Area Class B track and field athletes preparing for state
The 2021 Class A and Class B State Track and Field Meet is slated to be held in Bismarck May 28-29.
It was two years ago that Sadie Hansen came up a little short in the Class B state girls shot put finals.
But this year, there's no Paige Haakenson standing in her way.
"My sophomore year I placed runner-up in the shot put, I was excited to experience that but wanted to get back there again and try to get a better mark," Hansen, a senior at Oakes High School, said. "I want to end my season on a high note knowing that I gave everything I have and won’t have any regrets."
Hansen, along with more than 1,000 athletes across the state's track and field programs, is slated to compete at the 2021 North Dakota Class A and Class B state Track and Field Meet next weekend in Bismarck. The state met begins next Friday at 8:45 a.m.
As a sophomore, Hansen reached 38 feet, 10 inches in the shot, which came in second to Haakenson's throw of 40-3. This season Hansen has achieved a No. 1 ranking in the event heading into state with a throw of 38 feet, 11 inches. The senior has surpassed the rest of the field by almost nine inches.
The 2020 Class B senior volleyball athlete of the year is also ranked fourth in the state in discus. Hansen threw a PR of 117-8 at the Oakes Last Chance Meet last Saturday.
Hansen said preparing for state has entailed making a good number of throws and lifting weights to keep muscles loose and warm. The senior said she is working on nailing down the last details in her footwork and is following up the "get-after-it" workouts with a good amount of sleep each night.
"I’m very grateful and excited to be able to compete again this year after having last year off," Hansen said of the return trip to Bismarck. "I do have a mark I want to hit, but I've just got to take one throw at a time and go from there. I have to show up and just get ready to compete and giving everything I have."
Hansen isn't the only one on the Tornadoes' squad vying for a state title.
On the boys' side, Ashton Biesterfeld has beat out the rest of the state in the javelin by nearly six inches. Biesterfeld, a senior for the Tornadoes, is also ranked second in the discus with a throw of 171-5 -- the best distance of his three-year career.
Oakes' Region 3 rival, Kidder County/Napoleon/Gackle-Streeter, is posed to rival the Tornadoes -- and the rest of the state -- in several events on the track and in the field.
Kennedy Harter, a sophomore for the Wolves, is currently ranked No. 1 in the state in the triple jump, making her mark at 37 feet, 1 inch. Harvey/Wells County's Makenna Vollmer is sitting in the No. 2 spot with a jump of 36 feet. Harter competed at state during her seventh-grade and eighth-grade seasons, winning triple jump in 2019.
Harter said she is looking to beat the state record of 38 feet, 6 inches by the time she graduates.
"Ever since winning the title my 8th-grade year, it’s been my goal to keep the title in my name until my senior year," Harter said. "It sounds cliché but (winning the title) was the best feeling in the world, and I would do anything to get that feeling back."
Payton Cauthon has also made some noise in the triple jump for the Wolves. Cauthon is sitting at the No. 3-spot with a jump of 43 feet. The senior three-sport-athlete is also ranked third in the 100-meter dash -- 0.10 seconds behind the top-time in the state.
"In the 100-meter dash I was hoping I could get into that 11.1 area," Cauthon said of his goals for state. "I believe I have a great chance for the state title because I’ll have great competition and I’ll be able to push myself to get that better time. In the triple jump, my main mark is to try and push for 44 feet, if I can get that I have a good chance at state title as well."
Cauthon said he hopes to culminate his high school athletics career with state titles in the 100 and triple jump. The senior also wants to place in the top-five in the 400-meter relay. The relay team of Cauthon, Jonah Harter, John Wagner, and Jacob Biegler is ranked seventh in the Class B standings with a time of 45.40 seconds.
Lisbon will likely not rival Cauthon's 4x100 meter relay team but the Broncos can likely outpace anyone in the state when it comes to the boy's 3200-meter relay.
The Bronco squad of Boeden Greenley, Mike Nelson, Simon Sveum, and Caeden Sweet has outrun the rest of the top-10 teams in the state by almost four seconds. The four-man team turned in a combined time of 8 minutes, 24 seconds at the Fargo Rotary Invite on May 10.
It's not just the Bronco boys who've got their eye on a potential state championship.
Lisbon freshman Kyra Haecherl is 0.18 seconds off the top time in the state for the 100-meter hurdles. Haecherl's PR stands at 16.24 seconds while Dedra Woods' of Shiloh Christian is just 0.06 over the 16-second mark.
"I have not been to state before but I am super excited to compete," Haecherl said. "I am going to try and go for a state title. I want to PR and get 16.10 (and) be my best that I could have been at state."
Kendra Odegard is also in a prime position to earn a state title for the Broncos. The senior has eclipsed all competition in the javelin, throwing her spear more than 17 feet ahead of Kinsey Zuroff, of Beulah, who's ranked second. Odegard has even eclipsed Jamestown's Annie Nabwe on multiple occasions.
"The mark I would like to hit is somewhere around 150 feet," Odegard said of her goals for the contest. "Coming out of state track as a champ would be the highlight of my year. It has always been my dream to be a state champ since I started throwing javelin."
With less than one week to go before the season concludes, the excitement is high and athletes are just waiting for the starting guns.
"I just want to say good luck to all athletes competing at the state track meet," Hansen said. "I will always be thankful for Class B North Dakota athletics."