Riders Compete at NDSU and UND
With two big meets this week, the Riders were looking forward to battling some new competition. On Friday, March 24th, a squad of athletes traveled to Fargo to compete in the NDSU State Indoor meet. This meet featured teams from the Western side of the State that the Riders only see two or three times a season. The following day was the surprisingly large Great North Regional Open meet where many athletes got to compete for the first time this season.
Kicking things off on Friday was the 4×800 meter relay. At the State Indoor meet, the Riders saw some tough competition. With a solid team, the Riders ended up taking 5th place against a slew of teams from across the state, including a team that set a new meet record. Athletes included Joseph Elmer Quinn II, Kael Berberich, William Krump, and Micah Larsen-Schmidt (8:59.87).
Next up were the sprint events, starting with the 60 meter hurdles. Lukas Heydt and Carter Byron were the only two hurdlers of the meet. Byron ran a solid season opener. Heydt took home 10th (8.93) and Byron 13th (8.97).
Directly following the 60 meter hurdles was the 60 meter dash. Caleb Severson threw down a PR of 7.24 to secure a spot in the finals, where he ran 7.25 to finish 7th overall. Brody Andrade (7.49) and Mike Andrei Villas (7.63) also had good races and ran PR times. Amir Dorudian (7.55) and Logan Lambl (7.65) competed in the 60 meter dash as well.
Next on the track was the 1600 meter run where Elijah Dafoe, the sole Rider to compete in this event, absolutely shattered the sophomore record with a time of 4:33.65, and finished 5th place against the most stacked field seen up to this point in the season. His performance ranks is #3 All-Time for Red River indoors.
In the 4×200 meter relay, the Riders flew to a third-place finish. It was a season-best time of 1:35.21 for athletes Caleb Severson, Lukas Heydt, Brody Andrade, and Amir Dorudian.
The Riders had a large showing in the 400 meter dash with four athletes competing. Grant Hoffarth led the charge with a season-best time of 54.30. Kyle Schafer, a promising Sophomore, ran a PR time of 55.81. Josh Neil (55.40) and Mike Andrei Villas (58.54) also competed in the 400.
In the 800 meter run, Micah Larsen-Schmidt, from the second heat, led the charge to run a time of 2:07.63, getting 6th place. Elijah Dafoe, closely following Micah, took 7th place in his season opener for the 800 (2:07.79).
In the 200 meter dash, the Riders had two PR efforts from Isaiah Gaye (24.65) and Kyle Schafer (24.99). Carter Byron (25.39) and Brody Andrade (24.06) had strong season openers with Brody taking 16th place overall and earning the Sophomore Indoor record.
In the 3200 meter run, Quinn (10:36.33) and Kael Berberich (11:04.46) both ran big PRs with Quinn finishing in 8th place.
In the last track event, the Riders came to play with a squad of Heydt, Severson, Hoffarth, and Jonah Dafoe who together ran a season best of 3:38.62, which was good enough to finish in 4th place.
In the first of the field events, the Riders brought one athlete for the high jump. Zach Oehlke jumped a solid season opener of 5’4″.
In the pole vault, the Riders again, brought one athlete. After sneaking by on his third attempt at 11’, it seemed like he didn’t have much left in him, but Hudson Flom then went on to clear 11”6’ on his first try which secured him 9th place.
The Riders put four athletes into the long jump with Byron (19’ 10.5”), Gaye (19’ 10.25”), Ben Strand (18’ 9.25”), and Quinn Nelson (17’ 9.25”) all competing.
Triple jump went better for the Riders as Gaye (42’ 10.25”) and Strand (40’ 8.5”) both made finals and finished 2nd and 6th, respectively.
Four Riders competed in the putting of the shot. Cooper Schweigert threw a PR throw of 40’9.25”. Logan Arason heaved a throw amounting to 48’ 3”, which lands only 3 inches away from a state qualifying standard, and gaining him 5th place. Nelson, in his first-ever attempt at the event, turned some heads with an impressive 43’9 effort.
Saturday looked to be promising, the sun was shining and the Riders were ready to get rolling. With schedule changes galore before the meet, the boys handled it well with only two athletes missing the start of their events. With numerous placers, the Riders put together a strong performance to narrowly take first (236 pts), barely edging out Northern Cass (230 pts).
The meet commenced with the 4×800 meter relay and two Red River teams ready to set the stage for the day. It was a good battle between the relays with the pace starting out quick. However, the team consisting of Sam Baah, Joe Nowatzki, Eli Zerr, and Alex Prichard finished in 2nd place (9:41.71), with all legs running impressive times. Scott Johnson, Isaac Dafoe, Caleb Zerr, and Noel Nzeyimana also had an impressive race for such a young team finishing 5th (10:27.13).
The next event that the Riders had athletes in was the 60 meter dash. Although five of six athletes PR’d, the stiff competition prevented any placers. Senior Jaden Chine (7.78 – 9th) led the way, followed closely by a squad of freshmen consisting of Noah Bradvold (7.88), Jack Matson (7.90), Owen Martin (7.92), Caleb Reynolds (8.22), and Karsen White (8.45). A very promising looking group for the rest of the season and the years to come.
An unorthodox event for high school track was up next and that event was the mile. This event had 6 of 6 Riders run PR’s with some very impressive performances from the athletes who for some it was their first race of the season. David Radke (5:01.60) and Matt Evans (5:04.42) charged to the front of the 33 person race and finished 3rd and 4th respectively. Red River’s third finisher in the mile was Micah Schindler (5:18.28) in 7th place. Other runners were Alex Prichard (5:26.58), Sam Baah (5:34.28), and Evan Saylor (5:40.29).
Quickening the pace and adding a baton for the next race, was the 4×200 meter relay. Two teams competed for Red River in this event and it was a close one between the pair. The team of Noah Brandvold, Jack Helgeson, Mbanzendore Urbain, and Jack Matson out edged the team of Owen Martin, Caleb Reynolds, Brady Jongeward, and Max Martens by 0.49 seconds for final times of 1:43.14 and 1:43.63 for 5th and 6th place.
Without any finalists in the 60 meter hurdles or 60 meter dash, the next event that saw a Rider was the 400. It was a good showing for Red River with 3 of 4 athletes with PR’s and two placers. Freshman Jack Helgeson (57.88 – 5th) led the way followed by Aidyn Wadlow (59.33 -7th), Christian Brodon (1:02.29), and Chris O’Connor (1:03.16).
Doubling the distance and doubling the fun, the 800m was next. The Riders showcased their depth in this event with athletes from 12th grade all the way to 7th grade placing in the top eight. Senior Matt Evans (2:18.44) hot off his One Mile PR, led the way with another PR to finish off his day and finish third. Following Matt was Micah Schindler (2:19.69 – 4th), Isaac Dafoe (2:21.04 – 5th), Joe Nowatzki (2:34.58), and Caleb Zerr (2:46.70)
Next on the track was the 200 meter dash and Noah Bradvold showed he was not to be trifled with. The freshman led the way in a time of 25.09 seconds good enough for a solid third-place finish. Senior Jaden Chine was hot on his heels with a time of 25.11 seconds, finishing in fourth. Other runners included Owen Martin (25.47) and Karsen White (27.55), who both ran PR’s.
The final individual event was the 3200 and the Riders had two brave souls try their hand at this distance event. With two athletes, two PR’s, and two placers no one can argue that it was a good day for these two. Eighth-grader Scotty Johnson ran a time of 11:24.79 and finished fourth, while sophomore Eli Zerr ran 11:59.50 and finished sixth.
The last running event and arguably the most exciting race of the day had arrived and Red River was not about to back down now. The Riders brought two relay teams for the 4×4, Aidyn Wadlow, Noah Brandvold, Jack Helgeson, and Christian Bordon on one team and Jack Matson, Brady Jongeward, Hunter Coxe, and Noel Nzeyimana on the other. Although they ran extremely well, the team of Wadlow, Brandvold, Helgeson, and Bordon couldn’t quite catch a strong Oakes team and finished 2nd in a time of 4:00.94.
The team of Matson, Jongeward, Coxe, and Nzeyimana mustered a 4:20.26 and finished 6th.
Moving onto the field events the Riders put on quite a show, especially in the shot put. With three placers and 13 athletes you can’t ignore the sheer number of throwers Red River brings to the shot put ring. Sophomore James Walters led the charge for this force with a throw of 40′ 0.75” which earned him third place. Following Walters was Dawson VanSickle in a massive PR (39′ 11.5” – 4th), Jessy Baker (37′ 10.5”), Alex Parrish (35′ 1.25”), Daniel Severud (34′ 6.25”), Logan Wasylow (34′ 4”), Owen Hallanger (33′ 10”), Tyler Thoreson (33′ 8”), John Bjerke (31′ 10.25”), Brayden Goulet (31′ 2”), Rylan Kuntz (30′ 0.25”), Harley Parsons (29′ 1”), and Spencer Drengson (28′ 11.75”).
Crossing the track to the other side of the facility, the high jumpers soared with two-placing athletes. Senior Jonah Dafoe matched his PR of 5’ 8” to take third place and Mbanzendore Urbain cleared 5’ 4” in seventh place. Gavin Vesterso and Hunter Coxe both cleared 4’ 10”.
If we trace Urbain’s scoring through the day we will find ourselves at the pole vault. Urbain was joined by teammate Max Martens as they vaulted themselves in the air. Both cleared 8’ 0” with Martens placing 6th and Urbain placing 7th.
Urbain once again shows his dominance in the jumps over at the long jump pit. The sophomore leaper sailed 18’ 10” to finish third on the day. Other teammates Carson Blegen (17’ 10.75” – 7th) and Kai Pasch (15’ 10”) also had a solid day of jumping.
For the final field event, the Riders had three jumpers in TJ. All three of them PR’d and placed. Leading the way was Blegen (36’ 7” – 4th), followed by Pasch (35’ 9.25” – 5th), and Martens (34’ 2.25” -8th).
The Great North Regional Open was a great meet for the Riders, they got to showcase their depth and a large portion of the underclassmen team. The future looks bright for the Red River Track and Field team.