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RHS track and field athletes take state spotlight

By Sue Sitter - | Jun 5, 2021

Submitted Photo Rugby High’s JD Matehs pushes through the finish line in first place in the 110-meter hurdles.

Sirens blared the evening of May 29 as a line of first responders escorted a bus carrying track and field champions returned to Rugby High School from the North Dakota High School Activities Association state meet in Bismarck.

Hurdler JD Matehs, who took the 2021 state title along with jumpers Cole Slaubaugh and Trey Welstad greeted family and friends after two days of competition with the best in North Dakota Class B athletes.

Matehs, who had qualified several times over for the 110-meter hurdles during the season, blew past the 15-second mark to finish with a time of 14.89 for the top spot in that event.

Welstad, who came to Bismarck fresh from breaking a region record in the long jump to take the state title as well. Welstad landed in the sand with a 21 foot, 7.50 inch jump.

Slaubaugh cleared the crossbar easily in the high jump, taking the state title with a six foot, six-inch jump.

“I thought we had a great state meet (for) both boys and girls,” Rugby Boys’ Head Coach Scott Grochow said. “I know we had 12 personal bests on the boys side alone at the state meet and you can’t ask for anymore than that.”

The boys finished sixth overall in the state among 48 teams.

Rugby’s girls’ team saw stellar performances from very young athletes. The girls finished fourth among 48 teams.

The girls’ 4×800-meter relay team consisted of runners in grades 9 and below, but the team finished second overall in that event. Brooklyn Bartsch, who ran the anchor leg of that relay, took second place in the 1600-meter run as well.

Sophomore Janikka Miller took third place in the high jump with a measurement of four feet, 11 inches. Eighth-grader Ashley Martodam took fourth place in the 100-meter hurdles, the 300-meter hurdles and the triple jump.

Girls’ Coach Bill Jansen expressed optimism for the team’s future.

“I am very proud of our very young team,” Jansen said in an email to the Tribune. “They were not overwhelmed by the big stage and performed above and beyond, the future looks very bright,” he added.

Grochow agreed.

“I can’t be any prouder of a group of kids both boys and girls,” Grochow said.

“I think there are a lot of athletes on both the boys and girls side who have a very bright future and I am already looking forward to next year,” Grochow added.

Results for the state tournament were:


100-meter dash: Taylor Mayer – 13:25 seconds, prelim. round. 800-meter run: Brooklyn Bartsch, seventh place, 2 minutes, 24.56 seconds. 1600-meter run: Bartsch, second place, 5:22.17;, Hannah Senechal, 5:36.79. 3200-meter run: Senchal, sixth place, 11:48.92; Bartsch, seventh place, 11:51.29; Amelia Shepard, 11:57.80. 100-meter hurdles: Ashley Martodam, fourth place, 16:37; Anna Clements, 22:18 prelim. 300-meter hurdles: Martodam, fourth place, 47.31. Shot put: Riley Grove, 32 feet; Brooke Anderson, 30 ft. 10 in. Javelin: Anderson, 101 ft. 9 in.; Tesha Sobolik, 97 ft., 11 in. Grove, 96 ft. 3 in. Triple jump: Martodam, fourth place, 35 ft. 1.5 in.; Mya Geisinger, 34 ft. High jump: Janikka Miller, third place, 4 ft. 11 in.; Lacie Deplazes, fifth place, 4 ft., 11 in. Pole vault: Clements, sixth place, 9 ft. 0 in. 4×100-meters: Taylor Mayer, Elise Fahnestock, Tressa Arnston, Geisinger, 53.18 seconds, prelims. 4×200-meters: Mayer, Fahnestock, Bostyn Bailey, Martodam, 1 minute, 51.85 seconds, prelims. 4×400-meter relay: Madison Corum, Fahnestock, Bailey, Senechal, 4:25.14. 4×800-meter relay: Senechal, Ella Jacobson, Shepard, Bartsch, second place, 10:09.35.


Pole Vault: Bryceton Deplazes, ninth place, 10 ft. 6 in. Long Jump: Trey Welstad, first place, 21 ft. 7.50 in.; Cole Slaubaugh, 16th place, 18 ft. 10.50 in. Discus: Isaiah Bundy-Smith, 11th place, 128 ft. 11 in. 1600-meter run: Austin Dibble, 13th place, 4 minutes, 48.55 seconds. 4×800-meter relay: Kristian Fritz, William Lundberg, Connor Klein, Dibble, second place, 8:55.92. High jump: Slaubaugh, first place, 6 ft.6 in. Shot put: Ethan Brandt, 20th place, 42 ft., 8.50 in. Javelin: Welstad, 13th place, 141 ft., 9 in. 300-meter hurdles: JD Matehs, second place, 40.52. 4×200-meter relay: Riley Tuenge, Welstad, Warren Walker, Matehs, third place, 1:32.00. 3200-meter run: Dibble, 14th place, 10:25.41; Klein, 24th place, 11:53.56. 110-meter hurdles: Matehs, first place, 14.89. 4×100-meter relay: Tuenge, Welstad, Walker, Matehs, fourth place, 44.94; 4×400-meter relay: Tuenge, Lundberg, Kory Vetsch, Dibble, second place, 3:43.52.

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