Gaels hope to finish up strong

DES MOINES – Ending their respective seasons on a high note is a top priority for both the St. Edmond boys and girls track programs this week.

The Gaels will bring a total of eight different entries to the 2013 Iowa Co-Ed State Track and Field Championships at Drake Stadium.

Class 2A competition starts Thursday at 2 p.m. with the girls shot put.

Seniors Hank Lentsch (high jump and 110 hurdles) and Seth Reel (3200), sophomore Landon Peed (800) and the shuttle hurdle relay quartet of senior Cory Angstrom, junior Tristan Sitzmann, sophomore Matthew Bocken and Lentsch will all participate for the defending 2A state runner-up Gael boys, who saw their string of eight consecutive district titles snapped with a second-place effort at last Thursday’s meet in Emmetsburg.

Lentsch collected gold medals in both the high jump and 110 hurdles at districts. Lentsch tied for 13th in the 2A state high jump last spring after settling for seventh as a sophomore. He’s also making his third straight trip to Des Moines in the 110 hurdles – an event in which he holds a school record. Lentsch is also a two-time individual Drake Relays qualifier. He owns the fourth best 2A mark in the 110 hurdles (15.06) and is fifth in the high jump (6-5).

Fresh off a second-place district showing, Reel is making his second state appearance in the 3200. He was 21st in the 800 and 14th in the 1600 here last spring, while also helping the green and white to a silver medal in the 4×800.

Reel, who placed seventh at the state cross country meet this past fall, checked in eighth in the 3200 here as a sophomore. He enters ranked fifth in the 2A 3200 (9:59.57).

“Seth had a bad knee in cross country and it bothered him again (last Thursday),” said SEHS head coach Kibby. “Hopefully, this will be a better meet for us.”

St. Edmond previously secured 2A state titles in 2009 and 2011.

For the Gael girls, the senior trio of Hannah Lentsch (high jump), Libby Augustine (long jump) and Mary Eide (800) will all look to make a name for themselves.

Lentsch is a three-time state qualifier in the high jump. She finished fourth at this year’s Drake Relays. Lentsch comes in tied for third (5-4) in the 2A high jump.

“I expect Hannah to be just as consistent as she’s been all year,” SEHS head coach Donn Larson said. “She still has a couple of little things to correct, but I don’t see why she can’t be a placewinner down (at Des Moines).”

Augustine and Eide were both third at districts. Eide finished ninth in the 2A 1500 here last spring and was 20th in the 800 as a sophomore. Eide also placed third at the 1A state singles tennis tournament a year ago.

“Libby (advancing to state) was a nice surprise, but I knew from watching her play volleyball that she had some jump in her legs,” said Larson. “Mary is also peaking at the right time in the 800. She’s ran a 2:28 at districts, which was really good for the conditions.”