First year co-op works at P-B-KIn its inaugural season, Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal will be represented when the North Dakota High School State Track & Field Championships get underway today at the Bismarck Community Bowl.
By: Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun
In its inaugural season, Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal will be represented when the North Dakota High School State Track & Field Championships get underway today at the Bismarck Community Bowl.
Pingree eighth-grader Cole Diede earned a shot at the state podium after being crowned the Region 4 champ in the 800-meter run last Saturday at Valley City. Diede won the event with a time of 2:09.80.
The Class B boys’ qualifying standard in the 800 is 2:03.24, but the top two finishers in the regional advance to state and P-B-K track coach Matt Lokemoen said the young Diede keeps on improving every time he laces up his shoes.
“It’s unusual for an eighth-grader to qualify for state, but he’s really been progressing nicely,” Lokemoen said. “He shows maturity for his age and is one of our hardest workers.”
The coach said he realized just how impressive Diede’s work ethic was from Day 1.
“During our first practice the kids went out for a half-mile run and he was the first one in. That caught my eye,” Lokemoen said. “He ran a 2:10 or a 2:08 and it was below zero that day. He’s mentally tough and he’s become kind of a leader because he works so hard. The other kids pick up on that and see how serious he is about track.”
Diede is one of 12 athletes who participated in the first-year co-op track team that joined Kensal with Pingree-Buchanan. According to Lokemoen the combination was a natural fit because the two schools already co-op in volleyball and girls’ and boys’ basketball.
Kensal’s track and field team fielded just four athletes one year ago during Lokemoen’s first year as coach, while athletes from Pingree-Buchanan traveled to Carrington to compete with the Cardinals.
“Some students became more interested in a co-op with Kensal because they had developed relationships during volleyball and basketball,” Lokemoen said. “I thought it went pretty well. They (Pingree-Buchanan) brought some pretty good athletes into the mix and we had some good athletes at our school.
“I hope they stick with it, work together and show some good things the next couple of years.”
Along with his win in the 800, Diede also brought home a fourth-place finish in the 300 hurdles (46.70) during the Region 4 meet, and other P-B-K tracksters were also close to punching their ticket to state.
Kelly Carlson, a junior from Pingree-Buchanan, just missed a trip to the state meet after finishing third in the triple jump with a leap of 32-0 1/2.
Kensal sophomore Amanda Beckley placed fourth in the high jump with a mark of 4-5.
Other up-and-comers on the young squad of Rebels are sophomore Kolten Sabinash and seventh-grader Jordan Thomas. Sabinash, from Kensal, placed sixth in the 400 (56.90) and eighth in the 100 (12.60) at the regional, while Thomas, from Pingree-Buchanan, tied for sixth in the 100 (14.40) and placed eighth in the 400 (1:09.80).
“We have some pretty good young athletes and we’re hoping the next year or two will be pretty good,” Lokemoen said.
But at the moment the focus is on Diede’s upcoming performance in the 800. The event will unfold at 3 p.m. on Saturday in Bismarck, and he’s been gearing up for his trip to state by practicing this week at Jamestown College’s Greeno Field.
Lokemoen said Jamestown College women’s track coach Jim Clark and the rest of the college’s coaching staff has been a big help to the Rebels in their first season. The college opened its facilities to the team in early May when spring flooding was an issue, and the Rebels also practiced once a week in Jamestown.
“Coach Clark has been pretty nice to us. We were able to practice indoors at the YMCA and outdoors too,” Lokemoen said.
Diede’s best time in the 800 this season was a 2:09.47, which ranks him 14th out of the 19 athletes competing in the event on Saturday. Hankinson’s Dalton Herding has the fastest 800 time with a 1:59.74.
But Lokemoen said a place on the podium for Diede isn’t out of the question.
“His goal is to be in the top 10. He’s a younger athlete running against older athletes,” Lokemoen said. “If he has a great day, he could place eighth. He’s excited about it.”
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Carrington junior Sierra Rosenau is the favorite to win the girls’ javelin when the event fires up at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
She enters this weekend’s state meet with a state-best toss of 140-6, as Finley-Sharon-Hope-Page’s Rebecca Erickson sits second with a toss of 132-2.
Rosenau’s mark is less than three feet off the state Class B javelin record of 143-2 set by Bottineau’s Sara Neubauer in 2006.
Rosenau and freshman teammate Kayla Hochhalter (129-10) qualified for state in all three throwing events. Rosenau’s mark of 115-10 in the discus is ninth-best overall, while Hochhalter’s qualifying toss of 37-6 in the shot put sits 10th.
The Cardinals’ Josey Page will be in the hunt for an individual title in the 200, as her qualifying time of 25.54 is tied with Mott-Regent’s Marah Friez as the top time in the state.
Page is also qualified in the 100 and the 400.
The Carrington girls’ 400 relay team has the second fastest time at 51.34, while the team’s 800 relay ranks third (1:49.14), the 1600 relay team ranks sixth (4:15.94) and the 3200 relay team ranks ninth (10:27.04).
Carrington’s Jordan Mittleider holds the fourth fastest time in the boys’ 110 hurdles (15.64) and the eighth quickest time in the 300 hurdles (42.24).
Scott Burnham should also be in the hunt for a boys’ long jump title for the Cards, as his leap of 21-3 is just two inches off the best mark recorded this season.
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Barnes County North’s Cody Christ will be in the mix for a state title in both the boys’ 1600 (4:30.14) and 3200 (9:54.44).
Christ enters the state meet with the second fastest time in both events.
Only sixth athletes beat the Bison’s Brad Clemens’ mark of 5-10 in the boys’ high jump, while Wyatt Steckler’s mark of 12-6 in the pole vault ranks him tied for third in that event.
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Napoleon’s Rikki Schmidt enters today’s state meet with the fastest time recorded in the 400 at 58.94.
She’ll be competing against teammate Sheridon Dewald in the event (1:01.28), and will also be running the 100 (12.74) and the 200 (25.84).
Napoleon’s Sheridon Dewald’s leap of 35-7 1/4 in the triple jump ranks third in the state entering today, while the team’s 800 relay team is the favorite with the quickest time to date.
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Central Prairie’s Courtney Heupel should be in the mix for a spot on the podium in the girls’ 400-meter dash.
Heupel’s qualifying time of 1:00.94 is 10th quickest out of the 21 girls competing in the event. Heupel will also be competing in the 100 (13.50) and the 800 (2:29.50).
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Edgeley-Kulm’s Brittany Nitschke enters the state meet with the 10th quickest time in the 1600 (5:42.30).
The Rebels’ Steven Giesler has the fifth farthest jump recorded in the triple jump this season with a mark of 40-3 3/4.
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Griggs County Central’s Katie Hanson (38-10 1/2) and Shaleen Helmer (38-7) sit fourth and fifth, respectively, entering Saturday’s shot put competition.
Helmer also has the second farthest throw this season in the discus (122-9), while Hanson’s sits sixth (117-11).
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Harvey-Wells County’s Travis Flick is the favorite in the boy’s 400 with the fastest qualifying time of 50.94.
He’ll also be running in the 200 (22.94).
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org