Cardinals' Bickett trying to end team's track and field drought
Bickett is trying to be the first Cardinal boy to win a state title since his dad and the first athlete as a whole to win one since Kauri Hochhalter in 2016.
CARRINGTON, N.D. — When he steps up to throw the javelin at the 2023 NDHSAA State Track and Field Meet, Carrington’s Ryder Bickett will be trying to live up to the success that came before him. Bickett’s father, Chad, is his throwing coach and won two state titles and set the record for furthest throw in 1988, which has since been retired with the changing of the javelin.
“If I broke my dad’s record I would be so happy,” Ryder Bickett said. “That is my main goal for my whole career.”
Heading into the state championships, Bickett has the third-longest javelin throw in the state overall and the longest for Class B athletes at 178 feet, 8 inches. The sophomore set that mark on May 1 at the Nedrose Varsity Invite. Bickett said his success has come from getting stronger and his improved technique.
Bickett is also a member of the Cardinals basketball team and as soon the season ended, his father said they began focusing on the javelin.
“We started doing indoor drills for javelin,” Chad Bickett said. “This is the first year that I started helping Carrington, my cousin,Sierra Tweed, was helping the previous two years, she also had some indoor drills that they did for the previous month, month and a half until we could get outdoors.”
Ryder said he has sky-high expectations heading into the final competition. Chad said the biggest things that Ryder has to do to have success is have confidence and be ready heading into the final meet of the season.
“My expectations for this meet is to hopefully take home the first-place trophy,” Ryder said.
Although this is his first year on the Cardinals staff, Chad has obviously been watching his son practice the sport forever. Chad said in order to keep Ryder focused on the proper technique they don’t throw around a baseball or a football until track season is over. Chad said he has seen Ryder grow in the sport as he has increased his distance from 149-feet as an eighth grader to his current distance of 178 feet.
“I compare him to myself a lot, even though he got a year earlier than I did,” Chad said. “I didn’t start until my freshman year, he started when he was an eighth grader, he threw 149 (feet) as an eighth grader, he was actually number one in the nation as an eighth grader throwing a high school javelin, according to Athletic.net anyway."
Due to the two being together all the time, Ryder said they practice the sport while they are at home.
Ryder will also compete as a member of the Cardinals relay teams in the 4x100, 4x200 and the 4x400 races. He is the second leg in the 4x100 and 4x200 and the third leg in the 4x400 race. Ryder said the key to success in the relay events is to make sure they execute the handoffs successfully.
At the state meet, Ryder is competing against 21 other competitors in the javelin. The group of throwers has to wait until 12:15 p.m. on Saturday, May 27, which he said is hard. He said he will be running at the meet and practicing the javelin over the next few days.
Ryder is trying to win the third state title for his family during their respective high school careers.
“If I won the state title it would mean everything to me with everything I’ve done to achieve where I’m at right now,” Ryder said.