Driven leader; St. Croix Prep senior looks forward to attending St. Thomas in the fall

Ian Bramstedt of Marine on St. Croix will graduate from St. Croix Prep June 8.

Ian Bramstedt of Marine on St. Croix will graduate from St. Croix Prep June 8. (Gazette staff photo by Katie Morford)

By Katie Morford

Gazette Intern

Ian Bramstedt, 17, of Marine on St. Croix, has had a high school career marked by athletic achievement, quiet leadership and solid character. This St. Croix Preparatory Academy senior hopes to continue his success in cross country and track as he runs for the University of St. Thomas next year.

With a 3.8 GPA, Bramstedt has certainly has achieved academically. In addition, athletic competition has been defining for him during his time in high school.

St. Croix Prep’s track coach John Vallez commented on Bramstedt’s mindset in athletic competition.

“Ian is very driven, motivated individual,” Vallez said. “He will do absolutely everything it takes, in track especially. He puts in the miles, he puts in the hard work. He’s passionate about what he does, he wants to do a good job, and I think that really translates in him having success.”

Examples of this success and a highlight of Bramstedt’s high school career are the school’s two recent conference title victories in track.

“The boys won conference two times in a row, and this is the second year in a row we’ve won it,” Bramstedt said. “That was a really exciting event the first year. We weren’t really expecting it. The points just tallied up.”

Bramstedt was captain of cross country and track teams this year and, according to Vallez, he excelled in those positions.

“Track and cross country are such individual sports, and he’s had a lot of individual success, but I think his biggest impact, at least from my perspective, is just his leadership in terms of really establishing a standard so other students are held accountable,” Vallez observed.

For Bramstedt, an enjoyable element of running is the continued opportunity to improve personally. “It’s almost like competing against myself because you try to better yourself every day,” he said.

Teachers and administrators at the school said this attitude of perseverance characterized Bramstedt in his academics as well.

According to English teacher Elaine Bransford, “Ian is an incredibly responsible and reliable and hardworking person who is really mature beyond his years.”

She added, “He really demonstrates character, good character … The way that he treats people and staff is always just remarkable.”

Upper school director Karen Klinzing emphasized that Bramstedt perseveres and sets high goals.

“If he doesn’t reach them, he can be hard on himself but in a way that shows strong character,” Klinzing said.

Self-motivation and goal-setting are qualities Bramstedt also admires in others. His desire for those characteristics helped him choose where to attend college.

In the fall Bramstedt will begin studying biochemistry at the University of St. Thomas, while also running track and cross country.

“I plan on going into some kind of sports medicine, maybe chiropractic, somewhere along those lines,” he said. “The whole muscular system and skeletal system and human anatomy is very interesting to me.”

He choose St. Thomas because of the focus of the track program and motivation of the coach.

“The coach seemed like he had this really go-getter attitude. He had high expectations for both himself and his team, and so that’s where I see myself as well. I have really high expectations for myself, and it just seems like he was the right fit for that.”

Bramstedt is looking forward to meeting new people, running on a college track team and gaining experience through a medical internship.

Like most graduating seniors, the distant future is up in the air for Bramstedt, but his dream would be to someday open a chiropractic practice of his own.

Contact Katie Morford at katie.morford@ecm-inc.com.

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