STATE TRACK AND FIELD: McShane places 10th in shot put

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MFL MarMac senior Cullen McShane placed 10th in Class 2A in the state track and field shot put competition on May 19. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register


MFL MarMac senior Cullen McShane capped off his final track and field season—and final high school athletic competition—with a 10th place throw in the Iowa High School Athletic Association Class 2A state shot put competition on May 19. 


McShane hit a distance of 48 feet, 5.75 inches, just missing out on the finals. Carson Lienau of Jesup was the 2A state champion at 58 feet, 9.5 inches.


The senior had hoped to surpass his district-winning throw of 50 feet, 6 inches, a mark that broke his own school record of 48 feet, 6 inches set the week before at the Upper Iowa Conference meet.


“I didn’t think it was the best of my ability. I know I can do about 52 feet if perfect,” said McShane, who acknowledged some nerves.


Although he’d qualified for state track previously, running in the 100 meter dash and 800 sprint medley relay as a junior, shot put was quite different.


“Last year, in the 100, I was one of the bigger guys,” McShane explained. “Here, there were bigger guys and big names. It was a whole different atmosphere.”


Placing 10th was still a remarkable feat, though, considering McShane hadn’t even thrown shot until this season.


He approached coach Kyle Kirkestue with the idea.


“I said, ‘I think I can throw pretty far—I’m pretty strong. I think I can earn the team some points,’” McShane recalled.


His early throws came in at 43, 44 feet. Before conference, 45 feet, 10 inches was the high point.


McShane said practice time helped him gain additional feet. He and teammate Josh Reichard would head out to the ring an hour or more before the team’s practice each night.


“I was figuring out what I could do better, experimenting,” he said.


A tip from his uncle, a coach, led to a breakthrough.


“He told me to start at the back of the ring,” McShane explained. “I’m a big guy and need to use all my power.”


During one practice, he hit an unofficial distance of 48 feet, 2 inches.


“That crushed the school record,” said McShane, referencing the 46 foot, 11 inch mark set by Jerry Kruse in 1965. “It felt really good, so I kept doing it.”


He kept going all the way to the state meet. 


For McShane, who’s also an all-state football player and Division I commit to South Dakota State University along with an all-conference basketball and baseball player, the trip to state track was a satisfying way to finish a storied MFL MarMac athletic career.


“It was a good note to end on,” McShane reflected. “I’m known for football, but I like to be good at any sport I do. I’m competitive.”


“My goal has been to leave a mark at the school,” he added, “and I think I’ve done that.”

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