GMLOS’s Kirtz is ready to run in third straight Class A state track meet

ADAMS — Grand Meadow-LeRoy-Ostrander-Southland’s McKenzie Kirtz is about to compete in her third Class A state track and field meet and it still isn’t getting any easier for her.

Southland junior McKenzie Kirtz will run in the 800-meter and 1600-meter runs at the Class A state track and field meet in Hamline University Friday and Saturday. -- Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

Southland junior McKenzie Kirtz will run in the 800-meter and 1600-meter runs at the Class A state track and field meet in Hamline University Friday and Saturday. — Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

Kirtz, who is a junior at Southland, will compete in the 800-meter run and the 1600-meter run in Hamline University Friday and Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

This will be the first time in Kirtz’s track career that she will not be running with any teammates at state.

“I still get nervous. I don’t know if [being there before] makes it any easier,” Kirtz said. “It was fun last year with a team and I’ll still have people supporting me this year, but it’ll be a little different.”

Kirtz was on GMLOS’s 4 x 400-meter relay team that placed ninth last year and Kirtz took ninth in the 1600-meter run at state as a freshman. In the Section 1A meet, Kirtz ran the 1600-meter run in 5:19.77 and she ran the 800-meter run in 2:22.44.

She’s hoping to run even faster at state.

“I’ve had faith and worked hard, so hopefully it’ll go well. Anything can happen and I always like to improve my times,” Kirtz said. “I thank God, because he’s always there for me and I have great family support and support from my coaches.”

Kirtz took 51st at the Class A state cross country meet in the fall and she said that helped keep her in running shape headed into track season.

“I think cross country helped me for track this year. I was ready to go at the start of the season,” Kirtz said.

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