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    Stepanik rewrites Independence record book


    Independence senior Madison Stepanik won’t soon be forgotten.

    Sure, her contribution to the volleyball team playing in three straight state championship matches was impressive. And her efforts on the basketball court helped the Blue Devils finish the 2019-2020 regular season with a 22-0 record.

    But, when she threw the shot put 37-feet, 7 ½-inches last week, she rewrote the school record which had stood since 2012.

    “It was exhilarating,” Stepanik said of breaking the record. “I’ve been working hard to get that mark and it most definitely paid off.”

    Kelsey Lest held the record for nearly 10 years. She cleared 35-feet, 4-inches.

    Stepanik learned of the record two years ago and set a goal to beat it.

    “My dad and Coach Clymer made me aware of the record sophomore year,” she said. “My goal was to try and beat it last year, but with the season being canceled I didn’t quite get the opportunity.”

    Two years ago, at the Division III district meet, Stepanik placed seventh with a toss of 31-feet, 11-inches.

    She’s come a long way since then and she’s not quite satisfied with just setting a new school record.

    “I now know what I’m capable of, so I’m excited to see how much more distance I can potentially add to my throw in the upcoming meets,” she said. “My goal is to beat my own record and keep adding distance to my throws. My end goal is hopefully states.”

    Steve Hare
    The creator and publisher of, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for, a member of the network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. was created in 2004 and was a member of the network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.
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