Gael boys sending six events to state meet

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla: St. Edmond boys state qualifiers are, front row (left to right): Drew Szalat, Grant Heldorfer, Cayne Reed, Thomas Cosgrove, Zach Loerts and Aaron Lursen. Back: Anthony Lacina, Cael Kolacia, Sean Flattery, Hayden Mayer, Kase Baker and Parker Oswald.

DES MOINES — It’s been two long years that the St. Edmond boys track team has sat and waited for the chance to defend their state titles.

Now, after a standout performance at districts, the Gaels are ready to return to Drake Stadium and compete among the best of the best in Class 1A.

St. Edmond advanced six events to state, which begins here Thursday.

For seniors Kase Baker and Sean Flattery, the pain of losing out on last year due to COVID-19 only helped fuel their fire to return to the blue oval.

“Being able to run this season after last year is a blessing,” Baker said. “So many seniors got their season eliminated. We got lucky we were juniors so we could have one season left. It’s awesome to run down at state and finish out my senior year that way.”

Flattery, part of a long lineage of family members to shine at Drake, added, “being able to run one more time at the historic Drake Stadium means so much to me and the team, especially after missing out shot last year at placing well.

“Every time I hear Mike Jay’s voice at Drake it gives me chills and for him to possibly say my name will be a great way for me to close out my senior year.”

In 2019, the Gaels walked away with 1A titles in both the 4×100 and 4×400 relays. Flattery and Baker ran the second and anchor legs of the 4×100 with Flattery also on the 4×400.

“It’s been really motivating knowing that this is the last time we will put the St. Edmond jersey on and make amazing memories through the season,” Baker said. “It’s been a fun year growing with the team on and off the field.”

Baker also advanced to the 200-meter dash finals as a sophomore, placing eighth. His time of 22.52 currently ranks fourth in 1A in the event.

“I think the whole team was very motivated by last year knowing that you really never know what the future holds so you better be prepared,” Flattery said. “It was really good to see a lot of underclassmen this year step up and do their part to help the team as much as possible.”

Along with both the 4×100 and 4×400 relays defending their titles, the Gaels will compete in the 4×200, 4×800 and sprint medley relays.

The 4×200 of Cael Kolacia, Flattery, Anthony Lacina and Baker rank seventh in 1A with a time of 1:33.17. The 4×100 of Grant Heldorfer, Kolacia, Flattery and Baker (44.87) and the sprint medley of Parker Oswald, Lacina, Baker and Flattery (1:37.65) are both eighth.

Heldorfer, Kolacia, Oswald and Flattery have ran the 13th-fastest 4×400 time (3:34.88) while the 4×800 of Heldorfer, Drew Szalat, Hayden Mayer and Aaron Lursen have the 17th-best time (8:47.19).


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today