Brennan Schaefer of Morgan is an athlete.
A third-place finish at the state track and field tournament is proof of that.
Schaefer, who is a student at Cedar Mountain High School in Morgan, competed in the shot put contest at the state meet held in June at Hamline University.
As a participant in the wheelchair shot put contest, the member of the Cedar Mountain-Comfrey track and field team qualified for the state tournament after competing at the Sub-Section and Section tournaments.
According to Schaefer’s mom, Loni Fiedler, it was his physical education teacher, Mike Freitag, who introduced Schaefer to the sport.
“Mike is the phy-ed teacher at Cedar Mountain and the track coach,” said Fiedler, adding he also teaches the adaptive physical education class Schaefer attends.
Known as Developmental Adapted Physical Education (DAPE), the program is a specially designed physical education program that allows students, such as Schaefer, the opportunity to remain physically active despite any disabilities they may have.
According to the Minnesota DAPE program students ages three through 21 can participate in adaptive physical education programs through their school as a way to maintain physical fitness, improve motor skills and enjoy sports.
“Mike had Brennan try the shot put in phy-ed,” said Fiedler, adding he continued to practice during his DAPE time at school.
Then he started competing at track meets and saw success that led to a throw that meant he had qualified for the state tournament.
Schaefer had to compete in three qualifying meets, and Fiedler said he competed in Sleepy Eye twice and once in Winthrop. When competing in the wheelchair shot put contest, Schaefer tosses a six-pound shot put for distance. Fiedler said he always did incredibly well when he had a good base of fans cheering for him.
Schaefer said he enjoys throwing shot put, and Fiedler added he was told good shot put throwers make a grunting noise as they are throwing.
“He has a pretty good grunt,” said Fiedler with a smile.
An adapted platform area was created at the state meet for the wheelchair shot put participants, which Fiedler and Schaefer agreed was pretty cool and allowed for a better chance to get a good throw.
During the season, Fiedler said he had some pretty good throws, and at the state meet he threw 7’9” to put him in third place in his division. Having just finished ninth grade, Schaefer has plans to compete again next season, and Fiedler added he is also thinking about competing in the discus throw as well.
Schaefer said he enjoys the chance to be involved in the sport, but he added it is a lot of hard work.
When he is not working on his shot put technique, Schaefer said he enjoys art and science in school and likes to play shuffleboard and mini-golf.
Fiedler expressed her appreciation to Coach Freitag for his willingness to work with Schaefer and allow him be part of the Cougar track and field team.