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Boys track and field: Ludwig, Gruber wrap up their Cardinal careers at state

Alexandria senior Bryce Ludwig throws the discus at the state meet at Hamline University in St. Paul on Saturday. Ludwig finished sixth in the Class AA discus to secure two podium finishes over the weekend after taking fourth in the shot put a day earlier. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)1 / 2
Alexandria's Keaton Gruber wraps up his career for the Cardinals by racing in the 1,600-meter run during Saturday's state finals at Hamline University. Gruber finished 15th in the event in a time of 4:31.31. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)2 / 2

Alexandria’s Bryce Ludwig wanted to wrap up his high school throwing career with a top-three finish in the discus on Saturday at the state meet.

Ludwig almost accomplished that on his first throw. The disc flew off his hand and went more than 160 feet, but a foul in the ring made it obsolete.

“My coach thinks that one might have been able to win it if I had been able to keep it in,” Ludwig said. “That’s a tough one to swallow.”

Ludwig and the rest of the state’s top discus throwers could not sustain any momentum from their first throws because the rains came immediately after them. Lightning forced a 30-minute delay. When the throwers returned, Ludwig was able to stick a throw of 151-06. Not at his seed mark of 170-01, but a throw that wrapped up his career on the podium in sixth place. Jay Nielsen of Detroit Lakes won the discus with a throw of 166-08.

“It was a tough day with the weather, obviously,” Ludwig said. “Having that break after the first throws of the prelims and going in and sitting for a half an hour in the field house, it was tough to come back from that. I luckily was able to come out from there and get a nice throw to at least get a spot on that podium. I’m proud about that.”

Ludwig leaves Alexandria to throw at South Dakota State University next year as the Cardinals’ school record holder in both the shot put and discus. A fourth-place finish in the shot put on Friday gives him two more podium finishes at state this weekend to put the finishing touches on a standout career.

“There’s a lot of people to thank going into that,” Ludwig said. “There are so many people who are influential in that process. Just being able to kind of etch my name on the board with having both the records as it is now, it’s just kind of a surreal experience knowing that it’s done. I left it as best as I could have left it.”

Gruber takes 15th in the 1,600

Alexandria senior Keaton Gruber also wrapped up his career on Saturday by competing in the state meet.

Gruber was 15th in the 1,600-meter run as he finished in 4:31.31. Khalid Hussein of Wayzata won the race in 4:13.30, right in front of Maxwell Manley of Edina in 4:13.85.

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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