Theien medals twice at boys state meet; Alexandria's 4x400 relay runs to eighth place

Alexandria boys track and field athletes compete in four events at the Class AA state meet in St. Michael-Albertville on Saturday.

Nolan Morical (middle) runs in the Class AA 1000-meter dash on June 19, 2021. Morical finished in 11.04, which was good enough for 12th place. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)

Alexandria junior Jack Theien set a personal record in the 400-meter dash on Saturday at the Class AA state meet in St. Michael-Albertville.

Theien, who ran in the first heat, anxiously waited to see if his time of 50.55 seconds would get him on the podium for the first time. He beat out Andover’s Zachary Johnson by 0.13 seconds to win the ninth-place medal.

“You watch the times come in from the second heat, and you’re like, ‘Oh wow, they’re pretty close to mine,’” Theien said. “I thought to myself, ‘I might have a chance to get on the podium here.’ When you finally get it, it’s a big sigh of relief.”

Theien’s run broke his personal record by .07 seconds. At the Section 8AA qualifier, he clinched a spot with a time of 51.20.

“It's the best feeling in the world,” Theien said about walking up to the podium. “You put all of this hard work into your event and doing what you love. When you finally start seeing rewards it feels great.”


Myles Sansted (right) hands the baton to Jack Theien for the last leg of Alexandria's 4x400-meter relay at the Class AA state championships on June 19, 2021. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)

Theien was the only Alexandria athlete on Saturday to come home with two medals. He ran in the anchor spot in the Cardinals’ 4x400-meter relay. Seniors Nolan Morical and Jacob Klevin and junior Myles Sansted joined Theien in running to an eighth-place finish (3:28.90).

(From left to right) Jack Theien, Jacob Klevin, Myles Sansted and Nolan Morical stand on the podium after winning eighth place in the Class AA state 4x400 relay on June 19, 2021 with a time of 3:28.90. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)

“Half us of this team are seniors,” Theien said before the 4x400-meter race. “I really want to get them a medal. It’s going to be fun racing with them one last time.”

Morical also ran in the 100-meter dash and finished 12th. His time of 11.04 was .24 slower than his section meet time of 10.80, which set his personal record. Will Heydt stole the show with his state championship leap in the triple jump at 45-feet, 4.5-inches.

Jared Rubado is the sports editor for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and the Perham Focus. He moved to the area in September of 2021 after covering sports for the Alexandria Echo Press for nearly three years. Jared graduated from the University of Augustana in 2018 with degrees in journalism and sports managment.
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