While America’s best were trying to earn their spots on the U.S. Olympic team this week, the best male athletes Illinois high schools have to offer were vying for medals of a different kind at the IHSA State Track Meet in Charleston on June 17-19.
While he wouldn’t come home with Hillsboro’s first medal in Class 2A boys track, Magnus Wells showed that the Toppers may be small, but they are powerful amongst the bigger schools.
Wells threw 13.39 meters in the shot put to finish 15th overall at state in Class 2A on Friday, June 18. That throw beat out eight other competitors and came on Wells’ fourth and final throw.
After a solid start with a throw of 12.89 meters, Wells threw 13.19 meters in his second toss. A hiccup on a 11.62 meter third throw meant that Wells needed to surpass his second throw to make it into the top 15, which he did by a full two-tenths of a meter.
Burlington Central’s Jake Borman took the state title with a throw of 16.64, while Barry Evans of Mascoutah was second at 16.49 meters. If Wells can add some distance to his throws next year, he could join Paul Paris (third in 1926), Tony Corso (first in 1935 and third in 1936) and Tony Parola (third in 1962) as the only Toppers to earn state medals in the shot.
The finish was a good state debut for Wells, who hopes to have another good performance in his second trip to state this year on Thursday, June 24. The day after the state track meet, Wells traveled to Lawrenceville and won the IWCOA sectional title at 220 pounds, earning him a shot at the state wrestling tournament in his junior year.