Ali Tolich

Ali Tolich

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The Vindicator's girls field athlete of the year: Fitch's Ali Tolich

Named All-Ohio in two events

Ali Tolich grew up playing soccer, but as a seventh-grader at Mineral Ridge, she discovered her future might be in another sport: track and field.

“When I first started, even my bad throws were better than everyone else,” she said. “I wasn’t real good at first, but I caught on.

“It was really exciting to see I was good at it and I had so much more room to grow.”

Tolich transferred to Fitch in ninth grade and qualified for the Division I regional meet in both the shot put (placing 12th) and discus (sixth).

After a strong indoor season that saw her place second in the state in the weight throw, Tolich started the outdoor season strong.

She threw a personal best in the discus at the Salem Cope Invitational, but hit a rough spot midway through the season, particularly in the shot put.

“There were a few weeks where I didn’t get any throws in [bounds] at all,” she said. “I went through a rough patch with the discus, too.

“So my coach [T.J. Koniowsky] worked with me one-on-one for a few days to fix my technique. We ended up straightening it out.”

Tolich won district titles in both events, then followed it up with a regional crown in the discus.

By the time she reached Columbus, everything was clicking. Tolich placed second in the discus and fourth in the shot put with personal-best throws in both.

“I seemed to pull it all together at the state meet,” she said. “I’m just really proud to do it as a sophomore.

“I definitely want to go for first this coming year and I’m going to work harder on every little thing.”

Tolich eventually wants to throw in college, where she plans to do something in medicine.

“I definitely want to go somewhere that has a really good program,” she said.