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Senior Salutes: Pius X's Wackel saw growth in the throws, keeps door open on track future

Senior Salutes: Pius X's Wackel saw growth in the throws, keeps door open on track future

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Claire Wackel has been on both the girls golf and swim teams during her time at Lincoln Pius X, as well as four years participating in marching band.

The senior, however, had her extracurricular focus the final six months of high school on track and field, more specifically becoming the school record holder in both the girls shot put and discus.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the cancellation of the Nebraska high school spring sports seasons took away those opportunities and spoiled all the preseason preparations she did this past winter.

Wackel, a Class A state qualifier in both events and the Thunderbolts’ fourth-leading scorer last season, owns a personal-best of 38 feet, 3 inches in the shot put and 117 feet in the discus. She would’ve needed 40-11 in the shot put and 124-0 this spring to equal the school records.

Between lifting weights four times a week and participating in Nebraska track camps on Sundays during the winter at the Devaney Sports Center, “I was hitting 40 feet (in the shot put), which is cool to see preseason,” Wackel said. “To improve 2 feet in the offseason was pretty exciting.

“I felt a lot stronger, quicker through the ring and just more explosive,” she added. “I think it was going to be a good season.”

Wackel is planning to attend NU in the fall and has emailed the Husker track coaches about possibly walking on the team next season. If that doesn’t materialize, she’s comfortable moving on.

“If I can’t continue in college, it’s no big deal,” she said. “It was fun working toward my goal and see the improvement.”

Ron Powell


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High school sports reporter

Ron Powell is a longtime prep writer for the Journal Star. He covers high school football, boys basketball and track as well as state college football and Husker and professional tennis.

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