Seth Schenck (on left) makes his move, leaving the rest watching him win the 800 meter in record time.
Jefferson City, Mo. - Saturday at the Class 1 Missouri Track and Field State Finals, Seth Schenck proved he really is a beast, Dominick Pataky went nuts in the 3200-meter-run, two school records were broken, and next year watch out for New Haven’s girls team.
To say coach John Tucker was excited with how both teams preformed on Friday and Saturday would be an understatement. During our interview he said, “This is the best time I’ve had at the state meet since 2002.” (2002 girls team won the schools first ever team State Championship.)
Seth Schenck is arguably the best long distance runner New Haven has seen in over two decades after breaking a 21-year-old school record in 800-meter-run and only the third boy to ever win an Individual State Championship. The last boy to win was in 1995, when Mike Kahols won the 1600-meter-run.
Photo courtesy Eileen Roth
Picturted right: What are the chances of Seth Schenck and Scott Backes both eating at the same restaurant, on the same day Schenck broke Backes’s 21-year-old record, and the fact that Backes lives in Cottleville, Mo. and randomly decided to visit family in New Haven.
In 1992 Scott Backes set the 800 meter record (202.10) during the regular season. In the same year he became the first male in school history to win an individual State Championship when he won the 1600-meter-run.
Before winning the 800 Schenck won his first state medal on Friday, taking second place in the 1600 and in the final leg of the 4x800 relay, (Dominick Pataky, Keven McDowell, Zach Grater, and Schenck) he helped take New Haven from 11th into a seventh place all-state finish.
When Schenck crossed the finish line to win the 800-meter-run the first thing he did was point at his dad in the stands who was pointing back at him. Seth said it was a special moment.
Pictured left: Dominick Pataky passes Drexel's Chase Reyolds, stealing 6th place in the 3200.
Tucker said, “Seth [Schenck] ran a very intelligent first lap by hanging back in the pack. Then in the second lap with 300 meters to go, Seth was starting to get boxed in as Chamois’ Clay Nolte was coming up on his right side (finished 5th) I told him to go for it. He ended up running about 150 meters in lane two before he exploded coming out of the final turn.”
After winning the 800 meter Schenck told QNN, “It was an amazing feeling standing on top of the podium. I noticed the time on the board when I was about 30 feet from the finish line... then when I saw that my time was 159, I was like yes”!
With Schenck being just a junior, we asked coach Tucker what does he performance today say, “That he should have started running track his freshman year.”
Pictured: The girls 4x200-meter-relay team after taking fourth in Saturday's finals.
Pictured left to right: Kelsey Pecaut, Megan Bauer, Kierstin Monzyk, Molly Munsinger.
Dominick Pataky ran a “great 3200-meter” said, Tucker. “He ran his fastest time of the year and a seventh place finish.”
Before the girls explosive 4x400 relay, New Haven’s 4x200 relay team (Megan Bauer, Kelsey Pecaut, Kierstin Monzyk, and Molly Munsinger) ran their best time of the year, 1:51.4. Below is a medal summary.
At the end of our interview coach Tucker said, “Overall we had two really good days and the way everyone preformed, it says a lot about the focus of the athletes.”
“Obviously we as coaches try to make this happen, this is our goal. But you can lead a horse to water, you can’t always make them drink.”
“I think it’s a testament not only to the athletes but to the parents for the work ethic, but also listening and respecting the coaches is plays a big role in being successful and it’s something not all kids have, which can create all kinds of issues.”
Pictured left to right: The boys 4x800 meter relay team who took 7th place.
Zach Grater, Seth Schenck, Dominick Pataky, and Keven McDowell.
“I think we really achieved and were very successful... in some cases just better than I thought we would be. They exceeded expectations in a lot of areas.”
Every athlete, both boys and girls who qualified for the state meet left wearing a state medal.
Girls 4x200 finished in fourth, 4x400 in second, and 4x800 took third, giving Kayla Borcherding, (4x800) Hannah Kruse (4x800) and Megan Bauer (4x200) each one medal.
Molly Munsinger (4x200 & 4x800), Kierstin Monzyk (4x200 & 4x800), Kelsey Peacut (4x200 & 4x800), Hannah Pruessner (4x800 & 4x400), and Taylor Covington (4x800 & 4x400) all won two medals.
On the boys side; Seth Schenck lead the way with three medals (1600, 800, & 4X800), Dominick Pataky won two medals (3200 & 4x800), and Keven McDowell and Zach Grater each won one medal (4x800).
Click below on "State Tournament" to read postseason stories.