By Lenny Sementi
Senior thrower Cassie Russo ended her Tuscola career in style leaving the high school ranks with a state medal in tow. The legendary throws coach Stan Weinke’s protégé ended her day on Saturday in eighth place overall taking up a spot on the state meet podium. Weinke and head coach Lacey Diaz thought the fourth-year field competitor and second-time state qualifier had a good chance to place if she had a good day.
“Cassie was really strong, she twice broke the 40-foot mark in the prelims but faulted,” stated Diaz. “She has gotten better all season long and her earning all-state honors is reward for the hard work Cassie put in during her career.”
In the shot, 12 contestants advance to the finals where distances carry over and the top eight reach the podium. Russo moved on with a toss of 38-feet 6.25-inches in the prelims entering the finals in seventh overall. She threw all she had at it eclipsing the 40-foot mark in both the prelims and finals but faulted on both taking eighth overall when the dust cleared, putting the Lady Warriors on the scoreboard in the team event donating two points to the cause.
Joining her at the meet was McKinlee Miller. Miller advanced from sectionals in both the long jump and triple jump. She broke the school record in the triple a week prior and knew going in for her to place that she would need to go further.
Despite a valiant effort it was not in the cards. The junior was 10th in the second flight in the long jump with a leap of 14’7” and fell short of the top twelve advancement in the triple as well with a 33-foot 9.25-inch jump which landed her in the top 15 in the state when the dust cleared.