guys ahead of me threw bad and won," DeFilippo said. "But it's state and I did better than last year, so I'm happy.
"I'm going to the all-you-can-eat steak buffet tonight."
Mineral Ridge senior Levi Leigh placed third in the 110-meter hurdles after winning the event at last year's state meet.
"It's been an amazing ride and a great experience," said Leigh, who will walk on to the University of Florida track team next year. "To win it all, that's another level.
"Sometimes it's not meant to be. But it's all part of God's plan. Everything happens for a reason."
Struthers finished second in the 4x100 and 4x200 relays and fifth in the 4x400 relay to finish fifth in the Division II team standings.
The Wildcats ran a faster time in the 4x100 than they did to win last year's state title, but it was little consolation, finishing four-hundredths of a second behind Columbus Eastmoor Academy's time of 42.44. They finished five-hundredths of a second behind Heath (1:28.41) in the 4x200 relay.
"It wasn't good enough," said junior Eric Anderson, a member of all three relays. "Sometimes your best ain't the best you can do."
Still, Anderson -- along with teammates Ty Campana, Justin Penson and Larry Wylie -- was proud of what the Wildcats had accomplished.
"Everyone in Struthers is proud of us and everyone in the community really supported us," Anderson said. "Second is pretty good; we just didn't do what we came down here to do."
Campana is the only senior on the team, which means the Wildcats could make a return next season.
"I've been running with these guys since seventh grade and we're going to miss Ty desperately," Anderson said. "Hopefully someone else can step in for him next year and help us get back."
Lisbon senior Daniel Kinsey, who will compete in the pentathlon at Indiana University next year, capped his career by finishing fourth in the discus, fifth in the long jump and seventh in the 110 hurdles.