Orr, Willer finish strongMcKayla Orr’s sprinting ability paid dividends on Saturday at the Class A state track and field meet.
By: Chris Aarhus, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
McKayla Orr’s sprinting ability paid dividends on Saturday at the Class A state track and field meet.
The Jamestown High School sophomore, in her first year hurdling, didn’t get over the obstacles as well as she would have hoped in the 300-meter hurdles.
“I got off to a rough start,” she said.
But Orr kept at it, passing runners after the final hurdle to take fourth place at the Bismarck Community Bowl. She finished in 46.62 seconds.
“I just pushed till the end,” Orr said. “It’s my first (year) running the hurdles and only my fourth or fifth time running (the 300). I’m surprised at how well I’ve done. A lot of it is just how to approach each hurdle. Next (season), I’ll be working on that.”
Orr said her steps between hurdles need work.
“It’s the running in between — I’ve got to get it down,” Orr said. “I wish I would have done better, but I’m proud of what I got in the end.”
The Blue Jays, who took 12th with 21 points, also got a third-place finish out of junior Alison Allmer. She ran a 2:21.07 in the 800. On Friday, she won her second straight 1,600 title.
Bismarck Century completed its quest for back-to-back state titles with 129 team points.
The Jamestown boys may have only scored 12 points — good for ninth — but coach Ken Gardner saw steady improvement from his squad.
After Jordan Thoreson placed fourth with a personal best in the shot put on Friday, Nathan Willer had a season-best toss of 154 feet, 11 inches to take third in the discus. He was seeded 13th.
“He keeps telling me he has all these 150-foot throws in him,” Gardner said. “I was hoping to see one.”
Wind and rain hindered the state meet all day Saturday, but Willer shined with his best throw coming in the preliminaries.
“Maybe some others started to tighten up with the conditions not being the way they envisioned them,” Gardner said. Nathan’s “just the kind of guy who doesn’t get too uptight. He’s pretty good at staying loose.”
Gardner said he was also pleasantly surprised to see the Blue Jays finish out the meet by getting eighth in the 1,600 relay. They were seeded 11th and finished in 3:36.14. Seniors Tanner Olson and John Nagel ran the first and fourth legs, respectively.
Gardner was particularly happy about Nagel, who fell just short of qualifying for state multiple times.
“It was nice to see John Nagel on the awards stand,” Gardner said. “He just missed in four events as a sophomore. He just missed last year. He was almost there in a lot of events.”
Bismarck High School amassed 220 points to record its ninth consecutive state championship. Bismarck Century was runner-up with 96 points.
Sun sports writer Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by email at email@example.com