Grand Meadow-LeRoy-Ostrander-Southland runner McKenzie Kirtz rounds the final turn for home during the 1600-meter run Saturday during the Class A State Track and Field Meet at Hamline University in St. Paul. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com
Grand Meadow-LeRoy-Ostrander-Southland runner McKenzie Kirtz rounds the final turn for home during the 1600-meter run Saturday during the Class A State Track and Field Meet at Hamline University in St. Paul. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

GMLOS’s Kirtz gets on the podium twice at state meet

Published 9:51pm Saturday, June 7, 2014

ST. PAUL — McKenzie Kirtz of Grand Meadow-LeRoy-Ostrander-Southland couldn’t have felt much better about how she did at the Class A state track and field meet in Hamline University in St. Paul Saturday.

Kirtz, who is a junior at Southland, took eighth place in the 800-meter dash and she finished in ninth place in the 1600-meter run.

She had to finish strong to get to the podium in the 1600 as she started the race off in last place for the first two laps.

“I wanted to get on the podium pretty bad. That was kind of my goal coming in here,” Kirtz said. “They all started really fast and I don’t like starting that fast, but I did what I had to do.”

Kirtz ended up edging out Alaysia Freetly of Lacqui Parle Valley-DB by two-tenths of a second. Kirtz finished with a time of 5:15.93.

After competing in the 1600-meter run, Kirtz had to rest up and run in the 800-meter finals and she responded with another strong finish down the stretch and finished with a time of 2:26.53.

“I was tired for the 800, but I guess I was surprised that I made the finals,” Kirtz said. “We knew it was going to be really close. I have faith and work hard, so I can’t really ask for much more. I’m glad I made it here. I have so much support from my family, friends and coaches and I’m so thankful for that.”

Kayla Huhnerkoch of Redwood Valley won the 1600-meter run with a time of 5:16.21 and Liz Miller of Watertown-Mayer won the 800-meter run with a time of 2:14.39.


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