Quakers have a field day

SALEM – A lot of people came to see Salem discus thrower Anthony Shivers. They left impressed with the whole team after watching the Salem boys’ fifth straight county championship.

The Quakers scored 53 points in the field events on the way to victory in the 110th annual Columbiana Country Track and Field Meet at Reilly Stadium on Tuesday.

Salem totaled 156 points, followed by United with 141. It is the Quakers’ ninth title in 10 years.

“We gave them jobs yesterday,” Salem boys coach Todd Huda said. “They all did what they needed to do except for the 100.”

Shivers, who broke his meet record in winning his third straight discus title, was overheard by Huda on Monday asking what needed to be done for the Quakers to take the county title.

“That’s the third best thrower in the country and he’s worried about winning the county,” Huda said.

Shivers took high-point honors in the field events again with wins in the discus (191-6) and shot put (a personal-best 51-1 1/2).

“I knew I had to do well in both events for us to do well as a team,” Shivers said. “Coach told me in the virtual meet, we were behind.”

Senior Zack Wukotich defended his title in the high jump (6-4), while junior Haedan Panezott was a surprise winner in the 100 dash (11.59).

“I knew it was going to be close,” Huda said. “I was impressed with our kids – the way they came back after losing 10 points in the 100.”

“We knew it was going to be tight,” Panezott said. “We put our guys in the places they needed to be.”

Salem’s Marcus Crittenden – who was favored in the 100-meter dash after Crestview’s Nick Blower did not run due to a strained hamstring – false started in the preliminaries.

“I was a little shocked because we were running 1-2,” Panezott said. “That’s the first time he ever DQ’d. I knew the pressure was going to be on me.”

He leaned at the finish for the victory.

“I held up a little in the prelims and I knew I had a lot left,” he said.

Panezott believes he hit his toe after the finish and took a spill, scraping his back, shoulder and hip.

“I think it took me by surprise,” Panezott said. “I’ve been hit pretty hard in football, but I’ve never had a scrape like this.”

He also teamed with Paul Matak, Logan Taylor and Crittenden to win the 400 relay (44.76) and Ryan Bush, Matak and Crittenden to win the 800 relay (1:32.7).

“Panezott did a great job,” Shivers said. “He was really cut up.”

“Haedan winning the 100 was huge. We came in thinking third or fourth,” Huda said. “Caleb Quinn had a PR in the 110 hurdles and Eli Bricker had a 4-foot PR in the shot put.”

Quinn successfully defended his 110 hurdles title (15.25), while Blake Veglia, Cameron Turney, Daniel Rumsey and Bush captured the 1600 relay (3:31.77).

Salem opened up a lead in the field events and held on, despite being outscored 38-5 by United in the three distance races.

“Those guys toughed it out for us,” Huda said.

Salem has won 15 of the last 16 county titles contested at Reilly Stadium.

“I’m proud of my team,” Shivers said. “Track really is an individual sport. But we pull for each other and have great chemistry. That showed today.”

Meet notes

United was led by sophomore Riley Fillman, who won the 300 hurdles (40.35) and long jump (21 4/ 3/4).

United senior Cole Weikart won the 800 run (2:06.22).

East Liverpool senior Nate Boyer took high-point honors in the running events with 27 1/2 points.

He was first in the 1600 run (4:41.93) and 3200 run (10:37.7), fourth in the 800 run and third in the 3200 relay.

“We didn’t know if someone would help us (take points from United in the distance events),” Huda said. “Obviously, the Boyer kid is great. We knew he was going to win at least two of those.”

East Liverpool finished third in the team standings with 98 points.

“They were way better than I thought,” Huda said.

Zack English was East Liverpool’s other winner in the 400 dash (51.9).

Wellsville’s Justin Gregg won the 200 dash (22.93).

Salem still has dual meets at Minerva on Thursday and at home against West Branch next Tuesday.

“I’m going to keep looking to improve,” Shivers said.

The 15-point winning margin is the first time it has been under 20 points since 2003.

The Columbiana County Meet is the oldest continous county meet in Ohio, being held every year since 1904.