Irwin leads 10 Dutchmen to state

Will Johnson

CARTHAGE — Fresh off their fourth straight district championship in track and field, Matt Candrl’s Owensville Dutchmen tracksters made the long trek to Carthage High School in southwest Missouri over the weekend looking to add a sectional crown to their long list of accomplishments.

Holding off a late charge by Reeds Spring’s Wolves, OHS topped 20 other scoring teams atop the Class 3 Boys team standings with 80.5 points.

Responsible for 28.5 of those points, Dutchmen senior Sean Irwin competed in four events during one of four Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) Class 3 sectional track meets.

His quest for state berths in four events began Saturday at high noon in the Class 3 Boys 110-meter hurdles.

Battling St. James’ Grant Conway all season in the event, the race took a strange turn when the Tiger junior fell after clipping a hurdle moments into the race.

Irwin was able to keep racing until he crossed the finish line first in a sectional-winning time of 15.19.

“Grant fell and nearly came into my lane,” Irwin said. “I had the mind set that I was going to stay on my feet and I did.”

An hour later, Irwin looked for his second state-qualifying spot in as many events during the Class 3 boys high jump.

Clearing 6-1, Irwin finished in a tie for third place with Reeds Spring junior Joshua DeJarnette to officially seal the deal on him competing both days this upcoming weekend at the MSHSAA Class 3 Track and Field Championships at Jefferson City High School’s Adkins Stadium and Licklider Track.

Just over an hour later, Sean returned to the track to compete in the 300-meter hurdles.

Finishing second to Conway in 40.24, the Dutchmen senior punched his third ticket to state.

Closing out his day in the long jump, staying right at 21 feet in all four of his attempts kept him in the top four completing his quest to compete in four events at state.

Sean’s state meet will begin Friday morning with the 110-meter hurdle preliminaries at 11:10 a.m. He will then compete in the 300-meter hurdles prelims later that day at 3:15 p.m.

Both the Class 3 boy’s long jump (12:30 p.m.) and high jump (3 p.m.) will be held Saturday in Jefferson City.

Bryan Candrl also had a chance to advance to state track in multiple events Saturday in Carthage.

Competing in both the pole vault and javelin, the Dutchmen senior finished second behind teammate Jacob Luther in the pole vault and threw his way to third place in the javelin with a new personal record (PR) throw of 153-02.

“I’ve been with both pole vaulters doing whatever it takes to be successful,” coach Matt Candrl said.

Luther and Candrl will both compete in the Class 3 Boys Pole Vault Friday morning at 9:30 a.m.

Looking to add to his state-qualifying leg of the boy’s 4x800-meter relay, senior Michael Lahmeyer competed individually in the 800-meter run.

In spite of getting boxed in on the first lap, Lahmeyer methodically worked his way through the pack during the final lap to post a second-place time of 2:03.77 qualifying him for state in his second event.

“I kind of got boxed in during the first lap and picked it up on the last lap,” Lahmeyer said. 

Lahmeyer will compete in the finals of the Class 3 Boys 800m run Saturday afternoon at 2:40 p.m.

“Michael did a nice job with his race strategy Saturday getting himself into the state meet,” Candrl said.

Looking to throw his way to another week of practice, Dutchmen senior Aaron Budnik competed in both the Class 3 Boys Shot Put and Discus Saturday in Carthage.

Starting his day in the discus at 11:30 a.m., Budnik’s best throw of 135-09 put him in sixth place nearly four feet shy of the top four.

“He had a big PR (personal record) in the discus at sectionals,” Coach Candrl said. 

Three hours later in the Class 3 Boys Shot Put, Budnik had one last chance to extend his high school track career by another week.

Popping a throw of 46-07.25, the Dutchmen senior claimed the fourth and final state-qualifying spot. He will also be competing against a former OHS athlete in Reeds Spring senior Asa Baker.

“Aaron delivered again this week when it was on the line,” Coach Candrl said. “

Baker nearly hit the 50-foot mark with a second-place throw of 49-08.

Budnik and Baker will both compete in the Class 3 Boys Shot Put Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m., in the final group of field events at the 2018 MSHSAA Track and Field Championships.

Racing along with Lahmeyer to a third-place time of 8:38.25 in the Class 3 Boys 4x800m relay was Dane Thompson, Brannon Brocato and Jacob Giedinghagen.

More on their road to the 2018 MSHSAA Track and Field Championships can be found elsewhere in this section of The Republican.