MANKATO — Not too bad for a guy who just kind of fell into the sport.
A good basketball player in his youth, Matt Bornholdt arrived at Mankato East as a seventh-grader, looking for a sport he could do in the spring. Golf and tennis were foreign to him so that left baseball or track.
“I used to play baseball, but I wasn’t any good at it,” Bornholdt said. “So I decided to go with track.”
That seems to have worked out well for the senior. The 6-foot-4 Bornholdt has been a key member of the East basketball team the last few seasons and has developed into one of the top discus throwers in the Big Nine Conference.
In part because of his size, Bornholdt was made a thrower right away when he walked on to the track team. His strength and technique improved each year, and he started competing at the varsity level as a sophomore.
Last spring, as a junior, Bornholdt picked the section meet to deliver the best discus throw of his career — 142 feet — to earn a state tournament berth.
“I guess my timing was pretty good on that one,” Bornholdt said. “I’d like to get back to state, and I’d like to take a shot at the school record of 161 feet. I know that’s quite a bit farther than I’ve thrown before, but it’s a goal to reach for.”
East coach Jon Dierks said Bornholdt is the kind of student athlete any coach would be glad to have on his team.
“He’s a good kid, he’s a 4.1 student and he does anything you ask him to do,” Dierks said. “In addition to the shot and discus, he’s run the 100 for us and he’s also done the high jump. He’s just willing to help the team any way he can.”