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Winning Fargo 5K Hero Run helps ease pain of missing regionals for NDSU runner

Brendan Skime, 23, from Thief River Falls, Minn., pulls away from Jonathan Stoltman from Little Falls, Minn., heading to the finish of the Fargo Marathon 5K Hero Run on Friday, May 20, 2016.David Samson / The Forum

FARGO—All things considered, Brendan Skime would have rather been doing something else Friday night, May 20, at the 5K Hero Run. Like getting ready for the NCAA Division I West Preliminary Rounds track and field meet.

The 23-year-old senior at North Dakota State finished his career almost two weeks ago at the Summit League Championships, but missed advancing to regional competition by just a few spots. While his teammates that did make it will leave for Lawrence, Kan., next Tuesday, Skime put his Division I talents on display by winning the 5K in 15 minutes, 31 seconds in an event that started and finished at the Fargodome. That's an even five minutes per mile pace.

"I wasn't planning on running this, the plan was to go to regionals," he said.

It was his first experience with the Scheels Fargo Marathon events, an atmosphere he was looking forward to. NDSU is normally competing in the Summit League meet during marathon weekend.

"It was fast, a lot faster than I expected," Skime said. "I was hoping to take it easy since I'm running the 10K (Saturday)."

It was a duel to the finish with 29-year-old Jonathan Stoltman, and it wasn't until the last 10 meters that Skime figured he had it won. Stoltman, from Little Falls, Minn., finished just one second back.

"He had a pretty good kick," Skime said.

He ran with Bison teammate Branden Scheel for the first two miles before kicking it down the last mile. Asked if winning the 5K took some of the sting out of his season recently ending, he said maybe a little bit.

"There were moments I didn't think I was going to win," he said.

He's had a good month. He won the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Howard Wood Relays in Sioux Falls, S.D., on May 7. Before that, he couldn't tell you his last victory.

"I'm just going to keep doing these races so I don't stop running and get fat," said Skime, from Thief River Falls, Minn. "I wasn't going to go for a PR today but I came pretty close."

Kira Sweeney, just 12 years old from Staples, Minn., won the women's division at 19:58, almost a minute in front of second place Jacqueline Lindfors of Rogers, Minn. Lindfors had an out, however—she just ran the Boston Marathon.

Perhaps it could be a future destination for Skime at this rate.

Jeff Kolpack

Jeff Kolpack covers North Dakota State athletics, the Fargo Marathon and golf for The Forum. His blog can be accessed at On the radio, Kolpack & Izzo sports talk show runs from 9-11 a.m. every Saturday morning. April through August, the WDAY Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack runs from 8-9 a.m.

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