Gerstner Wins State Free Throw Championship


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Noah Gerstner of Beloit won the 2018 Knights of Columbus State Free Throw Championship at Sacred Heart High School in Salina on Sunday, March 4th.

Gerstner, who was in the 11 year old boy division, made 23 of 25 free throws which tied him with last year’s state champion, William Wegerer of Cunningham.

To break the tie, both competitors shot 5 more free throws. Wegerer went first and made all 5 free throw attempts, but Gerstner made all 5 as well to force a second shoot-off of 5 more free throws. In the second shoot-off, Wegerer made 4 of 5 opening the door for Gerstner, who made all 5 again to win the State Championship!

In order to qualify for State, Gerstner won the local Beloit competition making 14 of 15 free throws. In the district round, held in Cawker City, Gerstner connected on 23 of 25 charity tosses to win district which moved him into the Regional contest in Tipton. At Regionals, Gerstner knocked down 23 of his 25 free throws to win district and qualify for State. Over the course of the four free throw contests, Gerstner made 93 of 100 free throw attempts (93%).

Noah is the son of Wade & Mandy Gerstner of Beloit.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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