Jamestown High School track standout Meghan Ford won't be dealing with 90-degree temperatures at this year's Class A state track and field championships, but the competition will still remain blazing hot this Friday and Saturday at the Bismarck Community Bowl.
The sophomore won the 1,600-meter race last spring, which was her first-ever track championship. Ford, winner of the 2018 Class A state cross country championship, will compete in the 1,600 on Friday, while running in the 3,200 and 800 on Saturday.
Ford's currently ranked first in the 1,600 (4 minutes, 54.11 seconds), 3,200 (10:38.12) and is second in the 800 (2:14.07), behind Bismarck Century's Erin Palmer (2:13.33).
"The expectations are set high for Meghan and she does that for herself," said Jamestown girls track and field coach Mike Dietz. "(The conditions) should be a lot better and what they've been used to. You can't expect to have a great time, but if it's just drizzling you can see some good times."
Ford carries a six-second advantage over Fargo Davies' Megan Lundstrom in the 1600, while holding a 19-second edge over Lundstrom in the 3200.
The 800 will be a rematch from the Howard Wood Dakota Relays as Bismarck Century's Erin Palmer won the event with a personal-record 2:13.33, while Ford was third (2:14.07) and Century's Emily Goldade was sixth (2:15.15). The remaining competitors from the event were from out of state.
The weather over the weekend will be in question, too.
The National Weather Service is calling for temperatures between 53-66 degrees on Friday, along with rain showers and isolated thunderstorms. Saturday will be 65-70 degrees with isolated showers.
"We're always looking at the weather," said Blue Jay boys coach Ken Gardner. "It says 90% rain but hopefully that's overnight and it clears up. That's something you're concerned about is what Mother Nature will throw their way."
Newcomer Anthonett Nabwe sits second in the girls shot put with a throw of 40 feet, 11 inches at the Bill Jansen Last Chance meet on May 13, which set the school record. The freshman will try and throw past Grand Forks Red River's Shelby Frank (42-7).
"I think Anthonett can surprise some people and state will be new for her," Dietz said. "It's such a learning experience because she's never done this, so you'll see that type of growth. I don't know where to set the bar with her because she'll complete no matter what. We'll see if it'll let her affect her, but she'll be ready to compete and get after it."
Other individuals that will compete is: Carly Raap (400, long jump), Kameron Selvig (300 hurdles), Abby Kallenbach (high, triple jump), Grace Hegerle (high, long jump), Jessica Walter (shot put), Jessie Paulson (javelin), Amanda Sargeant (pole vault) and the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400 relay teams.
"I expect we're going to compete at our highest level," Dietz said. "We did a good job of competing at WDA and not worrying about conditions. It won't be the most ideal conditions for those that have prelims and finals, but they'll have to be ready to compete and see who's going to want it the most."
On the boys side, thrower Marcus Hochhalter will lead the Jays. The senior is ranked third in the shot put (53) and trails Century's Nathan Kraft by nearly a foot and a half. Hochhalter is ranked sixth in the discus (155-7) and 14th in the javelin (162-5).
"Qualifying in all three isn't that common," Gardner said. "Some specialize in the shot and discus, but qualifying in all three is a good accomplishment. He's improved in the shot put and discus, but hasn't thrown the javelin a lot. But each time he throws, he might pop that big one."
Football lineman turned distance runner, sophomore Gavin Haut, has had a nice distance season after being ranked fourth in the 3200 (9:37.83) and seventh in the 1600 (4:27.51).
Other state qualifiers include Daven Russell (discus), Paul Vandal (javelin) and Aaron Marck (javelin) and 4x800 relay members Jacob Anteau, Chandlar Rott and Zeb Willer.
"I'm just excited that we have eight guys at the state meet. We've had more than that, but that's eight times over the last two state meets combined," Gardner said. "To get right there is a good step for our team and we need to have strong performances there."
Other area athletes vie for state titles
Edgeley-Kulm's Issac Huber will be the favorite in the 800 (1:55.76), 1600 (4:17.72) and 3200 (9:13.71) during the Class B boys portion over the weekend. LaMoure-Litchville-Marion's Benji Heyd and Oakes' Logan Sell are 1-2, respectively, in the 400.
On the girls side, the Tornadoes' Lanie Awender is first in the 100 and 200 with times of 12.33 and 25.85, respectively. Kidder County's Kennedy Harter leads the triple jump by seven inches (37-3).
State track and field championships
Area athletes competing
(Name, year, events)
Jamestown: Gavin Haut, Soph., 1600, 3200; Marcus Hochhalter, Sr., shot put, discus, javelin; Daven Russll, Jr., discus; Paul Vandal, Sr., javelin; Aaron Mack, Sr., javelin.
Medina-Pingree-Buchanan: Jacen Eissinger, Sr., 100; Bryson Tripp, Jr., 110 hurdles.
Carrington: Trey Rosenau, Sr., 400, 800; Payton Smith, Sr., 800, 1600, 3200; Austin Hendrickson, Sr., 3200; Jacob Seaburg, Fresh., 3200; Easton Rindy, Sr., shot put; Beau Retzlaff, Soph., discus; Trevor Hoggarth, Soph., pole vault; 4x400 relay; 4x800 relay.
Edgeley-Kulm: Jorgen Paulson, Soph., 100, 200, long jump, triple jump; Isaac Huber, Sr., 400, 800, 1600, 3200; Lucas Nitschke, Sr., 1600, 3200; Phillip Hagen, Sr., triple jump; 4x200 relay; 4x400 relay; 4x800 relay.
Kidder County: Payton Cauthon, Soph., 100; Arlen Rohrich, Sr., high jump; Lucas Subart, Sr., long jump, triple jump; Payton Cauthon, Soph., triple jump; Isaiah Harter, Jr., triple jump.
Oakes: Logan Sell, Jr., 400; Alex Muggli, Soph., long jump; Ashton Biesterfeld, Soph., discus, javelin; Andrew Dethlefsen, Sr., javelin; 4x200 relay; 4x400 relay.
Linton-HMB: Braydon Schmidt, Sr., 110 hurdles; Lucas Schumacher, Soph., high jump; Quinn Roemmich, Jr., javelin; 4x100 relay.
LaMoure-Litchville-Marion: Benji Heyd, Jr., 400; 4x100 relay.
Griggs County Central: Mark Sammon, Fresh., 1600; Teylor Hanson, Sr., shot put/
South Border: Martin DeArcos, Sr., javelin; 4x800 relay.
Jamestown: Anthonett Nabwe, Fresh., 200, shot put, javelin; Carly Raap, Soph., 400, long jump; Meghan Ford, Soph., 800, 1600, 3200; Kameron Selvig, Jr., 300 hurdles; Abby Kallenbach, Sr., high jump, triple jump; Grace Hegerle, Soph., high jump, long jump; Jessica Walter, Jr., shot put; Jessie Paulson, Jr., javelin; Amanda Sargeant, Sr., pole vault; 4x100 relay; 4x200 relay; 4x400 relay.
Carrington: Amanda Jarrett, Sr., 800, 1600, 3200; Baylee Lura, 8th, 3200; Madison Johnson, 7th, 3200; Allison Jarrett, 8th, 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles; Mya Schroeder, 8th, 300 hurdles; Hannah Hagel, Soph., high jump, triple jump; Taryn Hoeckle, Soph., long jump; Sadie Maguson, Sr., discus, javelin; Kylie Skadberg, 7th, pole vault; 4x100 relay; 4x200 relay; 4x400 relay; 4x800 relay.
Oakes: Lanie Awender, Soph., 100, 200; Sadie Hansen, Soph., shot put, discus, javelin; Laikyn Roney, 8th, shot put; 4x100 relay; 4x200 relay; 4x400 relay.
Medina-Pingree-Buchanan: Gracie Bohl, Jr., 100, 200, long jump; Brittney Reister, Soph., 300 hurdles; Megan Moser, Jr., javelin.
Edgeley-Kulm: Noah Entzi, 8th, 800; Maren Bernston, Jr., high jump.
LaMoure-Litchville-Marion: Jakkia Duffy, Jr., 3200; 4x400 relay.
Kidder County: Kennedy Harter, 8th, high jump, long jump, triple jump.
South Border: Kelsey Kosiak, Jr., 30-8.5; Emily Jochim, 8th, javelin; Faith Dockter, Jr., discus, javelin.
Ellendale: Taylor Krege, Jr., shot put
Linton-HMB: Haley Hase, Jr., javelin; Calli Hase, Fresh., javelin.