Picking up speed
The Rugby High School boys and girls track and field teams dominated the competition at the CNDC Indoor Meet on April 4 at Minot State University Dome.
The boys led a field of 19 teams with 131 points. Velva-Drake-Anamoose was second with 80 and Shiloh Christian third with 66. The girls cruised with 151 points followed by 62 for Harvey-Wells County and 49.5 for V-D-A in a field of 20 teams.
“We saw some improvement from before and hopefully we can keep that going,” RHS boys head coach Scott Grochow said. “It was nice to do some field events and I thought we did a nice job, boys and girls.”?The Panthers won five individual events and two relays on the boys side. Senior sprinter Nigel Hageness won the 55-meter dash and the 200-meter dash in 6.40 seconds and 23.50 seconds, respectively. The latter time was good enough to beat a 1993 meet record set by Rugby’s Scott Frueh (23.61). Hageness’ time in the 55 was one-hundredth of a second off his own meet record set last year.
“I’m pretty much exactly where I want to be,” said Hageness, the 2012 state champion in the 100 and 200. “In the 55, I didn’t have the best start, but had a time right with the meet record. It feels good to finally start improving again.”?Hageness anchored the winning team in the 4×1 lap (160 meters) relay with a time of 1:17.49. He was joined by junior Eli Luna (Towner), senior Chris Hamilton and sophomore Victor Gronvold. RHS also won the 1,600-meter relay with Hamilton and juniors Zach Miller, Nolan Hovland and Tanner Bernhardt with a time of 3:46.98.
“The last five or six years we’ve always had really good relays,” Hamilton said. “We return a lot of depth and probably have six or seven guys to fill in for anybody.”
The team’s other top finishers included Bernhardt in the long jump (21 feet), Miller in the triple jump (42-06) and Gronvold in the pole vault (12 feet).
“I was really pleased,” Gronvold said. “From my first meet I gained an entire foot. If I can get higher on the pole, hopefully, I can get up to 13 by the end of the season.”
Gronvold laughed when asked about his confidence in the relay teams.
“I’m pretty confident,” he said. “Of course, we’ve got Nigel.”
The RHS girls won three individual events and two relays. RHS freshman Kari Fritel won the shot put with a heave of 33 feet, 11 inches. Fritel has topped 34 feet in the past, but is on a nice pace to start the year.
“Kari’s actually a very shy individual and won’t let a lot of emotions out, but last year at regionals she started to show it,” throwing coach Jessica Fritz said. “Her confidence level is going to rise and it’s nice to have that in a freshman.”
Said Fritel: “I think I did pretty good. I think I can do better.”
Senior runner Hannah Christenson won the 400-meter dash in 1:04.17. She held off a hard-charging Krista Ulmer of Shiloh Christian by .37 seconds.
“I had a good start and what I wanted to do was catch the girl in front of me (early) and stay in front,” Christenson said. “I could hear (Ulmer) and that’s what kept me going at the end.”
RHS eighth-grader Tristin Lunde won the 1,600 in 5:49.66.
“It was a lot better than I ran in Fargo,” Lunde said. “I stayed ahead and you don’t want people to pass you, so that’s good.”
The Panthers are idle this weekend and scheduled to compete at Carrington on Tuesday and host a meet on Thursday.
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