|Jun 6, 2008; Columbus,Ohio: Eastwoods Crosby
Schemenauer came in 2nd place
at the OHSAA State Track Meet at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium (Andrew Weber/Sentinel-Tribune)
LUCKEY – One state championship isn’t enough to satisfy Justin Welch.
Instead, the Eastwood High School junior will go for back-to-back Division II state championships in the
discus Saturday at Ohio State University.
Welch is an overwhelming favorite to win the event.
He’s one of two Eastwood athletes who is a state title favorite, joining senior Crosby Schemenauer in the
pole vault which is Friday. Schemenauer was second in his event at state last year.
Welch won the Lexington High School regional last weekend with a throw of 194-2, more than 21 feet
further than runnerup and Sandusky Perkins senior Kyle Steinhauser at 172-11. None of the other 14 state
qualifiers threw better than 162-2 during the regionals.
Welch’s best this season of 198-6 is fifth-best nationally.
"It would be pretty cool to have back-to-back state titles," Welch said.
But a state title isn’t Welch’s only goal this weekend. He’s also hoping to break the Division II state
record and the state-meet record of 203-7 was set in 1999 by Fostoria’s Cory Echelberry.
Echelberry’s throw is the best at the state meet, regardless of division.
The state record for all divisions is 204-5 set in 1987 by Akron Ellet’s Charles Moye. That throw came in
"I want to throw 200 (feet) and break the records," Welch said.
Welch plans on getting one good throw in to make sure he wins and once he does that, he’ll go for the
The competitors receive three throws during the final preliminaries with the top nine distances advancing
to the finals. Each athletes gets three more throws in the finals in an attempt to improve their
"I just have to make sure my technique is solid and a big throw is more mental than anything,"
Welch said. "It’s just a matter of everything coming together at the same time."
Welch has performed consistently well this season.
He set the Suburban Lakes League record May 15 with a throw of 198-5 and won the Oak Harbor district
title the next week with his throw of 198-6.
"I’ve been pretty satisfied with the way I’ve been throwing," Welch said.
"His driving force is to be a state champion," Eastwood coach Gary White said. "He wants
to beat you just to beat you. He wants to win everything. If somebody goes ahead of him, he’s not going
to let it happen. He’s very competitive, no matter who it is. He’s so dominant in the discus he feels
there’s no way he’s going to get beat.
He’s really worked hard at it."
Although Welch is expected to win easily, he’s worked hard and has strived to improve.
"Just knowing there are other guys in the country throwing farther keeps me motivated," Welch
Welch is a returning state qualifier in the shot put where he finished 14th last season.
He finished third in the regional at 55-9 3/4, short of his personal-best of 61-1.
His regional throw was the fifth-best of the 16 state qualifiers. Also in the field is defending state
champion and Perkins junior Matt Hoty, who set a state record in the regional with a throw of 64-8 1/4.
The shot is Friday.
"My goal is to finish second," Welch said of the shot put, adding he’s hoping to throw in the
61-foot range again.
Welch said he didn’t perform well in the regional because of technique problems.
"It’s nothing major, but a couple of bad things got in my throwing and I need to work that
out," Welch said.
Schemenauer finished second in the state last shared and jumped a school record 15-4 to win the Lexington
regional last week.
Ontario junior Jamey Robson also jumped 15-4 at Lexington, but Schemenauer won on fewer misses. No other
state qualifiers jumped higher than 14-0 at the regional.
"I want to win state," Schemenauer said. "Having been there last year will help me because
I’ll be relaxed and know what to expect. I was nervous last year."
Schemenauer has performed consistently well and has been clearing 15-0 regularly.
"He’s very confident in what he can do," White said. "He’s totally confident he’s going to
clear 15-plus every time he jumps. Last year, he was hoping for the 14s. He’d be crushed if he jumped
The Division II state record and state-meet record of 16-4 set in 1986 by Medina Buckeye’s John Coyne
also are within range.
Schemenauer also qualified for state in the 110 hurdles with a second-place finish in 15.0. His time is
the fifth-fastest in his semifinal heat. The top four finishers in each semifinal Friday advance to the
finals on Saturday.
"I just want to get to the finals and then we’ll see what happens," Schemenauer said.