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Four Saint John’s Prep Athletes Commit to Competing in College

Signing Day Final

Saint John’s Prep is proud to congratulate four Saint John’s Prep seniors who have committed to compete in both track & field and cross country at the collegiate level. This week Henry Buehrer, Nick Hansen, Zach Meyer, and Olivia Pauly all announced their decisions in an official signing ceremony in front of their families and classmates.

Prep Athletic and Activities Director Bryan Backes acknowledged these seniors’ commitment to their teams and sport. “The commitment of these athletes to reach their highest potential has been remarkable! We’re very proud of their accomplishments and grateful for their leadership.”

Henry, Nick, and Zach have all committed to join the Lawrence University Vikings. Lawrence is a NCAA Division III competitor that competes in the Midwest Conference. Lawrence is in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Olivia committed to compete at the University of Saint Thomas, in St. Paul, Minnesota in December. Saint Thomas is a Division I school that competes in the Summit League.

Assistant Track and Cross Country Coach Stephen Woods is very optimistic about this group’s ability to compete at the college level. “These kids have worked incredibly hard over the last four years – staying consistent, healthy, focused, and positive – and the results have spoken for themselves. I am so excited to watch these athletes reach new heights at the next level; the sky’s the limit for each of them!”

Facts about the Athletes:

Henry Buehrer, son of Michelle and Barth Buehrer of St. Cloud, MN

  • Henry is the current Prairie Conference Track and Field MVP who earned first place in the 100m, 200m and 400m races at the conference meet on May 15. Henry is also an all-conference long jump competitor.
  • Henry was a part of the 4x800m relay team that earned fifth place at the 2023 MSHSL State Track and Field meet. Henry is part of the 2023 Section 5A Championship 4×800 relay team.
  • Henry plans to major in music and marketing at Lawrence.

Nick Hansen, son of Denise and Greg Hansen of St. Joseph, MN

  • Nick is part of the Class A 4×800 state championship relay team. He competes individually in the 1600 and 3200 races. He is the current 3200 Prairie Conference champion. He placed 5th in the 3200 race at the state track meet in 2023.
  • Nick is the current MSHSL Section 5A cross country champion. He earned third at the 2023 state cross country championship. He’s a three-time state cross country championship qualifier.
  • Nick plans to major in computer science at Lawrence.

Zach Meyer, son of Jai and Andy Meyer of St. Joseph, MN

  • Zach is part of the Class A 4×800 state championship relay team. He competes individually in the 800 and 1600 races. Zach is the current 800 Prairie Conference champion. He placed 4th in the 800 race at the state track meet in 2023. Zach is the 2023 Prairie Conference MVP.
  • Zach earned all-state honors at the 2023 MSHSL state cross country championship. He’s a three-time state cross country championship qualifier.
  • Zach is undecided about what his major will be at Lawrence.

Olivia Pauly, daughter of Jill and Jonathan Pauly of St. Cloud, MN

  • Olivia is the Class A Cross Country Champion. She won the 2023 championship race with a time of 18:20.5, eleven seconds ahead of the second place finisher. She’s a three-time state cross country championship qualifier.
  • In track and field, Olivia competes in the 4×800 relay, and individually in the 1600, and 3200 races. She is the current Prairie Conference record holder in both events. She’s a two-time Prairie Conference MVP.
  • Olivia has been accepted to the Aquinas Scholars Honors Program and the Opus College of Business at Saint Thomas.

Head Track and Field Coach Lance Nydeen has coached Henry, Nick, Zach and Olivia since they joined the Prep team in middle school. “The senior leaders of this team have developed into amazing athletes, role-models, and team leaders. They are self-motivated, but also take to coaching exceptionally well. They listen, practice, and respond with excitement and positivity. They have worked so hard and taken the extraordinary steps to improve and push the bar of success for themselves, each other, and the team at every new level they achieve. They are the quintessential student-athletes!”

Saint John’s Prep distance runners are coached by Lance Nydeen, Kurt Salzl ’87, and Stephen Woods.

All four athletes enrolled in Saint John’s Preparatory School as sixth graders in the fall of 2017. They are among the 47 members of the Class of 2024 who will graduate in the Saint John’s Abbey Church at 3:00pm on Friday, May 24.

As they prepare for graduation, Coach Nydeen acknowledges their contribution to the team and school community. “Their priorities and dedication are so admirable and their humility astounding. They never miss an opportunity to help another teammate and continually work to improve themselves. The legacy that these senior athletes have left will shape the Cross Country and Track team culture for years after their graduation! They are truly special and inspirational!”

Signing Day 1
Olivia And Coaches
Nick Henry And Zach