Salem’s Anthony Shivers started throwing the discus in seventh grade, uncorking a 65-foot throw in his first meet that so impressed his coaches, they decided to keep him in the 4x200-meter relay for another year.

“[The throw] was just terrible,” he said. “I probably got last place in that meet.”

He started working with the Quakers’ varsity throwing coaches, who took one look at his form and said, “What are you doing?”

But with his long arms, his willingness to work and his love for the sport, Shivers quickly got better and was throwing 100 feet by the end of that first year.

“I set a goal that was I was going to throw 200 [feet] by the time I graduated high school,” he said.

It took until the second-to-last throw of his last varsity meet, but he did it, tossing a career-best 203-2 at the Division II state championships. It wasn’t good enough for the state record — he fell five inches short — but it was plenty good enough for his second straight state title.

“It [missing the record] gnaws at me a little bit,” said Shivers, who also placed sixth in the shot put at the state meet. “But I look at that and see what I can do better, what I did well and use that moving forward.”

A Notre Dame recruit, Shivers should improve dramatically in college considering it’ll be the first time he’s focused on track year-round. Because Shivers played basketball at Salem, he couldn’t train during the indoor season and struggled to maintain his weight.

“I’ll be lifting hard year-round and I’m looking to get big strength gains,” he said. “I think I’m going to get a big jump.”

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