Bauer, area athletes in pursuit of state gold

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Riley Bauer of North Union celebrates after beating Perkin for second place in the 1A distance medley relay last year at state track.

DES MOINES — As a four-sport athlete at North Union, staying busy is nothing new for Riley Bauer.

That will remain the same this week at the Class 1A state track meet, as the Warrior senior is set to compete in four events here inside Drake Stadium.

Bauer has the second-fastest times in 1A this year in the 800 and 1600, with the fourth-fastest times in the 400 and 3200. He has already shown his distance abilities earlier this year, capturing a second consecutive state cross country title in Fort Dodge at Lakeside Golf Course.

“I just want to come in this week like it’s my last race in high school,” Bauer said. “To make sure I leave Drake with no regrets.

“My expectations are just to run hard and surprise myself with a good time hopefully.”

Bauer’s district time of 50.21 put him first overall entering the 400. He is one of four runners this year to crack the 50-second mark along with Council Bluffs St. Albert teammates Tyler Blaha and Andrew Hanafan, and Dunkerton’s Holden Gillespie.

“I chose the 400 because I thought I have a good chance to get in a fast time,” Bauer said. “I’ve prepared myself the last few weeks by stacking every meet with a bunch of races to get in shape.”

Bauer opens up his busy Class 1A state meet with the 3200 on Thursday morning at 10:10 a.m. before returning that afternoon in the third of three sections of the 400 at 1:40 p.m. He runs the 800 on Saturday at 11:10 a.m. before defending his 1600 title at 2:15 p.m. that day.

Bauer, a future South Dakota State University runner, ran a 4:18.43 to set a new state record last year in capturing the 1600 crown.

Central Lyon’s Gable Sieperda is first in the 800 with a 1:54.59, with Bauer sitting second at 1:57.28. The same two are 1-2 in the 1600, with Sieperda at 4:15 and Bauer at 4:21, marks set in here earlier this year.

Sieperda, who is headed to Iowa State University in the fall, is also first in the 3200 at 9:11. Bauer posted a 9:55 just a few weeks ago for his best time of the year.

Sieperda also qualified in the 400.

Another athlete looking to secure a state medal before he departs for college is Bishop Garrigan’s Drake Buscherfeld. The senior, who will play football at Wartburg College next year, is in the second flight of the 1A shot put, which begins Thursday at 11:30 a.m.

“It would mean the world to throw a 50-burger (feet) down at state my senior year,” Buscherfeld said. “I would love to place this year. I made it last year after winning disricts (and placing 14th at state).”

Buscherfeld, who qualified alongside teammate T.J. Schnurr for the event, launched a throw of 47-9.25 at districts to secure his spot in the field. Hudson’s Dawson Ellington is first overall with a throw of 57-4.5, with Buscherfeld sitting 10th.

West Bend-Mallard’s Rachel Fehr will be gunning for gold when she hits the track in the 400-meter dash at 1:20 p.m. on Thursday. Fehr, a freshman, posted the fastest 1A time in the race earlier this year at 57.94.

Fehr clocked her sub-58 time during the regular season, with Alyssa Pfadenhauer of Danville posting a 58.55 earlier this year and going 59.00 during districts for the best time.

Fehr is seeded third at state.

Caitlin Thilges of Bishop Garrigan enters second in the 1A shot put with a throw of 40-2, just behind the 40-3 from Mackenzie Goeller of Wapsie Valley. Those two are in action at 9 a.m. Friday.

Thilges and Goeller are joined by Starmont’s Vanessa Hamlett as the only throwers to surpass 40-feet this year. Hamlett accomplished the mark at districts, giving her the final throw at state.