USC/A-C’s Schuster finds success at state
Published 5:41 pm Friday, June 5, 2015
After setting multiple records in the 400-meter dash at the Section 2A meet, success followed United South Central/Alden-Conger’s John Schuster to state.
Schuster became an All-State triple jumper, qualified for finals in the 400 and competed in the 200 Friday on Day 1 of the Class A state track meet at Hamline University.
“It feels good to be moving on and getting better,” said Schuster.
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Last year, he qualified for state in the 400. Schuster led his preliminary heat until losing his balance near the finish line. Despite crawling the last few meters, he posted a time of 50.93 seconds — only 1.6 seconds behind Minnehaha Academy’s Jonathan Webb, the eventual state champion — and managed to beat four state qualifiers.
This year, Schuster’s time at the section meet of 48.91 — a personal record, United South Central/Alden-Conger school record and Section 2A record — gave him the best seed time in the 17-runner field.
Schuster and Webb were the only runners in Class A who ran sub 49-second races, and Webb’s best was 48.95.
In the first heat of the 400 prelims, Schuster took second place for an automatic berth in the finals with a time of 49.47 seconds. Pine Island’s Kyle Groven edged Schuster by 0.24 seconds.
“He kind of came out of nowhere, but that’s ok,” Schuster said. “It’s good to be up here with a lot of competition.”
USC/A-C coach Kent Viesselman said Schuster achieved the Day 1 objective.
“He advanced, and that’s what it’s all about,” he said. “It was pretty darn good to get the second-fastest time (in his heat).”
Webb won the second heat of the 400 prelims in 48.12 seconds, and Belle Plaine’s Ryan Wolke became the third runner in Class A this season to run a sub 49-second 400 with a time of 48.80 to take the other automatic qualifying spot.
Schuster will compete in the finals of the event after the Tribune’s Sunday deadline. Look for results on albertleatribune.com and in the paper on Monday.
In addition to staying in the hunt for a state title in the 400, Schuster took eighth place in the triple jump with a leap of 42-7 3/4. Although it was about six inches shorter than his personal best, Schuster moved up from his 10th-place seed distance to become All-State. USC/A-C head coach Kent Viesselman said the top nine finishers in each event earn All-State honors.
While practicing for the triple jump, Schuster said he worked with Rebels assistant coach Tony Schumann on bounding, which improved his distance.
On Day 1, Schuster ran the 400 on the heels of competing in the long jump. On Day 2, he has only one event: the 400.
“I’ll be rested and ready,” he said.
Schuster also competed in the 200 on Day 1 and took fifth place out of seven runners in the first prelim heat with a time of 23.47. The last spot for finals was taken by Paxton Dandurand of Yellow Medicine, who posted a time of 23.10 seconds.