Canfield senior Conner Hoelzel placed 13th in Ohio after competing in the state track and field events over the weekend. It marked the end of a four-year career that started out as just a way to fulfill requirements.
"As a freshman at Canfield, I needed extracurricular hours to go towards my National Honor Society requirements," Hoelzel said. "I joined the track team and took up shot put and discus."
He stuck with it and quickly developed a passion for throwing. He also got to work next to Canfield's Dustin Brode, who broke state records during his career and won the national indoor title.
CHS track and field senior Conner Hoelzel warms up for4 competition in shot put as he prepared last Thursday for his first trip to state as a competitor.
"I worked beside Brode and he gave me advice to help better my skills," Hoelzel said.
In fact, he kept that friendship going and even last week, Brode called him to offer some last minute words of encouragement.
Hoelzel earned his trip to state after placing in the top four at the Regionals held at Austintown Fitch. Coming into the final round, Hoelzel was sitting in sixth place. He realized only the top four move on to state and in his final throw, he made a 53-foot, 11.5-inch throw that bumped him up to a third place finish.
At the state competition, Hoelzel threw a 52-7.5 to finish 13th.
"He was our last standing state competitor for this school year," Wagner said.
As for his post-high school plans, Hoelzel said he is going to play football this fall at the College of Wooster.