Saints Boys Compete in Nine Events at State Meet

The boys 4x400M relay team, which placed 11th at the state meet. Left to right: Ethan Kirchgatter, Skylar Blunt, Braden Powers and Dayton Smith. EJ Photo/ Mike Byrnes

The St. Ansgar boys’ track team qualified for the state track meet in nine events. Seven boys participated in those events. Individual state meet qualifiers included: Theo Baldus (shot put and discus), Ethan Kirchgatter (200 and 400 meter dash, high jump), Seth Hershey (800 and 1600 meter runs), Skylar Blunt (400 meter dash), and Collin Kramer (110 meter hurdles). The boys had one relay team down at the state meet, the 4×400 meter relay team. Members of the 4×4 are Dayton Smith, Braden Powers, Skylar Blunt and Ethan Kirchgatter.

Seth Hershey had a busy day for the Saints on Saturday at the state meet. He ran in the 800 meter run, finishing in 13th place (2:02.07) and in the 1600 meter run, coming in 23rd place (4:55.93). EJ Photo/ Mike Byrnes

Ethan Kirchgatter was the first member of the boys team to compete at the state meet. He ran in the 200 meter dash at 11:00 AM on Thursday. Kirchgatter came in 5th place (13th overall in prelims) in his heat and ran a time of 23.79 seconds.

Theo Baldus was up next in the shot put for the St. Ansgar boys on Thursday. Baldus just made the cut to get into the finals and would end up finishing in 8th place with his best throw of 49’00.50”. Baldus would go on to compete in the discus on Friday. Baldus entered the meet with the second best throw, and a St. Ansgar record of 170’. He ended the day on Friday finishing in 7th place with his best throw of 141’11”.

Theo Baldus tosses the shot put for his best throw of 49’00.5” for 8th place on Thursday at the state track meet at the Drake Stadium in Des Moines. EJ Photo/ Colby Fossey

“Theo wrapped up a stellar career as a thrower with two more state medals,” said head boys coach Drew Clevenger. “St. Ansgar has a great throwing tradition and he ranks among the finest that we have had.”

Kirchgatter and Skylar Blunt both ran in the 400 meter dash on Thursday. Blunt ran in heat one and crossed the finish line first  with the fastest time in his heat (52.41). Kirchgatter ran in heat two and finished with a time of 51.98 seconds. Kirchgatter finished in 9th place and Blunt in 11th place.

Ethan Kirchgatter had a full schedule at the state meet in Des Moines. He competed in the high jump, 200M dash, 400M dash, and was a member of the 4x400M relay team. EJ Photo/ Mike Byrnes

Kirchgatter was the first boy to compete on Friday as well. He started the day in the high jump that started at 9:00 AM. His best jump was a leap of 5’11”, putting him in a four-way tie for 17th place.

Collin Kramer ran in the 110 meter hurdles on Friday morning. Kramer finished sixth in his heat and 18th overall in the 1A prelims with his time of 16.34 seconds.

Collin Kramer stretches towards the finish line during the 110 meter high hurdles at the state meet in Des Moines on Friday. Kramer ran a time of 16.34 seconds. EJ Photo/ Mike Byrnes

The boys 4×400 meter relay team ended the day on Friday for the Saints. The team competed in the third heat and finished with a time of 3:31.51, third best in their heat and 11th overall in the prelims, just missing the cut for the finals.

Seth Hershey ran in two distance runs on Saturday for the Saints. Hershey started the day with the 800 meter run. He ran a time of 2:02.07, placing him in 13th place for St. Ansgar. Hershey had a couple races off before his next event, the 1600 meter run. Hershey came in 23rd place with a time of 4:55.93.

“We ran well at the state meet as we had several PR’s and season best performances,” said Clevenger. “I thought everyone performed well at the state meet. We just missed out on medals with Kirchgatter in the 400 and the 4×400 team of Smith, Powers, Blunt and Kirchgatter.”

Skylar Blunt takes off with the baton after the hand off from Braden Powers. EJ Photo/ Mike Byrnes

The St. Ansgar boys track and field team had an incredible season, especially with a shortened season at that due to the snowy weather. But the team worked hard no matter the conditions and the results were great for the Saints.

“I was pleased with how much we improved as a team over the course of the year,” said Clevenger. “It feels like we got cheated a little bit with the bad weather and snow in April so it was great to see our kids perform well down the stretch.”

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