BEDFORD - Everyone has their own individual talent. For the kids around here, perhaps it's throwing.
A pair of senior discus throwers -Salem's Anthony Shivers and West Branch's Connor Sharp - punched their tickets to Columbus at the Bedford Division II regional track meet Thursday.
Shivers won his second straight regional crown in a dominating performance. He shattered his own regional record by nearly 9 feet with a throw of 190-feet-4.
"I'd like to repeat as state champion," Shivers said. "I'm happy with how my career has gone so far, but I want to end it all on a good note next week."
He will go for the state title at 9 a.m. next Saturday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.
Shivers won his state crown last year on a toss of 190-7, though he has regularly thrown in the mid-190s throughout the season. The Division II state record - a whopping 203-feet-7 toss by Cory Echelberry in 1999 - remains a long distance away, but Shivers continues to look for improvement even as his high school career at Salem close to a close.
"Maybe I can set a new personal record at states," Shivers said. "I'm always looking to go bigger."
He had the top three throws in Thursday's competition. After his winning toss in the final throw of the preliminaries, he added tosses of 189-4 and 174-7 on his first two attempts in the finals.
Sharp also advanced to state, placing third with a toss of 155-6, which was 10 feet off his best effort.
With a fifth-place finish in last year's regionals, Sharp is looking to take advantage of the opportunity of competing at states regardless of how he threw at Bedford.
"I feel like I should be there," Sharp said. "I'm throwing good enough to be there. I've been down to Columbus and seen some of the events before, and I feel like I'm good enough to reach the podium. I just didn't do a very good job today."
Salem junior Elijah Bricker placed sixth with a personal-best 152-10, missing a state berth by 6 feet.. Shivers spoke fondly of his time competing alongside his teammate, regretting that he would no longer throw against him as a Quaker.
"It's a teammate relationship," Shivers said. "We build off each other. He's a great guy to train with. I'm going to miss throwing with him this week. He threw with me here last year so we've built this relationship and helped each other out."
In other boys action, Salem's Caleb Quinn qualified for finals in the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.48, which was seventh fastest.
The Quakers' 1600 relay team of Ryan Bush, Blake Veglia, Daniel Rumsey and Cameron Turney also advanced, finishing eighth with a time of 3:31.41.
The other Salem boys relay teams weren't so fortunate. the 400 relay was nine (45.10) and the 800 relay was 10th (1:32.84).
West Branch's Josiah Ross was 13th fastest in the 300 hurdles (41.73).