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Witt runs perfect plan, leads Saints to district title
PREP BOYS TRACK AND FIELD | CLASS 1A STATE QUALIFIER

Witt runs perfect plan, leads Saints to district title

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Track qualifying meet at Northwood-Kensett-Witt.jpg

St. Ansgar's Riley Witt runs the 3,200-meter un at the Class 1A state qualifying track meet in Northwood on Thursday.

Riley Witt was given a plan. It was his job to execute it to perfection.

Boy, did he ever.

The St. Ansgar distance star went 4-for-4 in his events Thursday night, sweeping the trifecta of distance races and anchoring a come-from-behind victory in the 3,200-meter relay to power the Saints to the team district title with 148 points in the Class 1A state qualifying meet held at Northwood-Kensett High School.

“Every meet he shows up and he continues to do things I don’t want to take him for granted,” Saints head coach Drew Clevenger said. “Certainly, another great night for him.”

West Fork placed third with 82 points; Lake Mills and West Hancock tied for fifth with 66 points and Rockford rounded out the top-10 with 25 points.

It was not in the plans for Witt to run all three distance events. After talking with Clevenger, it was decided to not give it his all in the 3,200 in order to come back and run the final leg on the relay 20 minutes later.

Witt’s finishing time was 10 minutes, 34.99 seconds in the two-mile. As he was preparing for the 3,200 relay, he wasn’t feeling 100 percent fresh.

“I did what was smart enough to make it happen,” Witt said. “In all honesty, I definitely felt like I ran a two-mile before that.”

That didn’t seem to be the case.

Witt got the baton in third place, passed West Fork and Lake Mills with 200 meters to go and jump started a memorable night for the junior.

That relay, according to Witt, was put together this week. Senior Ryan Cole, the second leg in that quartet, had run just one 800 prior to that.

“They ran well,” Clevenger said. “We think we (have) some room to improve as well. Ryan has potential to go even lower.”

Witt was boxed in at the start in the open 800 and after some bumps and pushes, was able to separate himself on the backstretch of the opening lap then didn’t get a significant push the rest of the way.

“I was a little nervous,” Witt said. “I had confidence in myself that I could come out with a win, but I didn’t know about time.”

He found another gear in the final two laps of the mile. With Newman Catholic’s Ryan Kelly behind him, Witt began to break away with 800 meters to go and coasted to victory.

The schedule he’ll face at the state meet will be very similar to what he did Thursday.

“My strongest part of me is my mental strength,” Witt said. “I’m in decent enough shape to come back and run fresh.”

St. Ansgar’s Braden Powers finished runner-up in the 100 and 200-meter dashes, but set a new personal best in the open 400. He was also on the victorious 1,600-meter relay.

The senior was angry after the 100 and used that to win the 400.

“I was out for blood on that one,” Powers said. “I was ready to compete. I don’t think I’m peaking. My goal was to get in the 50s, just get back into my form.”

Sage Hulshizer won the discus for the Saints as the only other automatic qualifier for them.

West Fork and West Hancock each ran new season best times to leave with victories in two separate relays.

The Eagles were able to get under 1:05 in the shuttle hurdle, claiming the event in 1:04.93.

“We think we’re one of the best ones out there,” Braden Walk said. “We’re not scared of anybody.”

Cail Weaver anchored the Warhawks to a distance medley victory, climbing into the lead after being in a distant third behind Lake Mills and Nashua-Plainfield, and setting a new personal best by seven seconds.

Weaver was also in their runner-up 3,200 relay.

“I knew both Lake Mills and Nashua were both good 800 runners and I had to get up on them,” Weaver said. “Coming into the last 200 meters, I could tell they were breathing heavy and their legs looked heavy.”

Northwood-Kensett went 1-2 in the 400 hurdles, with Josiah Kliment setting a personal best for the second week in a row, running 57.67 followed by teammate Brandon Varner’s 59.82.

“Bump up my placement a little bit,” Kliment said. “I think I did better than I expected.”

Lake Mills’ 400 relay breezed to victory while Rockford’s Zach Ott claimed the shot put for the second week in a row, throwing over 50 feet yet again.

Boys track and field

Class 1A state qualifying meet

At Northwood-Kensett 

Team scores -- 1. St. Ansgar 148, 2. Nashua-Plainfield 88, 3. West Fork 82, 4. North Union 75, T5. Lake Mills 66, T5. West Hancock 66, 7. Northwood-Kensett 59, 8. West Bend 41, 9. Bishop Garrigan 33, 10. Rockford 25, T11. North Iowa 20, T11. Newman Catholic 20, 13. GTRA 9, 14. Riceville 2.

Sprint medley relay -- Nashua-Plainfield (Tyson White, Max Hillegas, Sam Fundermann, Derik Auchstetter), 1:38.01; 2. West Fork (1:40.05); 3. West Hancock (1:41.76); 4. West Bend (1:42.80); 5. St. Ansgar (1:43.08)

3,200 -- 1. Riley Witt (St. Ansgar), 10:34.99; 2. Noah Maske (West Fork), 10:42.33; 3. Nick Schiltz (North Union), 11:00.07; 4. Zachary Zwanzinger (Nashua-Plainfield), 11:09.18; 5. Josh Hagin (West Fork), 11:10.64

3,200 relay -- 1. St. Ansgar (Derek Peterson, Ryan Cole, Matthew Hall, Riley Witt), 8:32.94; 2. West Fork (8:35.91); 3. Lake Mills (8:40.06); 4. Nashua-Plainfield (8:47.31); 5. West Bend (8:55.44)

Shuttle hurdle relay -- 1. West Hancock (Mitchel Smith, Mathew Francis, Braden Walk, Bryer Subject), 1:04.93; 2. Lake Mills (1:05.76); 3. Northwood-Kensett (1:06.23); 4. Nashua-Plainfield (1:06.86); 5. St. Ansgar (1:06.98)

100 -- 1. Bryer Prochniak (North Union), 11.34; 2. Braden Powers (St. Ansgar), 11.55; 3. Klayton Jones (West Bend), 12.02; 4. TJ Whitelow (Northwood-Kensett), 12.19; 5. Collin Ford (West Hancock), 12.24

Distance medley relay -- 1. West Fork (Trevor Guritz, Ren Heimer, Dakota Lau, Cail Weaver), 3:48.26; 2. Nashua-Plainfield (3:49.53); 3. Lake Mills (3:50.63); 4. West Bend (4:00.76); 5. North Iowa (4:05.68)

400 -- 1. Braden Powers (St. Ansgar), 50.74; 2. Derik Auchstetter (Nashua-Plainfield), 51.81; 3. Jakob Washington (West Fork), 55.22; 4. Kellen Smith (West Hancock), 55.52; 5. Dylan Blanchard (Nashua-Plainfield), 56.29

800 relay -- 1. Nashua-Plainfield (Sam Fundermann, Max Hillegas, Tyson White, Derik Auchstetter), 1:35.59; 2. Lake Mills (1:35.77); 3. West Hancock (1:36.55); 4. Bishop Garrigan (1:36.59); 5. Rockford (1:40.09)

110 hurdles -- 1. Carter Anderson (North Union), 16.42; 2. Carter Morphew (North Union), 16.73; 3. Kaden Wilken (Nashua-Plainfield), 16.79; 4. Brandon Varner (Northwood-Kensett), 16.92; 5. Collin Casey (Bishop Garrigan), 17.65

800 -- 1. Riley Witt (St. Ansgar), 2:03.16; 2. Dakota Lau (West Fork), 2:06.68; 3. Derek Peterson (St. Ansgar), 2:07.12; 4. Collin Montag (West Bend), 2:08.48; 5. Cail Weaver (West Fork), 2:10.01

200 -- 1. Bryer Prochniak (North Union), 22.86; 2. Braden Powers (St. Ansgar), 22.88; 3. Ryan Cole (St. Ansgar), 23.86; 4. TJ Whitelow (Northwood-Kensett), 24.03; 5. Klayton Jones (West Bend), 24.05

400 hurdles -- 1. Josiah Kliment (Northwood-Kensett), 57.67; 2. Brandon Varner (Northwood-Kensett), 59.82; 3. Carter Anderson (North Union), 1:00.19; 4. Lorne Isler (St. Ansgar), 1:00.84; 5. Dalton Thorson (Lake Mills), 1:01.90

1,600 -- 1. Riley Witt (St. Ansgar), 4:45.45; 2. Preston Guerdt (North Union), 4:53.56; 3. Ryan Kelly (Newman Catholic), 4:54.74; 4. Treycen Rollene (Northwood-Kensett), 4:55.66; 5. Joey Ringo (Newman Catholic), 4:55.93

400 relay -- 1. Lake Mills (Derek Eastvold, Caleb Bacon, Carson Eaton, Brady Hanson), 45.81; 2. North Union (46.24); 3. West Hancock (46.98); 4. Bishop Garrigan (47.06); 5. St. Ansgar (47.27)

1,600 relay -- 1. St. Ansgar (Bradley Hackenmiller, Braden Powers, Derek Peterson, Ryan Cole), 3:33.88; 2. Nashua-Plainfield (3:35.88); 3. West Hancock (3:39.46); 4. Northwood-Kensett (3:39.57); 5. Bishop Garrigan (3:43.54)

High jump -- 1. Aiden Lamborn (Nashua-Plainfield), 6-1; 2. Carter Anderson (North Union), 5-10; 3. Nolan Vaske (West Hancock), 5-8; 4. Collin Montag (West Bend), 5-4; 5. Jason Meier (West Fork), 5-4

Long jump -- 1. Logan Sabin (North Iowa), 20-09; 2. Ren Heimer (West Fork), 20-02.50; 3. Landon Arends (Rockford), 19-10.75; 4. James Jennings (Newman Catholic), 19-00.50; 5. Cole Schisel (West Hancock), 18-10

Shot put -- 1. Zach Ott (Rockford), 50-08.25; 2. Levi Janssen (West Fork), 48-01.5; 3. Sage Hulshizer (St. Ansgar), 48-01; 4. Alex Hansen (St. Ansgar), 47-04.5; 5. Seth Hermanson (Lake Mills), 43-11.75

Discus -- 1. Sage Hulshizer (St. Ansgar), 153-09; 2. Blake Lindeland (Nashua-Plainfield), 133-02; 3. Brayden Lindeman (Lake Mills), 127-09; 4. Jex Schutjer (St. Ansgar), 122-07; 5. Wyatt Helming (Lake Mills), 122-05

Zach Martin is a sports reporter for the Globe Gazette. Follow him on Twitter at @Zach_Martin95. 

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