Davies girls go back-to-back as state track and field champs
BISMARCK—As the anchor for the Fargo Davies girls 400-meter relay team, Roseline Gaye was shoulder-to-shoulder with Bismarck High's Mady Mosolf on the home stretch. When they crossed the finish line, Gaye thought she had lost the race and the Eagles had failed to defend their state title.
But the video replay and results on the Bismarck Community Bowl showed differently. The Eagles beat Bismarck by 0.02 seconds by finishing in 48.41 seconds, a new state meet record. As a team, Davies went on to cruise to a second consecutive North Dakota Class A state girls track and field championship on Saturday, May 27, at the Bismarck Community Bowl.
"I was panicked. I had to keep pushing," Gaye said. "It's really special because we're always there for each other, pushing each other and motivating each other to do better and keep our head up whenever we're on the track. We gave it our best and all we've got."
Davies scored 158.7 points as a team, beating Bismarck's 134.5 points and Bismarck Century's 74 points.
The Davies 400 relay team of Kaia Beil, Katelyn Carlson, Emily Jahner and Gaye broke the previous record of 48.76 seconds set by Bismarck in 2010. Davies broke the overall 400 relay record earlier this season at 48.33 seconds.
"I flashbacked to all the hard work we've put in the last three months," Jahner said. "It's all worth it."
Sally Korgho woke up on Saturday morning, her heart pounding. She wanted to set the right tone for the Eagles as the defending Class A state championship team.
In one of the first events of the day, Korgho won the 300 hurdles in 44.43 seconds, beating Mackenzie Severson of Grand Forks Red River by .49 seconds. Only a few minutes later, Korgho was the anchor leg of the Eagles' 800 relay team that defended its state title from last year in 1:41.91, just off of their state meet record set last season at 1:41.73.
The Eagles, who set the overall state record this season at 1:41.20 earlier this year, beat Bismarck High by .24 seconds. Gaye, Carlson and Jahner, all on last year's relay team, gave Davies a lead and Korgho held off Mosolf on the home stretch.
"I wasn't sure if I could actually pull it off, but it feels really good," Korgho said. "I saw her and told myself I won't let her catch me."
In the 300 hurdles, Korgho thought she had won it with just a few meters to go, but knicked the final hurdle and thought she might be passed. Just a freshman, she was relieved when she crossed the finish line and kept the 300 hurdles title at Davies after Halie Harland won it last season.
Beil won the girls 100 hurdles, defending her state championship from last year, in 15.82 seconds. She was nervous going into a headwind, but showed burst off the line and pulled away, beating runner-up Britta Curl of Bismarck St. Mary's by .25 seconds.
After winning last year, she said she felt much more comfortable this time around. The Eagles had four runners in the 100 hurdles finals, scoring them 18 points from the one event alone.
"It feels really good," Beil said. "I wasn't super nervous for this, the wind was just a little nerve-wracking. I just warmed up and wasn't going to let it get to me."
Roseline Gaye wasn't satisfied with her performance in the sprints. The defending Class A state 100 champion, Gaye was fourth in 12.95 seconds behind Bismarck's Cara Haussler's winning time of 12.5 seconds. But she would rather have won her team relay and the team title.
"Next time, I'll just come out harder," Roseline Gaye said. "Relay is my favorite to be honest. I wanted to come out on top in the 100, but I didn't get that done. I did the best I could."
A positive surprise for the Eagles came from Davies junior Alya Kretchman, who won the girls pole vault with a 10-6 after being seeded tied for third with a height of 9-9. The next closest was 10-3 from Mckenzie Johnson and Blythe Ehrmantraut, who was seeded tied for first, of Bismarck.
Going into state, Kretchman figured she would settle for third and shoot for first next year. But she felt a little better than usual today and kept surprising herself as the bar continued to be raised. She topped her personal best by 6 inches.
"I just kept telling myself I could do it," Kretchman said. "I was really shocked though. This is a huge confidence builder for me. There's no way going in that I would ever think I would be a state champion."
Moton caps decorated career with two titles
After her last javelin throw of her high school career, Akealy Moton had a tough time holding back tears. The West Fargo senior was finishing a historic track and field career, but her last javelin throw fell well short of the state meet record she wanted to break.
The competitor in her wouldn't leave without a state meet record.
Moton won the state javelin title with a 145 feet, 5 inch throw and then won the state shot put title with a 48-6 throw—a new state meet record—for her third consecutive state championships in those events
"It's definitely a good feeling," Moton said. "I think it was definitely a good meet, and I was happy about it. My adrenaline is still there."
Moton broke the shot put record, set by Briona Reynolds of Red River at 48-02.75 in 2001, on her third throw of the prelims.
Moton had already thrown her 145-5 javelin mark in the preliminaries, so she tried to attack the state record with what would be the state title winner already in hand. The University of North Dakota basketball commit was pushing her limits trying to break the state record of 148-3 set by Katie Wilson of Red River in 2002 — a mark Moton had memorized. Moton's seed distance of 149-2 would've set the overall state record, but in going for that mark, she hit herself on her last throw and came up short.
She still beat runner-up Regan Dennis of Century by 17-9.
"For my last one, it didn't feel like the best," Moton said of her last javelin throw. "It wasn't something I was proud about, but it happens. It's sad not to end on a good one, but overall I felt like it was a good meet, so I'm proud about it."
Lucas wins triple crown with cut toe
After Hunter Lucas successfully defended his 1,600-meter run state title on Friday, the runner-up of the race, Williston's Leif Everson, accidentally stepped on Lucas' left foot with cleats and cut through the Davies senior's running shoe and cut open his left big toe.
Lucas bandaged the toe and stopped the bleeding Friday, but it still hurt him while he ran the 800 and 3,200 on Saturday.
Lucas couldn't be slowed down. The pain in his toe took his mind off the pain in the rest of his body as he won the boys 800 in 1:55.45. He also successfully defended his 3,200 state title from last year in 9:21.09 and defeated Everson by 2.92. Lucas became the first boy to win the 800, the 1,600 and the 3,200 at the same state meet since Jake Leingang of Bismarck did so in 2013. He was named Class A state senior athlete of the year.
"I thought that it would be possible, but I knew it would be difficult to do," Lucas said. "It's really special and special for me to represent my school too."
In the 800, Lucas beat Bismarck Legacy's Beau Brannan by .71 seconds. Lucas was stuck in a pack to start the race out, but pulled up to the front with Brannan and pulled away at the end.
Lucas, who led for most of his 1,600 win a day earlier, drafted off of Everson this time around to get out of the wind. On the final lap, the University of Minnesota commit picked up the pace and Everson couldn't match. Halfway down the back stretch, Lucas looked behind him and saw Everson already about 10 yards back. Lucas kept looking back until he approached the finish line all alone.
"I realized how tough this wind actually was," Lucas said. "Once you're going 100 percent in a race, it starts to wear you down and makes you tired. I was going to try and save that energy for me so I don't wear out as much."