DES MOINES - Determined to build on their rich tradition, the St. Edmond boys remain in prime contention for another Class 2A title after day one of the state track meet Thursday at Drake Stadium.
Aiming for their second consecutive state crown and their third in four years, the Gaels wrapped up the opening session just outside the top spot in the 2A team race with 19 points.
Mount Vernon (20) currently paces the field.
Messenger photo by Doug Dornath
Neil Flattery runs for the St. Edmond boys at the state track meet on Thursday in Des Moines. For more photos, visit CU?at www.messengernews.net
The 4x800 relay quartet of junior David Flattery, junior Seth Reel, senior Nate Kolacia and senior Neil Flattery highlighted the action for SEHS with a runner-up performance, clocking a mark of 7:59.94. Mount Vernon (7:57.66) was the winner.
Last spring, the Gaels collected gold here in the 4x800 with a then-school-record time of 7:55.76.
"Our guys did the best they could, so we can't be disappointed," Gael head coach Bill Kibby said. "It obviously would've been nice to get first, but we're still happy with our effort. We need to come back now (today) and have a great day."
Neil Flattery, a University of Iowa recruit, also settled for bronze in the 400, finishing in 49.59. Will Teubel (48.82) of Mount Vernon took home top honors.
"Running in lane seven of the second heat, I knew I didn't have a real good shot of winning," said Flattery, who earned gold in the state 400 a year ago and was sixth in that same event as a sophomore. "I almost feel more pressure now than in past years since the bar has been raised so high."
Kolacia delivered a fourth-place showing in the 3200 (9:52.20) for a second straight year as well for the green and white. Wapello's Bennett Moser (9:21.23) coasted to the victory by nearly 25 seconds.
"I knew I was the underdog going in, but I kind of like that feeling," said Kolacia, who placed seventh here in the 3200 as sophomore. "I thought I ran a pretty reasonable time, especially after all I've been through (Kolacia battled through sickness and a broken toe earlier this season).
"I was also proud of my teammates for how they ran on the 4x8. Drake is a great place to be. How can't you love it?"
In addition, St. Edmond junior Aaron McElroy checked in 20th (23.71) in the 200 prelims, while classmate Cory Angstrom was 24th (24.33) in that same event. Jake Floen (22.62) from Unity Christian advanced to the finals with the fastest 200 mark.
Boys 2A competition resumes this morning at 9 a.m. with the high jump. Junior Hank Lentsch (110 hurdles and high jump), the distance medley (McElroy, Angstrom, Kolacia and Neil Flattery) and the 4x400 (senior Kolton Rottinghaus, McElroy, Angstrom and David Flattery) will all participate for the Gaels today.
Contact Josh Meyer at (515) 573-2141, or by e-mail at email@example.com