Washington Evening Journal
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Shtefanchuk 3rd, Coil 5th in 1A discus throw
WACO senior leads Warriors; Coil gets big points for Wildcats; Malone 23rd
DES MOINES — The Union area track and field athletes continued to fill up the leaderboard in the field events on Friday when three area throwers went at it during the Class 1A discus throw.
When it was all said and done, it was WACO’s Oleh ‘Odee’ Shtefanchuk who stood on the final podium.
Shtefanchuk, a native of Ukraine, had never thrown the discus before coming to America before last school year. In two years with the Warrior track and field team, he was one of Class 1A’s elites.
“It feels pretty nice,” Shetefanchuk said. “With all the work I've done, I think I deserved to place, at least.”
Shtefanchuk had to clutch up on the third throw, as he sat out of the Top-8 before a hurl of 150 feet, 1 inch on his third and final guaranteed throw. He took advantage in the extra throws, throwing 155 feet in his fifth, and 158-02 on his sixth.
Shtefanchuk, who chose to stay over in the United States this season with the Ukraine-Russia war picking up back home, says he never intended on throwing discus in the first place.
“I wasn't supposed to be in track last year,” Shtefanchuk said. “I just wanted to because all my friends did.”
Shtefanchuk plans on staying in the United States, staying close to a place he’s grown to love.
“It’s home,” Shtefanchuk said. “I could have never imagined that this is what it was going to be like.”
WACO ended the meet with 11 points. Simeon Reichenbach added three points when he finished sixth in the long jump, and collected two points with a seventh-place 110-meter high hurdle finish.
Coil, a junior for the Wildcats team threw 149-02, giving Columbus four points for fifth. The Wildcats, of course, went on to finish second place in Class 1A.
Winfield-Mount Union’s Kai Malone threw in the first flight. Malone ended with his best throw being 103-00, for 23rd.
Coil still has one more year to chase a state dream. Shtefanchuk and Malone are both seniors.
In closing, Shtefanchuk reflected on his situation in the U.S., and back home.
“The war isn't over,” Shtefanchuk said. “Keep supporting Ukraine. And peace to everybody. Peace is the main thing. If you're at peace with yourself and peace with everybody else, life is good.”