DES MOINES, Iowa — Levi Novinski did all he could to forget last season’s disappointing performance in the discus at the Class 2A Iowa coed state track and field meet.
Novinski’s results in Friday’s discus competition at Drake Stadium in Des Moines all but erased those bad memories.
Unlike last year, the Durant High School senior qualified for the finals and went on to finish in seventh place with a throw of 156 feet, 1 inch.
“My goal coming in was to make finals and I made the finals,” Novinski said. “I was happy no matter where I placed today.”
Novinski's results were nearly the complete opposite of last season's — almost.
At last season's state meet, he fouled in all three of his attempts. On his first throw Friday, the disc sailed out of bounds.
“My first throw was ‘Oh gosh, I hope this doesn’t again,’” Novinski said. “Not a repeat, I didn’t want that.”
On his next throw, Novinski made sure it didn't.
His next toss of 148-10 wouldn’t have qualified him for the finals, but it was enough to get the monkey off his back.
“I threw one and got one in and it worked from there,” Novinski said. “I figured if I got one, it would feel good enough that I would be able to climb from there."
Novinski was right about his theory, as he uncorked a throw of 156-1 in his third attempt, which was the sixth-best throw at the time and qualified him for the finals.
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“It felt good, felt clean and everything came together for the throw,” Novinski said.
Even though he didn't throw it any further in the finals, Novinski was still able to come home with a medal in his final trip to the state meet.
“I feel like I got some redemption this year and it just feels great to come back and compete again,” Novinski said. “A throw of 156, I am satisfied with. Coming in here and to get some redemption, I am happy with it.”
Angel Rodriguez was also looking forward to having a better state meet than his first trip two seasons ago.
The Columbus Community senior may not have placed in the high jump this year after clearing 6-3, but he was still happy with his results.
“Everybody gave it all they got and I am glad to be here and glad to enjoy this time with the best in the state,” Rodriguez said. “It’s an honor for me.”
Rodriguez’s jump was just short of securing a medal. While the five competitors ahead of him tied all only cleared 6-3, too, it took them two jumps to clear that height compared to three attempts for Rodriguez.
But his jump Friday was still better than the 6-0 height he cleared at state in 2013.
“I made a lot of progress because of my team and I appreciate how everyone pushed each other to the extreme,” Rodriguez said. “I am proud of my team.”
In other area action Friday:
- West Liberty's Noah Feldman was 18th in the boys high jump after clearing 6-1.
- Wilton's Grace Austin cleared 4-11 to finish in 18th place in the girls high jump.
- Louisa-Muscatine's Lauren Hargrave finished 21st in the girls discus with a throw of 101-1.