BISMARCK — Cece Deebom entered the Class A state girls track and field meet as the top seed in three events. She had hopes of winning her first state title, but wasn’t imagining it would happen this year.
She couldn’t have been more wrong.
The Fargo Davies sophomore Deebom didn’t just win one state title Saturday at MDU Resources Community Bowl in Bismarck. She won three.
Deebom made a massive statement in her second-ever appearance at the tournament. She left a three-event champion in the 100- and 200-meter dashes and 100-meter hurdles. She was also the runner-up to teammate Ellen Donat in the girls long jump.
“I think it’s just a great day. We have amazing weather,” she said. “...We’re here to show what our coaches have taught us up to here, to show how much we’ve improved. I’m just blessed to get that opportunity to do that today.”
She made some noise at the tournament as an eighth-grader, but solidified her reign in sprinting this weekend.
Deebom crossed the finish line in 11.97 seconds to win the 100. The mark tied an 11-year-old Class A state and overall record. She edged West Fargo’s Jasmine Williams by .04 seconds in the 200 with a first-place time of 24.72, and captured first in the 100 hurdles in 14.62 seconds.
“I was really just hoping to get maybe a really low 12. But 11.97 wasn’t really even in my mind,” Deebom said.
Davies senior Donat delivered another dominant performance for the Eagles. She won the girls long jump with a leap of 18 feet, 7 1/2 inches to defend her title.
“To come today and to be as consistent as I was felt really good,” said Donat, who placed sixth in the girls triple jump Friday. “I really wanted it.”
Donat won the event as a sophomore in 2019, but had a rocky start to the year. She had surgery in early February to remove bunions on both of her feet, and wasn’t able to return to the track until mid April.
Donat scratched out of several meets right away because she couldn’t get on the board.
She knew the jump was going to be big when she took off and popped up on the board. She was hoping for a personal record, but hearing the winning-leap 18-07 felt just as good, she said. The mark was just three inches shy of her personal-best jump.
“Coming into today I was just hoping to calm my nerves,” Donat said. “I was pretty anxious today. But I was just thinking about competing for my team, not even myself. Our team is so young, and I was just like, ‘I need to compete for my team.’”
There were plenty of individual highlights for the Davies girls, but in the team race, they fell one point short of a five-peat.
Bismarck Century tallied 138 points to win the team title by one point over Davies, which had won the last four. Going into the final event, Davies had a seven-point lead over Bismarck Century with 125 points.
“We have a lot of competitive girls on the team and I see disappointment, but we had numerous personal bests this weekend,” Davies head coach Rory Beil said. “So, the season is done, we finished second, and we’re going to celebrate that.”
A disqualification in the 800 relay hurt the Eagles, who would have otherwise had a runner-up finish to the Patriots in the event if not for a zone violation. Donat anchored the relay team.
Century was initially disqualified in the 800 relay for a zone violation. For a brief time, West Fargo was the winner in the event, but meet officials later overturned Century’s DQ.
A team title seemed out of reach for Davies at the beginning of the year. The Eagles had a roster filled with brand new faces.
“To be in that position at the end of the year, certainly, looking back, there’s some satisfaction,” said Beil, who was named the Class A girls coach of the year.
Central’s Urlacher vaults to new record
All eyes were on Grand Forks Central senior Jak Urlacher on Saturday as he set a new overall and state Class A boys pole vault record.
He cleared 15 feet, 7 1/2 inches in his third and final attempt to etch his name into the record books Saturday at MDU Resources Bowl in Bismarck.
“It feels great,” Urlacher said. “It’s been a big dream of mine and it’s great that it came true.”
Urlacher made the height, which was on his agenda going into Saturday’s meet, with a packed crowd cheering him on.
“It was great. It definitely gave me a little more motivation to make the height,” Urlacher said of the hoops and hollers all directed his way.
The mark was a personal best for Urlacher, who kept calm as it came down to the final try. He hit the bar twice, but never got discouraged.
“I was just very excited and very happy,” he said. “It was amazing.”
Sprints at the end
Bismarck Century won the Class A boys team title by a decisive 195 points, 117.5 more than runner-up Bismarck High, to solidify the school's Class A sweep.
Bismarck’s Sean Korsmo broke a Class A state and overall record in the 1,600 Friday, and etched his name one more time in the state record books Saturday. He ran to a first-place finish in the 3,200 in 8 minutes, 57.82 seconds.
Dickinson’s Brady Yoder (8:59.56) and Jacob Knodle (9:01.56) finished second and third in the 3,200 respectively. Their finishes highlighted just how competitive this year’s distance field was. Their second- and third-place times were better than the overall state record of 9:03.65, which was replaced by Korsmo.
West Fargo’s Taylor Lee cleared 11-3 to win the Class A girls pole vault title. Lee was the fourth seed heading into the event, and topped her personal best by exactly one foot to top the podium.
Fargo South senior Trehvon Montgomery won the Class A boys long jump with a personal-best leap of 22 feet, 1 inch. Bruins senior Enock Sibomana placed second in the event with a jump of 21-9, as he fought through a toe injury.
Sibomana sustained an injury in his right big toe Friday in the early rounds of the boys triple jump, an event he was favored to win. He placed third in the triple jump, despite missing the finals.