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La Follette senior Ladell Cannon, East senior Parker Buske bring home titles
WIAA STATE TRACK AND FIELD | DIVISION 1

La Follette senior Ladell Cannon, East senior Parker Buske bring home titles

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LA CROSSE — Madison La Follette senior Ladell Cannon couldn’t believe the result in the boys triple jump.

And Madison East senior Parker Buske left the pit in shock after the girls long jump.

In unexpected fashion — even where they were concerned — Cannon and Buske became state champions at Friday night’s WIAA Division 1 state track and field meet at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Cannon leaped a personal-best 47 feet, 3¾ inches in the finals and won the triple jump. Franklin senior Shane Staerkel finished second, jumping 46-7¾.

“I’m really speechless,” Cannon said. “It’s both surprising and I’m happy. I’m focused right now on how I actually did it. My heart is pounding. I did it.”

Cannon, seeded sixth, continued establishing new personal bests during the competition, gaining the lead in preliminaries with a leap of 45-11¾, then securing the state title with jumps of 46 feet, ½ inch and the winning 47-3¾.

“My goal was just to get on the podium,” Cannon said. “Then as I was jumping, I was realizing, ‘I can actually do it. I can do it.’ I was in first but then a kid passed me. I knew I had to go big or go home. I thought, ‘I’ve got to pop one.’

“I stared down the runway and I was thinking, ‘This is it.’ When I hit that sand, I didn’t expect to go that far. I thought I heard them say, ‘40-3,’ but then I heard ‘47-3.’”

And that announcement was music to his ears.

Buske, meanwhile, was seeded 17th out of 24 entrants and began the long jump in the first of three flights.

She leaped 18-9½ on her fifth (and penultimate) jump — a personal best that shattered her school record of 18-6 — and claimed the state title.

“I was shocked,” Buske said. “I didn’t think I jumped that far. And I never had jumped that far before. I’m really excited to end my high school career on that foot and to go into college (as a jumper at UW-La Crosse).”

Franklin junior Nadia Vo, the sixth seed, finished second (18-8). Several of the top seeds faltered and third-seeded Brooke Jaworski of Wausau West had to scratch due to a leg injury sustained in the 100 high hurdles preliminaries.

Buske said she scratched her jumps at state the past two years due to “too much adrenaline,” but felt more under control Friday.

“I came back with a fight (this time),” Buske said. “It’s really great to win. It’s amazing.”

The Middleton team of junior Zach Leffel, senior Michael Madoch, junior Braedon Gilles and senior Caleb Easton entered the boys 3,200 relay as the fourth seed and wound up victorious. The Cardinals finished in 7 minutes, 48.65 seconds, ahead of runner-up Kenosha Bradford/Reuther (7:51.18).

“Our goal was to win and just to win is cool,” Madoch said, adding: “It’s just motivating when you get a gold right away. … It’s just exciting. It gets you hyped up.”

Easton maintained the lead running the anchor leg.

“These guys got me in a real good position,” said Easton, a Northern Arizona commit. “(I was) just going for the win. … Taking the baton with the lead is a little bit scary because you know people are coming up on you. I was pretty confident that would be the case, so I was prepared for that. I ran my own race, and I was happy these guys could set it up for me.”

DeForest senior Sophee Mink, a High Point commit for volleyball, finished second for the second consecutive year in the high jump. She was involved in a jump-off for first with Kaukauna freshman Olivia Van Zeeland and Bay Port sophomore Ella Meeuwsen after they cleared 5-6. The jump-off rounds eventually came down to Van Zeeland, who cleared a personal-best 5-7, and Mink, who didn’t clear that height.

Madison Memorial junior Reette Thorns threw a personal-best of 43 feet, ½ inch, while finishing second in the girls shot put, behind Danni Langseth (45-6¼), a Schofield D.C. Everest sophomore.

Verona sophomore Jackson Acker (171-5) finished second in the boys discus behind Andrew Stone (189-07), a Fond du Lac senior.

Division 1 state records were set by Racine Horlick in the boys 400 relay preliminaries (:41.38); Stevens Point freshman Roisin Willis in the girls 800 (2:05.68); and Mequon Homestead senior Drew Bosley in the boys 3,200 (8:57.70). Madison East senior Max Loetscher (9:12.90) finished third in the 3,200.

Jaworski, a previous state champion who was expected to be a meet standout, also scratched from the girls 300 hurdles and the 400 after suffering her hamstring injury in the 100 hurdles trials.

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Jon Masson covers high school sports for the Wisconsin State Journal. He has covered a variety of sports — including the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin men's and women's basketball and volleyball — since he first came to the State Journal in 1999.

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