Kindred Vikings ready for outdoor track and field season after successful indoor start
The Vikings boys have won the last three North Dakota Class B team track and field championships while the girls also look for continued success.
KINDRED — After weeks of waiting, the Kindred Vikings were finally able to practice on their track for the first time this season on Tuesday afternoon.
While snow has kept the team off the track and inside the gym or running on roads, the Vikings have already seen success this year on both the girls and boys sides at indoor meets.
Despite the strong indoor season, the opportunity to get outside and on the track, especially on a sunny day, brought an extra bit of enthusiasm, said coach Josh Allmaras.
“There’s a tremendous amount of excitement in a normal year when we get to the outdoor season,” Allmaras said. “But this year is going to be all that excitement plus that additional feeling of freedom (after waiting to get outside).”
The boys squad, which has won the last three North Dakota Class B state championships in 2019, 2021 and 2022, with no season in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, already have two meet wins under their belt this season.
On March 25, the team won the first indoor meet of the season and followed it up on April 1 with another first place team finish.
In those meets, four indoor school records were been broken as Keaton Olson broke both the 1,600 meter (4 minutes, 41.12 seconds) and 3,200 (10:23.46) records. Sophomore Presley Peraza broke the long jump (20 feet, 8.25 inches) and North Dakota State commit Jack Packer broke the shot put record with a throw of 58 feet, 4 inches.
“The team is really well balanced,” said Allmaras of the boys. “We have great distance runners and our throwers are such an impressive group of young men. They’ve been putting up fantastic numbers and throwing big throws. They’re just a lot of fun to be around. Our sprinters and our relays are doing an excellent job, as well.”
For the girls program, Allmaras has been pleased with the progress he has seen in just the first two meets of the season and hopes the team can have similar success to last year.
“I’m really excited about the improvements our girls have had,” he said. “We have a great group of girls and there have been some fantastic individual performers. We scored 40 points at our first meet, then answered that the second meet with scoring close to 85 points and we were in the mix.
“I’m excited about our girls’ opportunities. We won the region last year and if they continue to improve and work hard, they’ll have a good opportunity to defend their region championship.”
Like the boys, the girls athletes have broken several indoor school records.
Sophomore Elsa Ingebrigtson broke her own 60-meter hurdle record with a time of 9.79, she also holds the Vikings’ 55-meter hurdle record, which she set as a freshman.
The 60-meter dash school record was broken by Peyton Gette with a time of 8.33 while Greta McKenney set a new pole vault record at 8 feet, 3 inches after she and teammate Ali Henke tied the previous record of 7 feet, 3 inches in the opening meet of the year.
Prior to getting outside, the Vikings had to get a little creative with how they practiced, Allmaras said.
“Both our boys and our girls teams have been working really hard. We spend a lot of time in the weight room and our weight room numbers have been fantastic,” he said. “We’ve had to be creative with the use of spaces… they’ve really handled all the creativity that we’ve thrown at them in an excellent manner.”
Included in that creativity was new equipment for jumpers that allowed them to prepare for their events in the gym.
“We have some blowup high jump and long jump pits that we got this year and we’ve utilized those quite a bit,” Allmaras said. “Instead of getting out high jump mats, we can inflate these and deflate them and that’s what we’re using to do all of our high jump, long jump and triple jump work.”
With the variable weather and waiting to get outside, the message from Allmaras to the Vikings has been the same all year.
“Work hard every day, have a good mindset and control the things you can control,” he said. "And we’ll see where that gets us at the end of the year.”