Riders Runner-Up at Region
For the first time since 2015, Grand Forks played host to the East Region Track and Field Meet at Cushman Field on May 21st. Athletes from all eleven EDC schools battled the heat and wind on Friday. For the Red River boys, the day started with a new EDC Record in the 4×800 relay. The boys used that performance as a spark plug for the rest of the meet, culminating in a runner-up finish in the team standings. Only pre-meet favorite West Fargo Sheyenne scored more points Friday. With a team comprised of mainly first-time track athletes and underclassmen, the Riders have plenty to be proud of Friday.
Final Team Standings:
|1.||West Fargo Sheyenne||158|
|5.||Grand Forks Central||72.5|
For full meet results and relay splits-CLICK HERE.
If you took any photos, please add them to the collaborative album.-CLICK HERE.
Heydt, Byron, Stinson the Top Point Producers
Sophomore Lukas Heydt, the team’s leading scorer, again tallied the most points Friday. Heydt totaled 12 points on the day, while the two Carters both notched 11.5 points. Junior Gannon Brooks contributed 9.75 points and Abdi hit 8.75 to round out the top five.
Top Point Scorers (points-athlete-grade)
1-12.00 Heydt, Lukas-10
2*-11.50 Stinson, Carter-12
2*-11.50 Byron, Carter-10
4-9.75 Brooks, Gannon-11
5-8.75 Abdi, Mustafe-12
6-8.50 McHenry, Hunter-11
7-7.00 Arason, Logan-10
8-6.50 Dafoe, Jonah-10
9-6.00 Rongitsch, Matt-10
10-5.00 Sather, Sam -12
4x800m Relay-Region Record (10 points)
The boys had high hopes for the 3200m relay team heading into the Region. However, a meet record was not really on anyone’s radar. After sophomore Jonah Dafoe got things started with a tremendous lead-off leg, senior Broden Diederich kept the team in a strong position while battling with West Fargo’s Parker Nelson, one of the top half-milers in the East. Junior Hunter McHenry moved the team into first on his second lap and senior anchor Mustafe Abdi closed with the eighth fastest split in school history to break the meet record by nearly two seconds.
|1. Jonah Dafoe||1:59.7|
|2. Broden Diederich||2:03.2|
|3. Hunter McHenry||2:00.9|
|4. Mustafe Abdi||1:58.5|
300m Hurdles (5 points)
Heydt got his first points of the day with a fourth-place finish in the 300m hurdles (42.01). Remaining Riders included freshman Grant Hoffarth (17th-45.99) and junior Isaac Schall (22nd-47.46), as well as freshman Ben Strand with a huge PR (23rd-47.49), and freshman Mikko Angelo Villas (26th-49.52-PR).
Javelin (3 points)
Sophomore Logan Arason was the top performer for a young RR javelin crew, placing sixth (147’0). Sophomore newcomer Hudson Kilgore followed behind with a nice PR (12th-139’5), which ranks #2 on the team in 2021. Remaining Riders included eighth-grader JB Walters (17th-132’2), freshman Rylan Brown (21st-126’11), and sophomore Cooper Schweigert (26th-118’7).
Triple Jump (15 points)
The top-scoring event for Riders Friday was the triple jump, which produced 15 points. Senior Carter Stinson, triple jumping for only the second time, placed second with a 41’7 effort. Junior Simon Haug and Heydt added some drama, waiting for their final attempts to make some noise. Both athletes moved into state qualifying position on their last jumps Friday, with Haug placing fifth (40’7.5) and Heydt sixth (40’5-PR). Junior Abram Hall was the remaining jumper, placing 26th (34’9).
Senior Sam Kruger was the top performer in the 100m Friday, placing 14th in 11.55 (ties PR). Other Roughriders included eighth-grader Pearce Parks with a new PR of 12.18 (30th), sophomore Mason Wosick-Bimler (37th-12.43), senior Tyler Ulrich (40th-12.71), and senior Ted Tchomakhidze (43rd-12.71).
Shot Put (5 points)
As he has all season, senior Sam Sather led the shot put squad Friday, placing fourth with a toss of 46’7. By virtue of his state-qualifying throw at the Fargo Rotary, he will compete at the State Meet in Bismarck. Senior Marshal Buelow was 15th at 39’9 and fellow senior Tyler Larson placed 17th with a 39’2.5 effort. Other athletes included sophomores Kellen LaFountain (33rd-35’2.5) and Schweigert (39th-33’9).
4x200m Relay (4 points)
With a fifth-place finish and four team points, the team of Kruger, Stinson, junior Gannon Brooks, and senior Morgan Hoefs clocked a time of 1:33.25. This is a season-best for the Riders.
|1. Sam Kruger||23.6|
|2. Carter Stinson||23.5|
|3. Gannon Brooks||22.4|
|4. Morgan Hoefs||23.7|
1600m (7 points)
In most years, a time of 4:23.75 would win the East Region meet. In an unprecedented year for distance event quality across ND, junior Dameon Zenawick’s fantastic PR time placed fifth Friday. Sophomore Matt Rongitsch was sixth in 4:36.39. Other athletes included eighth-grader Elijah Dafoe (10th place) setting a new grade level record of 4:48.45 (previously 4:51.69 by Rongtisch in 2019), freshman Micah Larsen-Schmidt (16th-5:00.36), and sophomore Jake Jenkins (18th-5:01.07).
High Jump (9 points)
Byron cleared 5’10 on his first attempt to tie for second Friday. Stinson finished in a three-way tie for sixth place (5’8) but failed to advance in the jump off for the final qualifying spot at State. Heydt tied for 14th at 5’4. Strand and Parks both cleared 5’4 on the season, but were forced to open at their PR Friday and failed to make the opening height.
4x100m Relay (2 points)
In a seventh-place finish, the team of Brooks, Byron, Stinson, and Kruger ran a time of 44.78. This is the team’s second-best time all season.
Discus (5 points)
Arason was the top performer in the discus, placing fifth with a throw of 129’10. Larson finished less than a foot from state with an eighth-place effort (126’9). Other Riders included Sather (11th-117’5), Walters (31st-98’5), and Kilgore (40th-85’9).
Sophomore Hudson Flom was the top vaulter, clearing 10’6 in 11th place. Although the bar never fell in his first attempt at 11’0, it jumped to another peg on the standard and was ruled a miss. Fellow sophomore Max McCarthy and freshman Jake Wood both made valiant attempts at the opening height of 10’0, but failed to clear the bar.
400m (8 points)
RR Track fans will always remember the ‘21 East Region Meet as the day Gannon Brooks moved into the upper echelon of the conference. He entered the meet with the 14th best seed time in the 400m. Although anyone with a close eye on the team knew that Brooks had been consistently posting noteworthy splits, his best open time in the event was 53.64. This was mainly due to the team’s continuing quest to qualify their sprint relays, which didn’t happen until the Fargo Rotary. Despite his time, Brooks managed to sneak into lane 8 in the first heat after other athletes dropped. Brooks led all runners after the first 200 and held on to finish in a fantastic time of 51.19, which was good enough for second place. Following Brooks, junior Tanner Schiller placed 10th with a new PR of 54.42, while Hoefs ended 13th with a PR time of 55.21 and Hoffarth 15th in 55.38. Rounding out the 400m was senior captain Dylan Narum, who ended with a big PR of 55.67 in 20th.
110m Hurdles (6 points)
Heydt was the top finisher here, tying his PR with a fifth-place time of 16.00. Byron wound up two places behind in seventh with 16.12. Strand placed 16th with a solid PR of 17.73 and Schall finished 20th in 18.84.
800m (10 points)
After his monster 4×8 anchor leg, which left a fair portion of his lunch on the Cushman turf, some wondered whether or not Abdi would have anything left for the 800. He responded with a third-place, PR time of 2:00.73. Running with him for most of the race was Dafoe, finishing fifth in 2:01.64. Zenawick gave it an honest effort, but had little juice left after his impressive mile performance in the heat. He finished ninth in 2:05.89. Other Riders included sophomore Grant Lelm, placing 13th in 2:08.01, and freshmen Carter Rydland, who placed 23rd in 2:15.80.
Kruger also finished 14th in the 200m with a time of 23.51. The time is under the Class A Provisional Standard of 23.54, but above the automatic standard of 23.24. The remaining four RR athletes all raced in the same heat, with eighth-grader Brody Andrade dominating in a time of 24.45 (25th), an outstanding time for a middle schooler. Narum would run 24.77 in a PR effort (29th), while Tchomakhidze (34th-25.16) and Parks (35th-25.19) both battled to new PR’s.
Long Jump (2 points)
Byron earned his final points of the day in the long jump, where he missed state qualifying by one-quarter of an inch (7th-19’4.5). Other RR athletes included Haug (22nd-17’8), junior Abram Hall (24th-17’5.25), sophomore Quinn Nelson (30th-17’0), and sophomore Andrew Peterson (34th-16’2.5).
3200m (9 points)
By this time of the meet, the temperature started to drop and the winds picked up, which made racing a challenge. McHenry dug deep down the stretch and held off a furious charge from Fargo North’s freshman phenom to place third in 9:50.54. Rongitsch managed a new PR with a sixth-place, 9:59.00 effort. Seniors Ryan Prusak (9th-10:12.92) and Diederich (10th-10:14.46) both ran hard, but finished just outside of scoring. Sophomore Matt Evans was the final athlete in the race, placing 12th with a time of 10:41.14.
4x400m (1 point)
In the meet’s final event, a quartet of tired athletes left it all on the track to place eighth in 3:35.71. Team members included Abdi, Zenawick, Schiller, and Brooks.
|1. Mustafe Abdi||53.6|
|2. Dameon Zenawick||54.4|
|3. Tanner Schiller||54.6|
|4. Gannon Brooks||53.1|
With their first-place finish in the 4x800m relay, Dafoe, Diederich, McHenry, and Abdi were named to the All-Conference team.
The State Meet, scheduled for May 28-29 in Bismarck, is the only meet left for the Riders. Follow the meet HERE.
As always, you can follow the team on Twitter (@RRTFXC) and Instagram (@rrtfxc).