Edgewood athletes Sarah Coxon and Taylor Visnosky have taken friendship to another level.
After meeting three winters ago on the basketball court when Coxon was a sophomore and Visnosky a wide-eyed freshman, the two became close friends and this weekend, they’ll accompany each other to Columbus to compete in the shot put at the 2023 OHSAA State Track & Field Championships.
“It’s really great,” Coxon said of the duo both qualifying for the state meet in the same season. “I met Taylor in my sophomore year of basketball. She heard about me throwing in track and stuff, and that’s kind of why I got her to come out with me. She’s always been a great athlete, a strong athlete, willing to be coached, even by one of her own peers like me. I’ve always had faith in her, and I always knew she had it in her. It really showed at regionals, because we always knew she could throw those big numbers and she proved it.”
Coxon qualified for the state meet in her final year of high school track.
She did it by winning the Division II Austintown Regional championship with a best throw of 41 feet, 5 ¾ inches, short of her personal record by four inches.
“It’s been a rocky road,” Coxon said. “Being able to not only go to state but to do it with my best friend and I get to take my coaches and all my family down there, it’s going to be an amazing time.”
Coxon has every reason to be nervous heading into her first state championships, but she’s taking it all in stride.
She expects some nerves but once she steps into the shotput ring in Columbus, she’s going to do everything she can to earn a spot on the podium.
“Once you’re reached the state meet, there’s absolutely nothing to lose,” she said. “I hope to just make it into the finals and then I can just go for it. I can go all out and put all my training and all my effort into the throws and see where that takes me.”
As for her teammate, Visnosky stepped up at the right time.
She tossed the shot 38 feet—a four-foot PR–to finish fourth at the regional meet.
“At the beginning of the season, I definitely did not expect to be where I’m at now,” she said. “I definitely wanted to see my teammate succeed, and I definitely knew that she had it in her. With me, I did not see this coming at all.”
Visnosky will approach her first state meet the same way she did the regional meet.
“I just kind of thought it could be my last time doing it, so I just wanted to have fun and live for the experience, because no matter what, next year I have to give it my all,” Visnosky said. “It’s a little more relieving because I know I have my shot next year, but with it being Sarah’s senior year, I also want to be up there with her just to send her away.”