BISMARCK — With the state record already in hand, Nsengiyumva Corode had another goal in mind when he stepped up for his final leap in the triple jump at Friday's North Dakota Class A state track and field meet.
The West Fargo senior shattered both the school and state meet record in the triple jump, lunging a distance of 48 feet, 5 inches at the MDU Resources Community Bowl.
On his second jump of the day, Corode recorded a jump of 47-1.5, narrowly topping the previous record of 46-9, set by Mike Backes of Grand Forks Red River in 1998.
He was just warming up.
On his final jump, with a swarm of teammates and coaches loudly cheering him on, he splashed down with a mark that was 1 feet, 3 inches longer than the previous school record set by Jaime Heinen.
“I had the school record on my mind this whole year," he said. "I cleared my mind, I told myself I could do it and I did it. As soon as I landed (I knew) that was the best jump I ever had. I didn’t even think my body could go that far.”
Corode led a stellar showing in triple jump for the Packers, who had three of the event's top four finishers. Marcus Gulley took second at 44-4, while Jada Kuchlong was fourth at 43-11.5.
As a result, West Fargo enters day two Saturday within striking distance of meet leader Bismarck Century. The Patriots ended Friday with 32 points, with Bismarck Legacy and the Packers tied for second at 28.
Corode may have another trip to the podium in his future, as he enters Saturday as the top seed in long jump.
“I’m just looking forward to long jump to see what I can do there,” he said.
Ford tops Lundstrom for 1600 girls title
Though it wasn't an ideal situation, Meghan Ford knew not to panic when Fargo Davies' Megan Lundstrom passed her on the third lap of the 1600-meter race.
After surrendering the lead for roughly a lap, the Jamestown sophomore found the needed kick on the turn of the final lap, crossing the finish line in a winning time of 4:55.24 - 0.55 seconds ahead of Lundstrom.
It marked the second straight season Ford edged Lundstrom for the 1600 title. Ford ran a 5:05.77 and Lundstrom a 5:10.61 in 2018.
Ford admits she got taken out of her element around the midway point, but said her familiarity with Lundstrom's habits helped her devise the strategy needed to overtake her on the last lap.
“I started dying out the third lap. And then the fourth lap (I) just tucked in behind her instead of trying to fight her,” Ford said. “Knowing everybody else’s race strategy helps because you can plan around it and kind of see how the race progresses. You know what they’re going to do .. if they’re going to kick, if they’re going to fade out.”
Tough competition wasn't the only thing Ford was battling Friday.
“Going into this week I got a really bad cold and I’m still trying to fight it off," she said. "My breathing was kind of shallow and (there was) a lot of coughing in the middle of the race. I felt fresh in the legs, but my lungs we’re hurting a bit during the race.”
Ford won't have much time to relax, as she hopes to add state hardware in the 3200 and 800 -- events where she placed second and third a season ago -- on Saturday.
Heading back to the team hotel shortly after the race, she had a simple plan for the rest of Friday.
“Just relaxing a little bit," she said. "Not thinking about tomorrow until it comes.”
Despite not winning any events, Davies still closed the day in good position to capture a fourth-straight state title. The Eagles' 46.5 points more than doubled the total of current runner-up Century (23).
The Eagles took second and third in high jump, where Jenna Bergantine and Kaia Schneider both jumped 5-3, one inch behind champion Gabrielle Jung.
Davies was also third in triple jump, where Ellen Donat lept 35-11.5, and the 4x800 relay, where McKenna Lovehaug, Hailey Bjerke, Taylor Dietz and Lundstrom ran a 9:34.16.
Darwin finally breaks through in high jump
Wahpeton's Josh Darwin had had enough of near misses.
A four-time Eastern Dakota Conference champion, Darwin captured an elusive state title in the high jump with a winning height of 6 feet, 6 inches. His winning jump was one inch higher than Williams Durocher of Century.
Darwin had been on the brink of the state's top prize every year of his high school career, but couldn't quite get over the hump. He tied for second in 2017 and 2018 and placed third as a freshman in 2016.
“It’s a big relief," he said. "It was a big load off my back.”
After securing the state title, Darwin had another goal in mind, as he lined up to attempt a state record jump of 6-11. While he wasn't able to do so Friday, the North Dakota State commit anticipates reaching that height and beyond in the future.
“I didn’t get it, but that’s fine," he said. "I’ll save it for college."