Shiley caps off sophomore year with podium finish at state

Correspondent photo / Robert Hayes McDonald’s Cierra Shiley tosses the shot during the Division III shot put, taking seventh place at 39-6.50.

DAYTON — Cierra Shiley gritted through an ankle injury to continue McDonald’s strong throwing reputation at the OHSAA state track and field meet in Dayton.

Despite rolling her ankle just days before making her state debut, the sophomore set a new personal record and earned a spot on the podium in the Division III girls shot put with a best throw of 39-6.50

“She had a really nice attempt there, her best attempt,” McDonald throwing coach Mary Domitrovich said. “She was just positive and she went in and didn’t let the pressure get to her. She was just able to respond. … To see her come out and throw really well today, it’s a wonderful thing for her. And as a sophomore, it’s exciting because there’s a lot of potential.”

After a first throw of 37-6.50, Shiley improved by two feet on her second and ultimately best throw of the event. Her distances decreased with each additional throw, which she attributed to the ankle injury she sustained jumping over a hurdle in practice.

“I wasn’t able to completely give it my all the last three throws,” Shiley explained.

Nonetheless, she earned seventh and thus a spot on the podium, her first such accomplishment after placing eighth at regionals as a freshman.

“It means so much,” Shiley said. “Being able to come to state, it’s a really big deal.”

Shiley competed alongside her senior teammate Grace Bundy in the shot put. Bundy also qualified for the finals but fell short of the podium with a ninth-place finish.

Regardless of their placings, Domitrovich commended both throwers for qualifying for finals and forging a bond that helped each improve.

“Both [Shiley] and Grace making finals, it was huge,” Domitrovich said. “Grace has been a great mentor for her and certainly helped her hone her skills as she’s made this journey through the season.”

Shiley also attested to the impact Bundy has had on her.

“She’s great. I love Grace,” Shiley said. “She really brings out the competitiveness, and we’re able to cheer each other on at every meet. She’s really just the best possible senior I could ask for. She’s so great at everything, whether it’s competitions or even me just asking for help. She’s the best, honestly.”

Shiley will have a few more opportunities to build on her first podium placing when she is a junior and senior. She explained that she still has a lot of work to do on her throwing form to achieve her goals.

“There are multiple things that I have not been able to perfect,” Shiley said. “Hopefully, I can improve distance, get to 40 [feet] next year or pretty close.”

Have an interesting story? Contact Preston Byers by email at pbyers@tribtoday.com. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter, @PresByers.


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