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Kindred boys highlight Day 1 of Class B track & field with high jump battle, discus win

The Vikings boys lead the overall team scores after three contested events while Des-Lacs Burlington/Lewis, Ellendale and Bowman County are tied for the girls lead

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Kindred's Paul Olson attempts a Class B boys high jump record during the North Dakota State Track & Field Meet on Thursday, May 26, 2022, in Bismarck.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum
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BISMARCK — If you asked Paul Olson in April if he thought he would be a North Dakota track and field state champion, he may have called you crazy.

But on Thursday, the Kindred senior not only became a Class B state champion in the high jump, he nearly broke the overall state record in the process.

Olson, in his lone track and field season, claimed victory over senior teammate Jaiden Peraza in the high jump in an intense battle that highlighted Day 1 of Class B action at the MDU Resources Community Bowl in Bismarck.

The crown came down to Olson and Peraza after both cleared jumps of 6 feet, 8 inches before Olson won it with a mark of 6-9.75.

He then had three attempts to break the overall state record of 6-10.25 set by Dickinson's Shawn Gabbert in 1999.

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Olson failed to clear the bar on all three attempts, but still stamped his place in history by breaking the state meet record and the MDU Resources Community Bowl record.

It's been a whirlwind senior year for Olson, who's primary spring sport is golf and was also a basketball star.

Three meets into his track and field career, he was recruited by North Dakota State to run track next season .

Now, he can call himself a state champion.

"It's been a crazy year to say the least," Olson said. "I've just got to give a lot of credit to the coaching staff for helping me get to this point.

"Jaiden was a great training partner and good to jump against. I loved every second of it."

Maybe it was bittersweet for Peraza to fall short to his teammate, but when Olson attempted the near-record-breaking leaps, he was the No. 1 cheerleader there leading on the Kindred crowd behind him.

"Paul told me after we both got 6-8, he said, 'Finally, I have someone to compete against,'" Peraza said. "I guess that's what really hit home for me. It was just really fun to battle against my own teammate. You couldn't ask for anything better than that in your high school career.

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"Win or lose, it doesn't matter. As long as we're battling each other and pushing each other, that's really what matters."

Olson said there wasn't much pressure when he went out there for the record-breaking attempts.

"I didn't feel any pressure," he said. "You've just got to have fun with it. I mean that's the key to being successful. The community has been really supportive of all of us on the team and they showed out great (today) and it was a lot of fun to have them watching."

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Kindred’s Jack Packer competes in the Class B boys discuss during the North Dakota State Track & Field Meet on Thursday, May 26, 2022, in Bismarck.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

The Vikings, who are the two-time defending boys team champions, picked up another Day 1 field victory as well in the discus throw.

Kindred junior Jack Packer, who came into the event with the top seed mark and personal best of 161 feet, 4 inches, threw a 164-0 in the finals Thursday to edge Bowman County sophomore Hunter Rasmussen who tossed a 157-1.

Packer finished fifth in this event last season as a sophomore with a mark of 144-4.

Packer said training in Minneapolis/St. Paul helped him improve on last year's mark.

"This year, I went down to the (Twin) Cities a lot more with the coach down there," he said. "He knows what he's talking about and then coming to throw at practice, I have a really good coach in (Kindred assistant) coach (Nate) Safe and they just coached me up really good.

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"Every winter after football is done, I know it's track time and I get in the weight room all winter and just choose stuff to go throw."

Packer has one event left on the weekend, competing in Friday's shot put finals at 2:30 p.m. He finished second in last year’s shot put competition with a throw of 53-5. He holds the top distance in the state this season, recording a personal best 59-4 at the South East Region meet last week.

Kindred leads the boys overall team scores after three Day 1 events with 29 points. Following the Vikings are Bowman County with 24 points and Hazen with 13 points.

On the girls side, Des-Lacs Burlington/Lewis, Ellendale and Bowman county are in a three-way tie for first place with 10 points apiece.

Day 2 of the North Dakota high school state track meet begins Friday with field events beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Class B boys

Friday, May 26

Top eight individuals

Discus - finals

1. Packer, Kindred, 164-0; 2. Rasmussen, Bowman County, 157-1; 3. Schaefer, DL-Burlington, 144-7; 4. Baesler, Hillsboro/CV, 141-4; 5. Olson, Lisbon, 141-4; 6. Obenauer, Hazen, 140-4; 7. Ottmar, Grant County, 137-6; 8. Hill, Drayton Valley, 134-0

High jump - finals

1. Olson, Kindred, 6-9.75; 2. Peraza, Kindred, 6-8; 3. Johnson, Central Cass, 6-2; T4. Sjovist, Mohall-Lansford, Barnick, Edgeley/Kulm, 6-2; 6. Barnes, Linton/HMB, 6-2; 7. Jensen, New Rockford, 6-0; 8. Strommen, Northern Cass, 6-0

3,200 -finals

1. Busche, Hazen, 9:38.71; 2. Sarsland, Bowman County, 9:41.82; 3. Wanner, Bowman County, 9:49.25; 4. Brist, Hillsboro/CV, 9:49.25; 5. Hansen, Dickinson Trinity, 10:07.11; 6. Spotted Bear, New Town, 10:13.85; 7. Lambourn, Bowman County, 10:16.55; 8. Schaffer, Kindred, 10:28.25

Class B girls

Friday, May 26

Top eight individuals

High jump - finals

1. Slivoskey, Ellendale, 5-2; T2. Larson, Griggs-Midkota, Miller, Rugby, 5-1; T4. Jensen, Northern Cass, West, Thompson, 4-11; 6. Kjelstrup, Central McLean, 4-11; T7. Harter, Kidder County, Nelson, Sargent County, 4-11

Discus - finals

1. Hoff, Bowman County, 120-3; 2. Brunmeier, Hazen, 116-2; 3. Hoffman, South Border, 112-3; 4. Johnson, Kindred, 111-9; 5. Meehl, Oakes, 109-8; 6. Schantz, Beulah, 109-4; 7. Dickman, Surrey, 105-11; 8. Ward, Hazen, 103-4

3,200 - finals

1. Hanson, DL-Burlington, 11:44.20; 2. Stroh, Sargent County, 11:51.89; 3. Entzi, Edgeley/Kulm, 11:52.67; 4. Spine, Hatton/Northwood, 11:58.96; 5. Frolek, Wyndmere/Lidgerwood, 12:03.95; 6. Kempel, Lisbon, 12:10.69; 7. Pazdernik, Carrington, 12:13.10; 8. Bartsch, Rugby, 12:24.08

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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