Going out on top: Saints claim girls state title

By Kristi Nixon

DES MOINES — What a way to walk away from a stellar career.

The St. Ansgar girls track and field team celebrates after taking hold of the Class 1A state title trophy, the school’s first ever on Saturday, May 18. EJ Photo/Kristi Nixon

As long-time St. Ansgar girls track and field head coach Phil Baldus plans to retire after the 2024 season, he goes out with the Saints’ first girls state title of the sport in hand. They won a nail-biter team race that was decided only after the 4×400 team of Lila Powers, Amelia Porisch, Kinsey Anderson and Natalie Bork finished state runner-up with a new school record in that event.

Baldus was trying his best to hold his emotions at bay when he talked about the team that came together to win it all as he bids goodbye.

“It’s time to move on and let someone else lead the team,” Baldus said. “Pretty awesome, I guess. They came down and started off with a bang and finished the year the way we started. Good job, amazing.”

A few of the seniors, who are calling it a four-year state career, Anderson and Bork, said it was something the entire team aimed for with it being Baldus’ swan song.

“That was definitely one of the team goals, to give him the best way to end,” Anderson said. “We were having a strong season, and we knew we could compete with the teams down here and do great. I think we surprised in a lot of events that we weren’t so sure about ourselves. We came out and competed, and I guess that’s what you get.”

The full story, and more photos, appear in the May 15 print and e-edition of the Enterprise Journal.

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