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RHS girls win region track meet

By Staff | May 23, 2014

Tim Chapman/PCT Rugby High School seventh-grader Anni Stier receives the baton from eighth-grader and sister Sara Stier in the 800-meter relay. The Panthers won the event.

In dominant fashion, the Rugby High School girls track and field team won the North Central Region championship on May 17 at Johnsen Field.

The Panthers scored 251 points, while second-place Harvey-Wells County managed 98 and Velva-Drake-Anamoose followed with 85.

“It’s been kind of a struggle with injuries and the weather, but we’ve seen a ton of good things with our girls,” RHS coach Bill Jansen said. “I’ve been telling them to be ready for a good day and we got a good day and you saw what we can do.”

RHS junior sprinter Emily Stier had a monster day with three individual titles and another win as a member of the 800-meter relay – which included sisters Sara and Anni Stier and Kaitlyn Jones (Towner).

Emily Stier won the 100, 200 and 400 dashes, with the latter coming just .03 seconds ahead of senior teammate Hannah Christenson. Stier beat her own meet record in the 400, finishing in 1:01.14. The previous mark was 1:02.52.

Jones, a freshman, was also a multi-event winner as she bounded her way to a mark of 33 feet, 2.5 inches in the triple jump. RHS sophomore Lauren Kraft was second in the event at 33 feet even. Kraft took third in the long jump at 16-5.25, and Benson County junior Courtney Bubach won with a leap of 17-10. Bottineau senior Courtney Gallagher was second (16-6.5) and all three girls beat the previous meet record of 16-5.

Senior thrower Mattie Schmitt was the second multiple-event champion representing RHS out of Towner. Schmitt won titles in the discus and javelin, with throws of 110-8 and 118-9, respectively. She beat her own meet record, set last year, by more than six feet in javelin.

“She’s been sore a lot this year and it was impressive what she was able to do today,” RHS throwing coach Jessica Fritz said. “She had one outstanding day. She’s a competitor and it showed.”

Rolette sophomore Lexy Wittmayer crushed her own meet record with a seven-inch improvement in the high jump with a winning mark of 5-8. V-D-A senior Sarah Wherley set a meet record in the 1,600 by more than three seconds with a time of 5:25.03. Kara Fike, of H-WC, set a meet record of 48.44 in the 300 hurdles.

Boys take second

The RHS boys narrowly finished second in the region meet, just two points behind champion Velva-Drake-Anamoose. The Aggies scored 173 to Rugby’s 171 and Benson County took a distant third at 95.

The Panthers nearly swept the relays, winning the 400, 800 and 1,600 events with a variety of speedsters in each. RHS was without 2012 state champion Nigel Hageness (100, 200), who is recovering from an injury and hoping to recapture the 100 title today in Bismarck.

RHS had three multiple-event champions, including junior Nolan Hovland. The rangy athlete won the high jump with a personal best and meet record of 6 feet, 4 inches; and took first in the 300 hurdles with a meet record of 41.51. Hovland joined senior Chris Hamilton and juniors Zach Miller and Tanner Bernhardt in the 1,600-meter relay with a winning time of 3:34.93 for a meet record by more than two seconds.

Miller won the triple jump by more than a foot with a meet-record mark of 44-8. He held the previous record at 42-2. RHS junior Brad Heidlebaugh set meet records and won the long jump and discus with marks of 22-6.75 and 141, respectively.

Heidlebaugh joined Bernhardt, Hamilton and sophomore Victor Gronvold for a winning time of 1:33.89 in the 800 relay to break the meet record by .01 seconds. Hamilton was on all three winning relays and joined Gronvold, junior Eli Luna (Towner) and freshman Kade Leier in the 400 relay (45.78).

Josh Horner, of Velva, set a meet record in the 100 hurdles at 15.82. Ethan Kerslake, of Bottineau, set a meet record at 51.38 in the 400.

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