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Boys, Girls Track Teams Compete April 2

By Staff | Apr 1, 2016

Ethan Clements practices pole vault Wednesday at Rugby High School. The Rugby High School boys' and girls' track teams are competing today, starting at 12:30 p.m., in Fargo. (Ashley Berg/PCT)

NOTE: The following is a revised and expanded edition of the track & field article that ran last week, with new and updated information. Last week’s article featured information that was mostly from the girls’ track perspective, with boys added in, and incorrectly attributes Bill Jansen as track coach. Jansen is the head coach for the girls, and Scott Grochow is the coach for the boys. The Tribune regrets the error and apologizes for any confusion.

The Rugby High School boys’ and girls’ track & field teams are looking to have a good year.

Several state qualifiers return for the girls’ team this year, including Lauren Kraft (long jump, triple jump, relay); Karin Selland (relay), Tristin Lunde (800-meter, 1600-meter, relays), Sara Stier (200-meter, long jump, triple jump, relays), Maria Blessum (triple jump, pole vault, relays), Emily Salwey (relay), Anni Stier (300-meter hurdles, relays), Kristina Brossart (relays) and Ellie Duchscherer (relays). Thrower Madison Uhlenkamp also returns to the fold, after being out last year due to injury.

Head girls’ coach Bill Jansen said the girls lost state place-winners Emily Stier, Allison Foster, Jessica Blessum and Bailey Nelson to graduation, and a thrower in Kari Fritel due to relocation.

“So we have plenty of shoes to fill,” Jansen said.

On the boys’ side, there are 12 new athletes and 26 returning. Out of the 26 returning, eight qualified for state last year-two of which placed. Fourteen placed at the regional meet.

Boys’ coach Scott Grochow said the boys lost seven seniors who qualified for state last year and scored a lot of points over the years. One of those losses was Nolan Hovland, a two-time state champion in high jump.

“I am excited to see what some of the new and younger people can do. I think it will be a very fun season,” Grochow said.

The first meet of the season takes place today on the North Dakota State University campus, with field events starting at 12:30 p.m.

“It is a chance for us to see our kids in a competitive environment rather than a practice one. And it is a chance to see some of the athletes from around the state that we will be competing against during the season,” Jansen said.

Grochow said: “We won’t be able to take everyone to the meet, but I am looking forward to just see where some athletes are at and give them a chance to compete against other people.”

Also on the plate this year are meets at Minot State (April 5); Washburn (April 22); Carrington (May 7); two meets in Velva (April 26 and May 16); three meets in Wells County (April 19, May 10 and 14); and four meets in Rugby, including the regional meet on May 20.

Jansen said that of the meets on the schedule it would hard to tell which ones would be the most competitive.

“You never really know who is going to be at any given meet,” Jansen said.

Grochow agreed.

“Most of the meets we go to there is pretty good competition,” Grochow said. “Each meet is a little different, but there are always some events that are very competitive and tend to bring out the best in our athletes.”

Junior high boys and assistant jumps coach Dan Seykora returns to the coaching staff this year. Jessica Grove filled in for him last year. The coaching staff also includes Jansen; Grochow; Steve Mueller, assistant girls and jumps coach; Jessica Fritz, assistant boys and throws coach; and Brenda Bernhardt, assistant sprints and junior high girls coach.

-Tribune Staff Report

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