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Fargo Davies girls win 4th state championship in 5 seasons at North Dakota state track and field meet

The Eagles earned redemption against Bismarck Century, which edged Davies by the smallest of margins last season.

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Fargo Davies' Michaela Nesius anchors the Class A girls 4x200-meter relay during the North Dakota State Track and Field Meet on Saturday, May 28, 2022, in Bismarck.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum
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BISMARCK — The Fargo Davies girls track and field team is sitting atop the state of North Dakota once again, winning its fourth Class A team championship in five seasons on the final day of the ND high school state track and field meet Saturday.

The Eagles finished atop the leaderboard with 137 total points, beating out Bismarck Century, which finished with 107.

The victory comes in the form of sweet revenge for Davies, which lost to the Patriots by a single point at the state meet last season.

"We lost by a point last year," said Eagles head coach Rory Beil, who was also selected as Coach of the Year honors in the Class A girls division. "So this one maybe is just sweet, fresh and feels especially good.

"We didn't talk about (the one-point loss), but I know it was something that motivated them this year."

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Fargo Davies' Kate Laqua competes in the Class A girls 300-meter hurdles during the North Dakota State Track & Field Meet on Saturday, May 28, 2022, in Bismarck.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

The Eagles won seven of 19 events and added 16 additional place-winners to reach their point total.

Four of those seven events were won by junior Cece Deebom, who defended her three state titles from last season by winning the 100 and 200-meter dashes along with the 100-meter hurdles once again. Deebom added a long jump crown to her resume on Day 1, as well.

Deebom broke her previous personal-bests in the 200 dash final and 100 hurdles preliminaries, also setting a new overall state record in the 100 hurdles of 14 seconds.

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Fargo Davies' Cece Deebom, center, competes in the Class A girls 100-meter dash during the North Dakota State Track & Field Meet on Saturday, May 28, 2022, in Bismarck.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

Deebom was pleased to be able to push the team forward while also racking up individual accolades.

"It means so much," she said. "We've been working really hard this year and we really want it, and just to be able to contribute to that, I know my team is happy and I'm happy to be able to help.

"None of them are more important than the other (championships). I love all of my races, so each one of them is just as important."

Davies' other three wins came in the 300-meter hurdles and the 4x200 and 4x400-meter relays.

In the 300 hurdles final, freshman Kate Laqua won the first individual title of her career with a new personal best of 44.68, improving on a second place finish as an eighth grader last season. Laqua defeated Dickinson sophomore Jazmin Barry in the final.

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Davies sophomore Jane Donat finished eighth to round out the podium and snag an extra point for the Eagles.

"It feels good," Laqua said. "I was really happy to have Jane place with me and to have two of us on the podium."

Davies' team of freshman Sanie Gayflor, junior Alimath Salou, sophomore Ashton Safranski and junior Michaela Nesius won the 4x200 relay in 1:43.52, beating out Century by 0.43 seconds.

In the 4x400, the Eagles' team of Safranski, seniors Brenna Barnick and Hailey Bjerke and Laqua clocked a first place time of 4:02.85, with Fargo North placing second.

Century won the boys team title with 118 points followed by runner-up Bismarck with 85 points. West Fargo Sheyenne finished third with 75.5 points and head coach Jordan Aus was named Coach of the Year for the Class A boys division.

There was much action to be had in both Class A divisions at the MDU Resources Community Bowl in Bismarck Saturday, including a historic field feat for the Sheyenne girls and record-breaking relay for the Fargo South boys.

Sheyenne's Briggs wins Class A girls pole vault, becomes school's first girls state champion

Emma Briggs stamped her place in the history books of Sheyenne High School on Saturday, becoming the school's first girls individual state champion with her win in the Class A pole vault final.

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Briggs entered the competition in a tight field with the top five contenders all recording a seed mark of 10 feet, 3 inches.

Briggs shattered that mark in the finals, clearing 11 feet for a new personal best and school record. Dickinson junior Emily Ash finished second with a 10-9.

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West Fargo Sheyenne's Emma Briggs competes in the Class A girls pole vault during the North Dakota State Track & Field Meet on Saturday, May 28, 2022, in Bismarck.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

"It means a lot that I can represent Sheyenne and go out, do my best and have fun," she said.

Briggs said she's a gymnast at heart, which is what made her want to go out for pole vault this season.

"I used to be a gymnast and right now I train at Four Star Ninja Academy," she said. "That's like American Ninja Warrior and it's training obstacle courses, and a lot of that translates to pole vault. That's why I went out for pole vault."

South boys relay team breaks overall state record in 4x400 final

The previous overall state record in the boys 4x400-meter relay was 3:21.00 set by Century in 2014.

The Fargo South relay team had something to say about that Saturday, with sophomore Justin Zulu, juniors Tristan Quibell and Aiden Bourke and sophomore Austin Zulu racing to a 3:19.12 to win and etching their names into the record books.

Century finished second in 3:21.72.

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Fargo South's Austin Zulu anchors the Class A boys 4x200-meter relay during the North Dakota State Track & Field Meet on Saturday, May 28, 2022, in Bismarck.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

Austin Zulu, who also won the 400-meter dash with a new personal best of 49 seconds earlier in the day, seemed to be anything but a heavy anchor in the 4x400 final. Bourke was neck and neck with Century freshman Josh Berger in the third leg before Zulu shot off like a cannon on the final exchange, broke open a big lead and maintained. That transition was what likely helped South in breaking the overall state record.

"It felt great," Zulu said. "My teammates believed in me and so did my coaches, so I trusted them and pushed all the way through."

West Fargo's Hegerle records victories in 100, 200-meter dashes after second place finishes last season

West Fargo senior Carson Hegerle was thrilled to find himself atop the podiums in the 100 and 200-meter dash finals after being edged by Bismarck Legacy's Calob Larson in both events last season.

Hegerle edged Bismarck senior Dawson Hawkinson in the 100 final early in the day, winning in 10.91 before recording a 21.61 in the 200 final later. In the 200, Hegerle beat out Dickinson senior Quentin Lewis, who ran a 22.16.

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West Fargo's Carson Hegerle wins the Class A boys 200-meter dash during the North Dakota State Track & Field Meet on Saturday, May 28, 2022, in Bismarck.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

"It means a lot to me," Hegerle said. "I just want to give all glory to God. Coming in second in both events last year to Calob Larson was kind of a let down, so this year I knew I had to get it."

Hegerle said those defeats from last season stuck with him for some time.

"It definitely sticks in my mind a little bit," he said. "But I worked hard every day trying to get better and I'm glad I could get it done this year."

Wahpeton's Manock wins boys javelin competition

Wahpeton junior Ethan Manock was the first Class A winner of the day Saturday, claiming the boys javelin final with a mark of 180 feet, 1 inch.

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Wahpeton's Ethan Manock competes in the Class A boys javelin during the North Dakota State Track & Field Meet on Saturday, May 28, 2022, in Bismarck.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

It was a new personal best for Manock and good enough to top Grand Forks Red River junior Logan Arason, who had the top seed mark of 189-9 entering the weekend. Arason managed a 179-3 in the final for second place.

Manock finished third in the javelin final last year.

"It feels great just to get a good throw out there," Manock said. "It was a good day to throw and there were a lot of PRs going on, so it was good to have a 180."

Class A boys

Saturday, May 28

Final team scores

1. Bismarck Century 118; 2. Bismarck 85; 3. West Fargo Sheyenne 75.5; T4. Fargo Davies and West Fargo 58; 6. Grand Forks Central 52; 7. Williston 46; 8. Grand Forks Red River 44; 9. Bismarck Legacy 41; 10. Fargo South 38; 11. Dickinson 25; 12. Mandan 23; 13. Wahpeton 19; 14. Minot 16; 15. Jamestown 12; T16. Devils Lake and St. Mary’s 7; 18. Fargo Shanley 6; 19. Watford City 4; 20. Valley City 3.5; 21. Fargo North 3

Top eight individuals

Javelin - finals

1. Manock, Wahpeton, 180-1; 2. Arason, Red River, 179-3; 3. Hayes, Davies, 175-10; 4. Odden, West Fargo, 172-8; 5. Lemar, Bismarck, 167-5; 6. Grubb, Mandan, 161-5; 7. Palmer, Mandan, 157-2; 8. Stotz, Bismarck, 155-4

High jump - finals

1. Brynjolfson, Century, 6-4; 2. Mickelson, Mandan, 6-3; 3. Lopez, Grand Forks Central, 6-3; 4. Sheldon, Mandan, 6-2; T5. Irumva, West Fargo, Jacobson, Valley City, 6-0; T7. Taylor, West Fargo, Nhial, West Fargo Sheyenne, 6-0

300 hurdles - finals

1. Elde, Grand Forks Central, 38.94; 2. Heydt, Red River, 39.57; 3. Henriksen, Bismarck, 39.82; 4. Bryce Volk, Devils Lake, 40.14; 5. McNichols, Bismarck, 40.24; 6. Kroeber, Jamestown, 40.69; 7. Beil, Davies, 40.88

100 - finals

1. Hegerle, West Fargo, 10.91; 2. Hawkinson, Bismarck, 11.11; 3. Gores, Shanley, 11.17; 4. White, West Fargo Sheyenne, 11.21; 5. Lewis, Dickinson, 11.22; 6. Mathern, Legacy, 11.24; 7. Greff, Davies, 11.29; 8. Farland, Legacy, 11.35

4x200 relay - finals

1. Fargo South (Bourke, Quibell, J. Zulu, A. Zulu) 1:28.09; 2. West Fargo 1:28.42; 3. West Fargo Sheyenne 1:29.69; 4. Fargo Davies 1:29.79; 5. Bismarck 1:29.80; 6. Williston 1:30.92; 7. Watford City 1:31.17; 8. Grand Forks Red River 1:31.37

400 - finals

1. A Zulu, Fargo South, 49.0; 2. Elde, Grand Forks Central, 49.11; 3. Edwards, Davies, 49.31; 4. J. Zulu, Fargo South, 49.62; 5. Hawkinson, Bismarck, 49.70; 6. Felchle, St. Mary’s, 50.03; 7. Nelson, West Fargo, 50.49; 8. Eberle, St. Mary’s, 50.67

110 hurdles - finals

1. Elde, Grand Forks Central, 14.65; 2. Brynjolfson, Century, 14.82; 3. Turner, Century, 15:00; 4. Giggee, Mandan, 15.23; 5. Edwards, West Fargo, 15.37; 6. Knoke, Fargo North, 15.41; 7. Heydt, Red River, 15.42; 8. Anderson, Century, 15.61

200 - finals

1. Hegerle, West Fargo, 21.61; 2. Lewis, Dickinson, 22.16; 3. Kelsch, Century, 22.34; 4. White, West Fargo Sheyenne, 22.35; 5. Mathern, Legacy, 22.39; 6. J. Zulu, Fargo South, 22.51; 7. Mutzenberger, Grand Forks Central, 22.64; 8. Farland, Legacy, 22.64

800 - finals

1. Graham, Century, 1:58.07; 2. Nelson, West Fargo, 1:58.45; 3. Smith, West Fargo, 1:58.66; 4. Askim, Williston, 1:58.93; 5. A. Johnson, West Fargo Sheyenne, 1:59.03; 6. Knoll, Legacy, 1:59.05; 7. Zenawick, Red River, 1:59.03; 8. Sagvold, Fargo North, 2:00.74

4x100 relay - finals

1. Legacy ( Farland, Snow, Hoffer, Mathern) 42.32; 2. Bismarck 42.73; 3. West Fargo 42.90; 4. Century 42.94; 5. West Fargo Sheyenne 43.04; 6. Davies (Schumacher, Greff, Schwab, Nyquist) 43.51; 7. Watford City 43.70; 8. Red River 44.08

4x400 relay - finals

1. Fargo South (J. Zulu, T. Quibell, Bourke, A. Zulu) 3:19.12; 2. Century 3:21.72; 3. Williston 3:24.78; 4. Grand Forks Central 3:25.82; 5. Bismarck 3:26.57; 6. Davies 3:27.08; 7. Legacy 3:27.23; 8. West Fargo Sheyenne 3:28.34

Class A girls

Saturday, May 28

Final team scores

1. Fargo Davies 137; 2. Bismarck Century 105; 3. Jamestown 76; 4. West Fargo 71; 5. Mandan 52; T6. Fargo North and Bismarck 38; 8. Dickinson 34; 9. Grand Forks Red River 33; 10. Minot 28; 11. Bismarck Legacy 24; 12. West Fargo Sheyenne 23; 13. Williston 22; 14. Fargo Shanley 14; 15. St. Mary’s 13; 16. Watford City 11; 17. Wahpeton 8; T18. Devils Lake and Valley City 5; 20. Fargo South 4

Top eight individuals

Pole vault - finals

1. Briggs, West Fargo Sheyenne, 11-0; 2. Ash, Dickinson, 10-9; 3. Dahl, West Fargo, 10-9; 4. Kretchman, Davies, 10-6; 5. Berger, Legacy, 10-3; 6. Thueson, Century, 10-3; 7. Dunlop, Century, 10-3; 8. Barbaric, Williston, 9-9

Triple jump - finals

1. Stein, Century, 37-0.5; 2. Kretchman, Davies, 36-7; 3. Sailer, Davies, 35-8.25; 4. Petersen, Jamestown, 35-8; 5. James, Fargo South, 35-2.5; 6. Sand, Legacy, 35-1; 7. Conklin, Minot, 34.7.5; 8. Brennan, Century, 34-7

300 hurdles - finals

1. Laqua, Davies, 44.68; 2. Barry, Dickinson, 45.33; 3. Skari, Jamestown, 45.41; 4. Belzer, Jamestown, 46.91; 5. Sheldon, Mandan, 47.7; 6. Eslinger, Legacy, 47-7; 7. Rader, Century, 47.16; 8. Donat, Davies, 47.19

100 - finals

1. Deebo, Davies, 12.15; 2. Williams, West Fargo, 12.41; 3. A. Nabwe, Jamestown, 12.53; 4. Y. Nabwe, Jamestown, 12.55; 5. Gee, West Fargo, 12.63; 6. Brown, Minot, 12.64; 7. Ray, West Fargo Sheyenne, 12.76; 8. Burke, Minot, 12.76

4x200 relay - finals

1. Fargo Davies (Gayflor, Salou, Safranski, Nesius) 1:43.52; 2. Bismarck Century 1:43.95; 3. Minot 1:44.51; 4. Fargo Shanley 1:46.32; 5. West Fargo Sheyenne 1:46.46; 6. Bismarck 1:46.47; 7. West Fargo 1:47.0; 8. Bismarck Legacy 1:47.37

400 - finals

1. Palmer, Century, 54.91; 2. Williams, West Fargo, 56.77; 3. Laqua, Davies, 56.95; 4. Barry, Dickinson, 59.16; 5. Hakim, Shanley, 59.71; 6. Mattern, Minot, 59.86; 7. Ketterling, Century, 1:00.17; 8. Burian, Davies, 1:01.29

100 hurdles - finals

1. Deebom, Davies, 14.33; 2. Nabwe, Jamestown, 15.11; 3. Sheldon, Mandan, 15.30; 4. Rader, Century, 15.49; 5. Gustafson, West Fargo, 16.06; 6. Axtman, Davies, 16.09; 7. Stein, Century, 16.25; 8. Gayflor, Davies, 16.30

200 - finals

1. Deebom, Davies, 24.41; 2. Williams, West Fargo, 24.95; 3. Palmer, Century, 25.12; 4. Barry, Dickinson, 25.16; 5. Gee, West Fargo, 25.75; 6. Laqua, Davies, 25.85; 7. Fridley, Century, 25.95; 8. Brown, Minot, 26.23

800 - finals

1. Palmer, Century, 2:15.87; 2. Elkins, Mandan, 2:17.26; 3. Schiller, Red River, 2:18.35; 4. Bjerke, Davies, 2:18.82; 5. Lien, Fargo North, 2:19.65; 6. Goven, Valley City, 2:20.68; 7. Dosch, Red River, 2:21.12; 8. Selensky, St. Mary’s, 2:21.19

4x100 relay - finals

1. West Fargo (Heilman, Gee, Gustafson, Williams) 48.96; 2. Minot 49.05; 3. Jamestown 49.35; 4. Davies 49.88; 5. Bismarck 50.54; 6. Mandan 50.71; 7. Century 50.81; 8. West Fargo Sheyenne 50.93

4x400 relay - finals

1. Fargo Davies (Safranski, Barnick, Bjerke, Laqua) 4:02.85; 2. Fargo North 4:03.55; 3. Century 4:05.37; 4. Devils Lake 4:11.27; 5. Mandan 4:11.36; 6. Red River 4:11.40; 7. Jamestown 4:13.30; 8. Fargo Shanley 4:14.11

Ryan Spitza joined The Forum in December 2021 as a sports reporter. He grew up in Marquette, Mich., a city of 20,000 on the southern shore of Lake Superior. He majored in multimedia journalism and minored in public relations at Northern Michigan University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in May 2019. While attending college, Spitza gained real-world experience covering high school and college athletics for both The Mining Journal and The North Wind.

Spitza can be reached at 701-451-5613 or rspitza@forumcomm.com. Follow him on Twitter @ryspitza.
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