2001: Leetonia’s Kyser almost touches gold
Editor’s Note: The 113th annual OHSAA state track and field meet scheduled for this weekend was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. We all remember the state champions. This week we look back on some others who came close:
DAYTON — Leetonia senior Scott Kyser was so close to a state championship that the gold could have rubbed off on his fingers.
Sitting in first place in the Division III discus until the very final throw, Kyser settled for second behind Jacob Frankart of Fostoria Wendelin at Welcome Stadium on Saturday, June 2, 2001.
Kyser had a top throw of 158-feet-10, which was bettered by Frankart’s clutch toss of 162-3.
“I think I was 10 times happier with my fourth place last year,” Kyser said. “I never thought 158 feet (in the preliminaries) would make it to the last throw.”
But throw by throw came up short in the finals. And only Frankart was left with a chance to take the state title away from Kyser.
“In the finals I was freaking out,” Kyser said. “When it came down to the last kid, I said there’s no way I’m going to win with 158 feet.”
Kyser also took third in the Division III shot put, jumping from sixth place with a toss of 53-9 on his last attempt.
“I kept saying to myself I’m not getting sixth,” he said. “I usually don’t get off my best throw in the last one.”
Columbiana senior Kris Reash continued his string of 50-foot throws by placing ninth in the shot put at 50-2 3/4.
Kyser became the second Leetonia boy to place at state in both the discus and shot put the same year — joining Kleofe Zack, who was first in the discus and fifth in the shot put in 1934.
Kyser had throws of 150-7, 158-10 and 147-8 in the preliminaries. He couldn’t better that in the finals, fouling on his final attempt.
“I was really disappointed, but I knew I wasn’t going to win,” he said. “But when I throw 158 feet and get second, it’s not too enjoyable.”
Kyser’s career best of 168-10 came earlier in the season and was hoping to match it Saturday.
“It would have been kind of embarrassing to win with 158 feet,” Kyser said. “I didn’t deserve to win.”