EATON TWP. — Black River senior John Guilford could have given himself a lot of reasons not to look at himself as the discus favorite Thursday at the Midview Division I District track meet.
Guilford missed his entire junior year with a torn labrum and fouled out of the discus a week ago at the Patriot Athletic Conference Meet. But Guilford knew he had to face up and handle the pressure.
Guilford won the competition with a career-best throw of 153 feet, 11 inches, crushing his previous best of 147-6 set a month ago at the Northwestern Invitational. The winning toss came on his second attempt of prelims.
He easily outdistanced Holy Name senior Frank Shaffer (138-7) and Orrville junior Austin Seigrist (136-5). Seigrist was the No. 1 seed (148-2), in front of Guilford.
“It feels pretty good,” Guilford said. “I have no complaints. I wasn’t really expecting to win. I was pretty mad after conference. My first throw at conference was a foul. That got me frustrated. Then I just kept trying to overthrow it. My first two throws were out of the sector. The last one I stepped out of the ring.”
But he got his act together and technique straightened out from the big disappointment at the PAC Meet and chalked up the biggest day of his high school track career.
Guilford is within range of the school record of 155-6 set in 1996 by Blake Owen. Not bad for a guy whose career-best was 123 feet entering the season.
“I didn’t practice discus much as a sophomore. I just did it,” said Guilford, a Division IV All-Ohio defensive end headed to Valparaiso. “I was more of a jumper and sprinter.”
The Buckeye boys 4×800-meter relay of juniors Bob Auber, J.J. Grzincic, Austin Lepole and Ryan Gallagher was second (8:28.28) to Norwayne (8:21.25). Grzincic’s effort in the second leg was particularly instrumental, as it vaulted the relay from sixth into first.
“Bob got stuck in there. There were so many people,” Grzincic said. “I just got on the outside and pushed my way around. It was a very good day for me. I haven’t run this well in a while. I wanted to give Austin the lead then Ryan some more room to push.”
The top four finishers in each event advance to the Lexington Regional. The top four finishers for the girls advance to the Bedford Regional.
District action at Midview continues Saturday, with field events starting at 10 a.m. and running events at 12:30 p.m.
Contact Paul Heyse at email@example.com.