By Joe Scalzo
Anthony Shivers’ first throw on Saturday put him in a funk.
His fifth throw put him in the history books.
After struggling in his opening flight, the Salem senior uncorked the second-longest discus throw in the history of Ohio’s state meet, a 203-foot, 2-inch bomb in the finals that sounded even better than it felt.
“I knew it was good because I heard someone squeal,” said Shivers, who repeated as the state champion at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. “It felt good coming off my hand, but not any different than any other throw all season. But it was a 5-foot PR [personal record], so I guess it was different.”
Shivers got off to a rough start, fouling (badly) on his first throw, then shortening his steps for a 163-foot “just get me into the finals” toss. His final throw of the prelims (153-4) was even worse.
“I sat and watched the next flight kind of anxiously, just waiting to find out if I’d make it to finals,” Shivers said. “I ended up fifth [going into the finals] and said, ‘It’s time to wake up, time to go.’”
His first throw of the finals traveled 192-8, which would have beaten everyone in the field by 20 feet. His next throw made history, breaking the stadium record (200-7) by almost three feet. He finished five inches short of the overall Division II record (and overall state meet record in any division) of 203-7, set by Fostoria’s Cory Echelberry in 1999.
“I did everything I could,” said Shivers, who will throw at Notre Dame next year. “I went after it [the record] and I’m pretty happy with the result.”
Mooney boys second
Mooney’s boys sprint relay teams earned two top-five finishes, placing second in the 4x200 and fourth in the 4x100. Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary won both events en route to the team title.
“Good day, good weather, good competition,” said Mooney senior Marcus McWilson, a Kentucky football recruit who anchored both relays. “We had to get out there and run our race, just like any other day of the week.
“They [SVSM] got us today.”
McWilson — who made sure to point out that Mooney beat SVSM in football this year even though the Irish went on to win that state title — almost didn’t run track this season.
He’s glad he did.
“It was definitely worth it,” he said. “I loved running with these guys.”
Silver for Spotleson
Poland senior Sage Spotleson (who ran a personal-best 14.68) and LaBrae senior Megan Gunther (14.79) finished 2-3 in the 100 hurdles, capping terrific high school careers for the YSU recruits.
“It’s good way to end my senior year, that’s for sure,” said Spotleson, who credited YSU hurdle coach David Townsend for unlocking her potential. “I wanted to go in here and make my PR. It was a personal pride type of thing.
“I can go home and know I did my best.”
Gunther felt the same way after breaking 14.6 for the first time in her career in Friday’s preliminaries when she ran a 14.59.
“I’m really ecstatic about that,” she said. “And having Sage so close is even better. I’m really excited to run with her next year.”