Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Ethan Ehlers comes off strong national meet finish

Junior Ethan Ehlers practices with a shot put before the NCAA Division III Men’s Track and Field Championships at North Central College. Ehlers finished 14th in the nation on Saturday. Photo by Tawanda Mberikwazvo.

One of the top shot and disc throwers for the Augustana track team, Ethan Ehlers traveled alongside several Augustana athletes to North Central College to compete in the Division III National meet.
Ehlers finished 14th in the shot on Saturday with a heave of 50′ 2¾”.
Ehlers came to Augie after graduating from his high school in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He had the home field advantage as the track team competed in the Carthage meet, and Ehlers threw his personal record in shot (53’10”), which is only 4 inches off of the school’s indoor record set in 2000 by David Demsey. The outdoor record, also by Demsey, was set in 1999 with a throw of 54’8”.
He’s been a part of sports almost his entire life. His father was a Division I football player who eventually transferred to Simpson college where John Furlong recruited him. Now, Furlong is the Athletic Recruiting Coordinator for Augie and picked up Ethan Ehlers for track.
Ehlers said he’s thankful for getting to compete as a Viking.
“I’m just excited that I get a chance to better myself every day,” said Ehlers.
He’s striving for the school record, but it all starts with practice.
“I start by warming up, technical drills and warm up throws,” said Ehlers, “Next I work on full throws, which pulls everything together.”
Ehlers also has weight lifting that is guided by men’s track assistant coach David Gonzalez.
“The main thing I try to do is to keep ideas simple,” said Gonzalez. “it’s very common to become focused on too many ideas, so I tell the athletes that keeping things simple is key.”
This idea seems to be working for Ehlers and the track team, but Gonzalez also stresses school work among being a diverse group of guys.
“I personally look for two things in throwers: can I have a good and meaningful conversation with them and how committed can they be to something they enjoy doing. After that, I hope they have some of the physical attributes that make a good thrower,” Gonzalez said.
This style of coaching has definitely rubbed off on his athletes. Ehlers has connected with his team in more ways than he had hoped.
“I really like how close our entire team is,” said Ehlers. “Back in high school, I only really knew throwers. Here at Augie, I have close friends in every event.”
Focusing now on the outdoor season, Ehlers said he is looking to medal in the conference meet May 5 and 6 and to qualify for Nationals May 25 and 26 with his teammates.
“The team’s goals are to perform to the best of our abilities and compete our hearts out,” said Ehlers, “the team motto is ‘a celebration of life’, and I truly believe that is the best way to describe Augustana track.”

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Ethan Ehlers comes off strong national meet finish