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Fargo North's Anna Lien wins 1,600, anchors 4x800 relay team to win on Day 2 of Class A state meet

In other Class A action, Fargo Davies' Golden Deebom pulled off a triple jump upset on his birthday.

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Fargo North’s Anna Lien finishes the anchor leg in her team's Class A girls 4x800-meter relay victory at the North Dakota State Track & Field Meet on Friday, May 27, 2022, in Bismarck.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum
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BISMARCK — It was a good day for Anna Lien and the Fargo North girls on Day 2 of the North Dakota high schools state track & field meet Friday.

In the morning, the Spartans senior raced to a new personal-best and claimed victory in the 1,600-meter final. Later in the afternoon, Lien anchored North's 4x800-meter relay team to another finals win at the MDU Resources Community Bowl.

In the girls 1,600 final, Lien topped Williston senior Eleni Lovgren by more than four seconds, clocking in with a winning time of 5:09.66. Lien's previous personal-best was 5:11.39.

Lien has improved her 1,600 time in all three of her track seasons, finishing 14th in the final as a freshman in 2019 before an eighth-place finish in 2021. Her 5:09.66 this year was more than 10 seconds faster than her mark last year.

"I wasn't honestly expecting it, but I just felt good so I went for it," Lien said.

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She noted that her strategy is to wait for the final 400 meters before shifting into a higher gear.

"I try to just stay behind the person in the front and work my way up, " she said. "Because sometimes I get scared that I'm going to be tired at the end, and then I just use my kick for the last lap."

Lien's senior teammate Elle Sondag snagged the final spot on the awards podium with an eighth place finish in the same race. She was also North's lead-off hitter in the 4x800 relay final while Lien anchored.

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Fargo North’s Elle Sondag, from right, Anna Lien, Grayce Anderson and Grace Thiel celebrate winning the Class A girls 4x800-meter relay during the North Dakota State Track & Field Meet on Friday, May 27, 2022, in Bismarck.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

In the 4x800 final, the team of Lien, Sondag and middle runners — freshmen Grayce Anderson and Grace Thiel — together timed in at 9:39.35 to top Century's team of junior Leah Herbel, senior Autumn Ketterling, eighth grader Addison Heck and senior Erin Palmer by nearly nine seconds.

The Spartans' winning time was impressive, which was more than 20 seconds faster than their previous season-best of 9:59.73, which was only the fifth-fastest seed time going into the weekend.

Deebom earns upset win on his birthday

This season is the first track and field season for Davies freshman Golden Deebom. Friday was also his birthday, so what better way to gift yourself than by winning a state championship?

Deebom did exactly that, winning the Class A boys triple jump with a new personal-best of 45 feet, 4.50 inches.

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Fargo Davies’ Golden Deebom competes in the Class A boys triple jump during the North Dakota State Track & Field Meet on Friday, May 27, 2022, in Bismarck.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

On paper, you can call Deebom's win an upset. He entered the competition with only the fifth-best seed mark of 42-9.75 behind West Fargo Sheyenne junior Dylan Beil, Fargo South junior Emanuel Spiyee, Fargo South sophomore Jaden Middleton and Bismarck junior Ty Allen.

He beat all of them and then some, edging Minot sophomore Anthony Brown who had a second place mark of 44-0.

The win came as a form of self-redemption for Deebom, who was disqualified in the 100-meter dash preliminaries earlier in the day.

"It feels pretty good," he said. "Earlier, I false-started in the 100 so I was pretty down about that, but then I jumped 44 (feet) which I was pretty shocked about and then I broke my school record, so it was pretty good."

The North Dakota state track and field meet concludes Saturday, with field events getting under way at 9:30 a.m. followed by the first of nine track finals per each boys and girls class beginning at 11 a.m.

Class A boys

Friday, May 26

Top eight individuals

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Discus - finals

1. Arason, Red River, 170-7; 2. Manock, Wahpeton, 158-2; 3. Burckhard, Century, 157-11; 4. Allmer, Jamestown, 157-6; 5. Walz, Century, 153-5; 6. Kemmet, Legacy, 149-2; 7. Schweigert, Century, 146-7; 8. Hayes, Davies, 144-1

Triple jump - finals

1. Deebom, Davies, 45-4.5; 2. Brown, Minot, 44-0; 3. Allen, Bismarck, 43-10.5; 4. Nhial, West Fargo Sheyenne, 43-9.75; 5. Beyl, West Fargo Sheyenne, 42-11.75; 6. Haug, Red River, 42-10.5; 7. Lacombe, Legacy, 42-10.5; 8. Schaeffer, Minot, 42-10.25

1,600 - finals

1. Korsmo, Bismarck, 4:14.77; 2. Moe, Williston, 4:15.41; 3. Johnson, West Fargo Sheyenne, 4:16.37; 4. Hintz, Bismarck, 4:16.51; 5. Roehl, Grand Forks Central, 4:16.68; 6. Johnson, West Fargo Sheyenne, 4:20.32; 7. McHenry, Red River, 4:20.63; 8. House, Century, 4:21.18

4x800 relay - finals

1. Williston (Krenz, Hardcastle, Askim, Moe) 7:57.87; 2. West Fargo 7:59.61; 3. Century 8:01.94; 4. Red River 8:03.48; 5. Davies 8:03.48; 6. Legacy 8:10.90; 7. Minot 8:11.06; 8. Bismarck 8:14.36

Class A girls

Friday, May 26

Top eight individuals

Discus - finals

1. Nabwe, Jamestown, 154-7; 2. Anderson, Bismarck, 126-8; 3. Selensky, Legacy, 123-11; 4. Woods, Wahpeton, 120-8; 5. Hardy, Minot, 120-2; 6. Oukrop, St. Mary’s, 118-10; 7. Red Tomahawk, Bismarck, 117-4; 8. Lindbo, Legacy, 114-5

High jump - finals

1. Sheldon, Mandan, 5-3; 2. Stein, Century, 5-2; 3. Rydell, Red River, 5-2; 4. Axtman, Davies, 5-1; 5. Rood, Bismarck, 5-1; 6. Petersen, Jamestown, 5-1; 7. Hagen, Bismarck, 5-1; 8. Docktor, West Fargo, 5-1

Javelin - finals

1. Nabwe, Jamestown, 144-9; 2. Deringer, Davies, 127-8; 3. Sheldon, Mandan, 123-9; 4. Weippert, Red River, 121-10; 5. Johnson-Colbert, Bismarck, 120-10; 6. Gerving, St. Mary’s, 118-4; 7. Fletcher, Century, 117-7; 8. Fischer, Bismarck, 116-2

1,600 - finals

1. Lien, Fargo North, 5:09.66; 2. Lovgren, Williston, 5:13.82; 3. Elkins, Mandan, 5:14.86; 4. Schiller, Red River, 5:15.56; 5. Selensky, St. Mary’s, 5:17.43; 6. Ogle, Watford City, 5:17.64; 7. Weigel, Bismarck, 5:17.70; 8. Sondag, Fargo North, 5:17.75

4x800 relay - finals

1. Fargo North (Sondag, Anderson, Thiel, Lien) 9:39.35; 2. Century 9:48.01; 3. Red River 9:48.89; 4. Davies 9:51.26; 5. West Fargo 9:54.69; 6. Williston 9:56.55; 7. St. Mary’s 9:57.65; 8. Legacy 10:05.22

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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