NEW CASTLE —
Dom Westbay is living proof that hard work does pay dividends.
The Shenango High track and field standout turned himself into a WPIAL shot put champion in his second year in the sport.
“Good things usually happen for you if you put in the time during the offseason,” Wildcats coach Scott Sauders said. “That’s not always the case, but for Dom, we’re fortunate things are paying off for him.
“The sky is the limit for him. He threw for us last year and his best throw was around 37 feet. I’m proud of him for making the jump to 50-6 1/2 this year. That’s quite the improvement. He improved by 20 feet in the discus this year as well. You can tell all his hard work is starting to pay off.”
EARNING THE NOD
The junior won the WPIAL Class AA shot put championship with a heave of 50-6 1/2 and captured fourth place in the discus with a throw of 137-8 Thursday at Baldwin High School.
By placing in the top five at the WPIAL championships, Westbay qualified for the PIAA championships on Friday and Saturday at Shippensburg University’s Seth Grove Stadium.
The performances earned him Lawrence County Athlete of the Week honors, an award sponsored by Washington Centre Physical Therapy and selected by the New Castle News sports staff.
“The past few weeks, he’s just kept improving,” Sauders said. “He was adding like two feet to his throws each week on the shot put. We were wondering where’s the cap? We haven’t gotten there with him yet.”
Westbay qualified for the state meet right off the bat Thursday.
“He had a look in his eye,” Sauders said. “He had that determination. He really went after it that first throw. He came close to fouling, but he held it in and it ended up being his big throw. That was a state (qualifying) mark.
“There was no pressure for the rest of his throws. It was just a matter of what place he was going to get. I think he had three throws that would have gotten him first place that day, so he didn’t just do it one time.”
Westbay admitted to needing a different approach for the shot and the discus on the day of a meet.
“I have to stay focused and get the adrenaline going for the shot,” he said. “Once I get that, it’ll fly. That’s all it takes for me.
“I have to take a different approach with the discus. I have to relax myself. You can’t muscle up or it won’t fly as well. You have to be relaxed, fast and quick.”