Chalker’s Karr seeks state berth

CORTLAND – Austin Karr thought at the beginning of this season it might be his turn.

He saw Division III state record holder Christian Smith from McDonald set the discus standard at 203 feet-9 inches during a meet last season at Western Reserve High School.

The Chalker High School senior stood in awe.

This year, he’s determined to be one of the state’s best in Division III.

“Last year we had one of the greatest throwers ever in Ohio,” Karr said. “To follow that up is a great feeling.”

He took a step in that direction by winning Thursday’s boys discus competition at the Trumbull County Meet.

Karr threw 138 feet-1 inch, but has a best throw of 144 this season.

He’d like to throw 160, which will likely get him to the D-III state meet in early June. If that happens, Karr would be the first Chalker athlete to qualify for state since Ryan Gilanyi finished sixth in the 1,600-meter run in 2006.

“I just need to work on a few small things, then I think that’s achievable,” Karr said.

Chalker track and field coach Chip Habosky said Karr has been working with throws coach Bob Kujala, who worked with former LaBrae thrower Steve Woodyard. Woodyard threw 165-0 to place fourth at state in 2010. The former Vikings standout made state the previous two years.

As for Karr, he had to deal with a stiff wind coming across the throwing area last week at Lakeview High School.

“We’re up at the track, five, six nights a week,” Habosky said. “It’s really all him. I pushed a little, but he did all the heavy lifting. He really wants it. It’s fairly focused. It’s not what he wanted. He wanted a better throw. The weather wouldn’t allow it today.”

Karr hopes the weather improves and a state bid is in his future.

“My goal is to make it to state this year,” he said. “If I do that, then I’ll be happy.”