AUSTINTOWN - Before the first bell rang at Austintown Fitch Wednesday morning, Billy Price was already up at 6:30 a.m.
He didn't need an alarm clock. Nerves woke the 6-foot-4, 265-pound junior and made for a rough night.
Price was thinking about the Division I Austintown district meet and becoming a state qualifier for the second straight year.
He won the discus with a 172-foot, 10-inch throw Wednesday. His all-time longest throw was 191-feet, 7-inches at the Poland Invitational on April 28.
The top four in each final advance to next week's Austintown regional meet.
"It's kind of a nasty wind out here today," Price said. "It's not real good for discus throwing. I just utilized what I could today and made the most of it."
When Price throws a discus, he utilizes his hips and feet more than his arms. Fitch coach T.J. Koniowsky said Price has good technique and does not have a fast arm.
"If you were to ask him to do any type of a power movement throwing, it's not good," Koniowsky said. "When he actually has to go to full technique, that's when it gets good for him, so he's exactly the opposite of what you would think. He throws best when he throws like a small guy."
Price said discus throwing has helped him as a defensive tackle.
"Throwing discs enables you to use your hips more and gets you out of positions where as football puts you in those weird positions," he said.
Three factors helped Price become a better thrower before the year began. One is he verbally committed to Ohio State for football in November.
"He committed early so that he can focus on what he needs to focus on and not have to worry about recruiting and all that stuff," Koniowsky said. "It's a testament to him."
The other two, which go hand-in-hand, is Price decided not to play basketball, and he participated in indoor track and field instead. Price focused on his shot put throws and increased his distance from 50 feet to around 59, Koniowsky said.
"Ten feet in the shot's gigantic," Koniowsky said.
Price will compete in shot put on Friday when the districts continue, beginning at 4 p.m.
In other events, Warren G. Harding coach Charles Penny liked what he saw from his team.
Penny added that we was very pleased with the men's long jump. Jai-lyn Moore placed first (20-11 1/4), while Dwight Williams finished 10th.
WGH's Anita Brown was second in the high jump (5-2).
And, the boys and girls teams put themselves in good position heading into Friday's finals.
"It wasn't so much about time," Penny said. "We qualified in the top eight with the least amount of energy and conserved a lot of energy."
Howland coach Sean Borawiec was just as satisfied.
Brendan Cope was third in the long jump (20-3 1/2).
In Wednesday's semifinals, Howland placed sixth in the boys 4x200-meter relay and third in the heat 1 preliminaries. Howland also finished sixth in the boys 4x100 meter relay.
"We got a lot of boys coming back Friday," Borawiec said. "There were not many major letdowns today."
OTHER REGIONALS QUALIFIERS: Canfield and Boardman advanced in the girls 4x800. ... East's Terrell McClain and Fitch's Jay Jakovina moved on in the long jump. ... Fitch's Paige Henley goes on in the girls high jump. ... Canfield's Maggie Bresnahan, Boardman's Giovanna Silvestri and Fitch's Gabby Figueroa advanced in the girls shot put. ... Boardman's Brian Linsley goes on in the boys discus. ... Fitch's Andrew Dunn goes on in the boys pole vault.
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Posted on Tue, May 22, 2012
by By JOE CATULLO JR. - Tribune Chronicle correspondent