SALEM - Salem's reigning state champion Anthony Shivers has his farthest discus toss yet - all the way to South Bend, Ind.
Shivers has verbally committed to accept a track scholarship from the University of Notre Dame. He will officially sign his letter of intent on Wednesday.
"It was one of the three choices between Notre Dame, Ohio State and Tennessee in the summer and it (Notre Dame) was one of the places I wanted to visit," Shivers said. "I was down to Ohio State and Notre Dame in December and I committed to Notre Dame in early January."
Many schools had their eye Shivers as he won the Division II state title in June with a school-record toss of 190-feet-7.
Shivers ended up accepting a half-scholarship from Notre Dame. Those kind of scholarships are hard to come by in college track and field.
"I visited there and had a great time. All of the people there, they had each others' back," Shivers said. "It was a great vibe and somewhere that I could see myself succeeding in track and academically as well as building connections that would last forever."
An avid Ohio State fan growing up, it was a difficult decision to choose against the school he had rooted for as a kid, but not one that he regrets.
"(At Notre Dame) they just seemed like they were more dedicated to what they were doing and I got a better feel from the coaches," Shivers said. "The athletes just seemed set on hard work and doing well and that's the environment that I want to put myself in."
Shivers, a devout Catholic, also said that the congruence with the faith in Catholicism was also important in what he saw at Notre Dame.
"It played a role," Shivers said. "It's nice to know that there will be a lot of catholic people there and a lot of people that share the same views that I do. "
Shivers plans to major in pre-med when he gets to campus on Aug. 27. And with an abundance of help around him, is anything but apprehensive in taking on college coursework and practice.
"They had good goals both in the classroom and track. They all want to do well," Shivers said. "Of course there are tutors and things to make sure that you're on top of your grades there."
With everything that Notre Dame has to offer: state of the art facilities, premier athletics, world renowned academics, and a family tie that link him to the Irish - Shivers' cousin recommended a visit to the school, his favorite detail was one that stands out to anyone who has ever stepped foot on campus in South Bend.
"The campus," Shivers said. "It's a beautiful campus and I just loved it."
Years ago if you would've asked the 6-foot-5, 200-pound Shivers if he would go to college on a track scholarship, the answer would likely have been a resounding "no."
Shivers took up track as a way to keep himself busy during the off-season and help keep him in shape for basketball. What he didn't anticipate was a love for a sport that would quickly grow into his new passion.
"I would have never guessed that," he said. "I was a big Ohio State fan for a long time and track was something I just started doing just to keep busy outside of basketball. I ended up falling in love with it and and realized I could go to the next level with it."
There is a lot of work for him to do in Salem before heading to Notre Dame.
Shivers is the second-leading scorer on the Salem basketball team. He is averaging 16.3 points per game as the Quakers are 12-3 on the season. And after basketball season is over, he will be getting ready to defend his state discus title.
"I'm still lifting a few times a week," Shivers said. "I also practice my footwork so that stays fresh."
He is Salem's only state discus champion since 1931.
"I personally want to become a better shot putter," he said. "That's been a weaker area of my throwing. I know I need to get stronger."