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Menominee Indian’s Wayka finishes third in shot put

Booth qualifies, while Szoszorek competes in finals
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Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Menominee Indian’s Darius Wayka competes in the Division 3 shot put competition at the 2019 State Track and Field Championships in La Crosse on Friday.

Menominee Indian senior Darius Wayka expected to finish in the top three of the Division 3 boys shot put at the 2019 State Track and Field Championships.

He turned the expectation into a reality on Friday, coming through with a throw of 51 feet, 2.5 inches on his last throw to take third place while competing at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

“It was my last throw of high school, so I just put everything together and just had to throw that (distance) because I wanted to take third,” Wayka said.

Wayka’s best throw leading up to his final throw was 49-4. The winning throw came from Wayland Academy’s Gracien Jules at 56-9.25.

“It was a big goal of mine. I worked hard and it feels good to just to have everything come together,” said Wayka of his strong finish. “It just feels good that everything I’ve worked at put me up there on the podium.”

Clintonville senior Allysin Booth qualified for the 100-meter hurdle final with a fourth-place finish in 15.88 seconds in the prelims.

“Overall today my hurdles went very well but my actual running was very slow and I was not very happy with my overall speed,” Booth said. “And I just want to have a fun race tomorrow to end my high school career.”

It will mark the third straight year Booth competes in the 100 hurdles. She placed third the past two years.

Bonduel senior Canaan Szoszorek took part in the Division 2 shot put competition.

Szoszorek advanced to the finals and ended up placing 10th after a top throw of 49-0.75.

“I definitely didn’t throw as well as I wanted to but I just wanted to make it to state and enjoy the experience so I’m not feeling terrible,” Szoszorek said.

“I was feeling down but one of my coaches told me I was 10th in the state and once that sunk in, I realized that I actually did something that I always wanted to do (make state).”

Senior teammate Jessie LaBerge also competed on Friday. LaBerge came in 12th in the prelims of the 300 hurdles, posting a time of 49.34.

The top-10 finishers advanced to the finals. LaBerge missed qualifying by just 0.25 seconds.

The senior hoped to enjoy the experience more than anything, and she certainly did just that.

“My race today definitely wasn’t one of my best runs, but I am still very grateful for the opportunity I had to run at the state meet,” LaBerge said. “Although the outcome wasn’t how we expected, I am still very happy that I got to finish out my high school career at state. This was an experience that I will be able to take with me for the rest of my life and I couldn’t be happier.”

Shawano senior Tori DePerry and junior Michael Klement took part in Division 1 action.

DePerry cleared 5 feet on her first jump of the day, but was unable to clear 5-2. She tied for 15th place.

“I just couldn’t get my PR, I was missing with my heels so I was kind of bummed about that,” DePerry said. “But all in all, it’s a really good experience. I’m not mad at all that I missed graduation for this. This is a really good experience coming here top 25 in D1 for high jump — no matter what place.”

Klement was unable to clear a height in the pole vault.

Despite falling short of his expectations, Klement enjoyed competing among the state’s best.

“It feels good, it gives me a confidence booster when I went on the runways in the back of my mind,” Klement said. “It’s something to be very proud of and I am.”

State competition is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.