COLUMBUS - Billy Price spent his last weekend as an Austintown Fitch athlete in the city where he will be going to school and playing football in the fall.
Before he could focus his complete attention on his future, the 6-foot-4 senior had business to attend to at the state track and field meet, where he competed in the Division I shot put and discus on Saturday outside of Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
As if to remind him of the competitive nature he will see in the Ohio State football program, Price fell to St. Edward's Aaron Zadella in both events, finishing fourth in the shot put and second in the discus.
Despite being a competitor, Price said Zadella was on a roll in both events, and there's nothing that he could have done about it. It also helps the sting of losing go away when the other guy will don the scarlet and gray like Price is.
"Aaron is a great kid," Price said. "He's going to Ohio State for throwing. He's got throwing and I've got football. To fall behind the state champion in the shot put and the state champion in the discus throw and to fall behind in the indoor weight throw, I'm fine with it. I'm OK with it."
Price's runner-up clinching throw in the discus travelled 184 feet, 4 inches, and it came in his third heave in the final heat. He almost didn't make it to the finals, however, fouling on his first two throws. He also came dangerously close to fouling on his final throw in the preliminary flight, but he managed to qualify in second, a spot he held on to.
A similar situation occurred in the shot put, where only one of his throws was counted. He threw 59-5.25, better than his regional qualifying throw.
Zadella won the discus in 196-6 and went 61-4.5 in the shot put.
"It felt good," Price said. "To end the year and my track career at Austintown Fitch on a good note, I think everything went well today."
With this being his third time competing at the state track and field, Price said he feels comfortable competing in the city. Because of his comfort level and the way the citizens treat Buckeye football, Price said he's going to enjoy moving to Columbus.
"The environment in the city itself, it's just crazy," Price said. "The amount of people who love their football here in Columbus is fantastic. That's really going to drive you, keep you motivated when the season drags on a little bit.
"So, I think it's going to be nice down here."
GARFIELD SOPHOMORE TAKES SECOND: Garfield's Edie Svonavec may not have beaten defending champion Alyssa Robinson of St. Clairsville in the Division II girls shot put, but she definitely closed the gap.
The G-Men sophomore's best throw went 45-9.5 to take the runner-up position behind Robinson, who threw a 46-1.5 on her first throw to defend her title.
Svonavec's mark was better than last year's mark of 44-10 to win, and the sophomore jumped up two places from her finish during her freshman year at the state meet.
"Considering today I threw it further than what won it last year, I feel much better about that," Svonavec said. "I feel like I caught up to her pretty good."
Svonavec shattered her previous personal record of 44-3, which tends to leave most athletes content with his or her performance, but with being so close to winning the championship this season, Svonavec couldn't help but feel she could have taken home first place.
That being said, she found the silver lining in her improvement in distance and placement.
"I definitely could have done better," Svonavec said. "I think that I could have taken first. I was just hoping to get a good spot, and that's what I did. I'm not mad about it or anything. It's a good place. From fourth last year to second this year, I'll take it."
OTHER RESULTS: Struthers' Arnoldo Morales took third place in the Division II boys high jump with a jump of 6-7. Howland's Brendan Cope finished seventh in the Division I boys long jump by leaping 22-2.5. Fitch's Gabby Figueroa placed seventh in the Division I girls shot put with a best throw of 41-4.