FORT WAYNE – Austin McClure figured his track and field career was over.
The Churubusco product was seventh in the shot put (55 feet, 2 3/4 inches) at the state meet two weeks ago in Bloomington, finishing a high school career that includes school records in the shot put (56-2 ½ ) and the discus (164-4).
Then the recent graduate got a call to compete with Team Indiana in Saturdays Midwest Meet of Champions at Northrop.
Its really cool to be able to compete in the meet and represent Indiana, McClure said.
I had no clue I would even be eligible for something like it. I was really surprised when (Team Indiana) Coach (Brent) Baker called me but was really excited to be able to compete at this level.
McClure will be one of three throwers for Indiana in the shot put.
I really dont have any high expectations for myself at this meet, he said.
I just want to have some good marks.
The Midwest Meet of Champions brings together the best of three states – Indiana, Ohio and Michigan – for an all-star track meet at Northrop. The northeast Indiana contingent includes nine boys and four girls.
With no plans to go to college, Baker is in the midst of the next phase of his life with a job at U.S. Automation.
To be honest, its really hard to keep up with my full-time job and practice for the meet, he said.
I havent been able to practice at all since last Friday. I plan on practicing with the team.
After the meet, McClure said he plans on participating in the Highland Games just like he has since he was 13.
Along with the school records and the trip to the state finals after a regional championship, McClure also won the shot put at the Hoosier State Relays indoor meet this year.
Since my freshman year I have increased by an average of five feet a year in shot put switching back and forth between rotational and glide, McClure said of his development at Churubusco.
McClure also advanced to the state meet as a junior, despite suffering an injury late in the season.
Last year about a week before one of our big conference meets, maybe a month before state, I tore a tendon in my throwing hand and had to sit out two meets, but ended up being all-conference in both throwing events (shot put and discus) and made it to state in both that year, he said.