Blue Jays Roundup: Jays fire up the rockets in Devils Lake

The Jamestown High School track and field team ran in Devils Lake Monday.

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It was a still day in Devils Lake but the Jamestown High School boys 400-meter relay team made its own wind.

The team comprised of Levi Korum, Devin Beach, Preston Kroeber and Brode Hillstrom, sprinted to a blistering time of 45.22 seconds, hitting the state qualifying mark by 0.22 seconds.

"It was really exciting for them. They were pretty happy," JHS co-head track and field coach Mike Dietz said. "It always makes it a quality meet when you get some more kids qualified. We had some good performances."

Julia Skari, an eighth-grade hurdler, was one of those who nailed down a solid performance. Skari cleared the 30-inch beams with a time of 48.13 seconds -- a new PR. Skari already qualified to State but Dietz said constant improvement is what he is looking for in his batch of athletes.

The slew of contests down the stretch has provided extra track and pit time, something the Jays' have missed this season due to the renovations being made down at Taylor Stadium.


Even without a track to practice hand-offs, block starts and hurdling form, the Jays seem to be taking care of business just fine.

The Jays have qualified 18 athletes in 12 different events to the state's biggest meet of the year, with several more close to hitting the mark.

Bernadette Belzer, a sophomore hurdler and distance runner, finished her signature 300-meter hurdles in 49.19 seconds Monday. Belzer won the 300 hurdles at the West Fargo Sheyenne Quadrangular on April 16 and has been a top-five finisher at nearly all the Jays' outdoor contests.

Junior Kaelyn Nygaard is close to hitting the marks in both hurdle races. Nygaard and Belzer have qualified to State in other events, Nygaard with the 400-meter relay team and Belzer in the 3,200-meter relay.

In addition to his hurdlers, Dietz said he thinks that the right mix of athletes in the girls' 1,600-meter relay could come close to the 4:16.24 mark. The boys' 4x800 relay is also only a couple of seconds away from qualifying.

"I think all of the kids can qualify for State," Dietz said. "I am pretty confident in their abilities, now it's just time for them to step up and perform."

Some Blue Jays have been performing all season long.

The Jays' girls team is fueled by top-notch performances from junior Annie Nabwe and elite finishes from Meghan Ford.


Nabwe has broken the school record in the girls' shot put three times and the 100-meter dash once. The junior's strength and speed also helped qualify the 400 and 800-meter relay teams to State.

Nabwe is slated to compete in the shot put, discus, 100-meter dash, 4x100 and 4x200.

Ford has qualified for the fifth-straight time in the 1600-meter run and the two-mile race. The senior distance star also helped the Jays' 4x800 meter relay team reach State. Ford has yet to qualify in the 800-meter run but Dietz said he is confident the three-time state cross country champion will easily hit the 2:25.24 mark.

The boys' distance squad has done a pretty good job hitting their splits as well.

"On the boys' side, that distance crew is right up there," Dietz said. "Ben (Anteau) is having a really good season so far and I expect him to do really well at State.

"And you never know, Brode and Devin in those jumps could be right there and Thomas (Allmer) should be able to place at State in the throws. That should be (their) goal -- to get on the podium."

Official results were unavailable.

Gerber is a sports writer for the Jamestown Sun.
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