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Track and Field: Panthers Dominate at Regional Meet

By Staff | May 21, 2015

Photo by Lori Gronvold Jessica Blessum, senior, broke the meet record in pole vault.

Despite cold, rainy conditions, the Panthers prevailed at the regional track meet at Johnsen Field in Rugby.


Rugby had a strong showing in the 4×200-, 4×400- and 4×800-meter relays for the girls, each garnering state-qualifying spots.

The 4×200 team – seventh-grader Kristina Brossart, eighth-grader Maria Blessum, sophomore Karin Selland and junior Lauren Kraft – finished in 1:56.44 minutes. The 4×400 team – Blessum, freshman Tristin Lunde, senior Emily Stier and eighth-grader Anni Stier – took first, finishing with a 4:20.02 time. The 4×800 team – Lunde, seniors Allison Foster and Bailey Nelson and eighth-grader Emily Salwey – also took first, finishing with a 10:38.24 time.

On the boys’ side of things, relays were a strong point as well, with each team placing in the top three and qualifying for state.

JT Pelt/PCT RHS boys track coach Scott Grochow (left) and girls coach Bill Jansen each won Coach of the Year awards.

The 4×100 and 4×200 team – juniors Ryan Michels and Victor Gronvold, sophomore Kade Leier and senior Brad Heidlebaugh – took first, finishing in 46.45 seconds and 1:36.31 minutes, respectively. The 4×400 team – Michels, junior Tyler Schmaltz, and seniors Zach Miller and Nolan Hovland – took second, finishing with a 3:44 time. The 4×800 team – Schmaltz, sophomore Jacob Blessum, and seniors Brady Fossum and Noah Kraft – took third with a 9:05.01 time.

Rugby runners didn’t just excel in relays.

In the 100-meter dash, both Gronvold and Emily Stier took second place and state-qualifying spots, finishing in 11.38 seconds and 13.03 seconds, respectively.

Gronvold took first in the 200-meter dash, finishing in 23.43 seconds. Freshman Sara Stier took third in that event, finishing in 28.42 seconds.

Emily Stier took first in the 400-meter dash, finishing with a 1:03.17 time.

Lunde took first in both the 800-meter and 1600-meter runs, finishing with respective times of 2:34.05 and 5:55.37.

Foster took first in the 3200-meter run with a 12:43.33 time.

Sophomore Shawn Schaan took third in the 110-meter hurdles, finishing in 18.19 seconds for a state-qualifying spot.

Anni Stier took second and qualified in the 300-meter hurdles, finishing in 50.84 seconds.


The Panthers had strong showings in field events as well.

Hovland upheld his field title in high jump with 6’6“. Classmate Jessica Blessum took second in that event, scoring 4’11”. (Rolette-Wolford junior Lexy Wittmayer took first with 5’5″, just three inches shy of the record she set last year.)

Jessica and Maria Blessum took the top two spots in pole vault, jumping 9’9″ and 8’6″, respectively. For the boys, freshman Dustin Herold was the only state qualifier on the day in that event, taking third with 8′.

Emily Stier and Kraft took first and second, respectively, as well as state-qualifying spots in long jump, scoring 17’8″ and 16’6″. For the boys, senior Tanner Bernhardt, Miller and Hovland took first, second and third, respectively, scoring 21’9″, 21’7″ and 21′ 6 1/2″.

Sara Stier and Kraft took first and third in triple jump for the girls, scoring 33′ 2 1/2″ and 32′ 2 1/2″, respectively. For the boys, Hovland, Miller and Bernhardt took respective top three spots, with respective scores of 42′ 2 1/2″, 41′ 11 3/4″ and 41′ 11 1/2″.

Both Heidlebaugh and sophomore Kari Fritel took firsts in shot put, throwing 47’8″ and 36’1″, respectively. Heidlebaugh also broke the field record previously set by Jaden Lunde, of Benson County (46’8″), who took second in the boys event.

Heidlebaugh also took first in discus, throwing 154’5″.

The girls had a combined score of 255.5 on the day, and the boys had a combined score of 192.

Qualifying Panthers are in their second day of competing today at the State Class A & B Track & Field meet at the Bismarck Community Bowl.


RHS coaches Bill Jansen (girls) and Scott Grochow (boys) took home Coach of the Year awards.

Two Rugby seniors took home Athlete of the Year: Hovland (boys) and Emily Stier.

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