Mathiowetz finishes with another state title for NU

ST. PAUL — Ben Mathiowetz closed out his senior year for New Ulm High School by winning his eighth Class AA state medal on Saturday at the State Track and Field Meet at Hamline University.

Mathiowetz finished with a first-place medal in the wheelchair discus on Saturday with a top throw of 28 feet, topping his qualifying mark (25-03). He also set a personal record and took home another first-place medal Friday in the wheelchair shot put when he had a top throw of 14-8 3/4.

The senior was proud of his final season with the Eagles and happy to be called champion again in the final track and field event of his high school career.

“I feel really good setting records and school records,” Mathiowetz said. “Very exciting and sad that it’s my last year.”

Bowing out of high school track and field, Mathiowetz made sure to leave his teammates and coaches with a friendly remark about them.

“They’re rockstars.”

New Ulm junior Olivia Owens also competed on Saturday in the triple jump but failed to qualify for finals after scratching on her final jump of the prelims. Her top jump during prelims was 34 feet, 11 1/4 inches.

Coming into the finals with the eighth-best jump (36-7 3/4), a school-record jump that she had at sections, Owens said that nerves played a part in how things went down for her.

“I was just really nervous because I knew it wasn’t going to be as easy coming in as section champion and not having as many people as close to me, I knew it was not going to be as easy here,” she said. “So it’s just a different transition. I just knew I had to do my best and that’s all I could give.”

Regardless of missing out on a medal, Owens, who set school records in both the triple jump and high jump this season at sections, was happy with making it to state and how the season went as a whole.

“It was a great season,” Owens said. “I’m overall really happy with it, didn’t even know I had this in me, honestly. I kind of knew, but I was like, ‘Eh, really?’ I’m hoping that I can PR in high jump again [next season], maybe 5-6, 5-7 would be great. Or triple jump, looking for a 37and overall do better and just feel a little more confident.”

River Valley’s James Hagen competed later on in the day Saturday during the Class A portion of the meet, finishing third in the wheelchair 100 (48.94) and third in the wheelchair 200 (1:34:10, PR). Nicollet’s MaKenna Thurston also competed on Saturday afternoon as part of the Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial/Nicollet 4×800-meter relay team, finishing 14th overall (10:03.69).