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Donarski dominant on 1st day

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It was a fun, yet frantic first day of the WIAA Track & Field Championships for La Crosse Aquinas freshman Lexi Donarski.

Competing in four events in division 2, she set a new personal best mark of 5-feet-4-inches in the high jump to finish sixth, then advanced to the finals for the 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash, and 4x100 meter relay.

Not a bad day for your first time on the big stage.

But Donarski is used to the big stage despite her young age after competing at the state volleyball and girls basketball tournaments earlier this school year. As she enters the final day of competition as a freshman, she has another chance to take the Blugolds to the top.

"I'm just going to try my best and see where it ends up," Donarski said of her three events Saturday.

Donarski has become used to the frantic competition schedule. In the regionals and sectionals, she ran her 100 meter and 200 meter preliminary races the same day as the finals, bringing her total to six.

A banner day at the Mississippi Valley Conference meet last month at Roger Harring Stadium prepared her well too. After winning four events, she was ready for the postseason.

"We have a great track area, our conference is really difficult," she said. "It really gave me a boost when I was able to succeed in conference."

Donarski's experience and leadership has made a big impact during track season in the eyes of Aquinas sprint coach Christopher Carley. He said Donarski's previous state experience has made her a better leader.

"This was just another meet for her," he said. "She's used to being able to handle the pressure and be a big-time player."

Donarski ran the anchor for the 400 meter relay team Friday, and helped set a new school record of 49.62 seconds. The Blugolds had the fourth-fastest time in preliminary competition.

Donarski had the sixth-fastest 100 meter dash time and third-quickest 200 meter dash time Friday. Carley said she will likely have faster times Saturday.

"We save it for day 2 and I think she's going to come out and show some big speed (Saturday)," Carley said.

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