BISMARCK — While the West Region swept Class A, the East dominated the Class B state boys and girls track and field meet Saturday. Kindred head coach Josh Allmaras had the ice cubes in his hood to prove it.
Allmaras got a celebratory bucket of ice water dumped on him by his team after the Vikings won the Class B boys title at MDU Resources Bowl in Bismarck. Kindred scored 68 points — 15 more than second-place Bowman County — to capture the team crown for the second season in a row.
“It’s unbelievably special. There’s a few moments where it brought tears to your eyes, because you forgot about how exciting this is,” Allmaras said. “To get this opportunity to compete this year was incredibly special.”
The 2020 seniors were on the back of the team’s mind throughout the entire two-day meet, and all season. The Vikings were motivated to succeed from the jump, aiming high for the last year’s seniors who didn’t get a final high school season.
“We had a really good set of seniors that didn’t get a chance last year, so they had some extra motivation to defend their title and also compete hard for the 2020 seniors as well,” Allmaras said. “I knew that this was a motivated bunch that were very excited to get to work. I’m super excited for how it ended up.”
Jack Packer got the Vikings off to a hot start with a runner-up finish in the boys shot put (53 feet, 5 inches). Brothers Trey and Eli Heinrich both earned podium spots in the 300-meter hurdles after running alongside each other. Trey captured third in 40.94 seconds, while older brother Eli crossed the finish line 21 seconds later to finish fourth.
Caaden Rath was .01 seconds from pulling off an upset in the boys 800. Rath, who was in the fifth spot heading into the race, kicked it into high gear in the last 100 meters. He pulled even with Bowman County’s Brian Miller, who was in first place, and missed the state championship by a hair.
Rath came in at 1:56.56, .01 second behind Miller. The mark smashed his personal best by 5.38 seconds.
“It feels awesome. The boys really stepped up,” said Allmaras, who was named the Class B boys coach of the year. “They had a great meet. There were a lot of kids that outperformed. It was a fantastic team win.”
Oakes brings home girls crown
In a day headlined by the extremes, the Oakes Tornadoes were no exception. The Tornadoes had dominant performances behind underclassmen hoping to make their mark, and seniors aiming to leave theirs.
Senior Sadie Hansen and sophomore Laikyn Roney made up the top-two places in the girls shot put. Hansen won the title with a toss of 39 feet, 6 inches, while Roney followed with a second-place throw of 38-11 1/2.
“It’s pretty awesome,” said Hansen, who placed second in shot as a sophomore in 2019. “It’s a really cool experience, and I’m glad we performed today and did our best.”
Hansen, who placed third in the discus Friday, didn’t remember her winning toss in the shot put. All she knew was that it felt good when it left her hand.
“I just wanted to get a better mark,” Hansen said. “I was throwing 37, so I wanted to get that better mark and move up a little bit.”
Roney jumped 12 places from her eighth-grade state tournament finish in 2019.
"We represented Oakes really well today," Hansen said. "I think we felt like we accomplished something really good, and did it for the team."
Oakes’ Lanie Awender, who was named the Class B girls senior athlete of the year, added a pair of second-place finishes in the 100 and 200. Awender, who will run at North Dakota State, also placed third in the 400 in 59.75 seconds.
Oakes and Central Cass went back and forth in the girls team titles throughout the final day of the meet, with the crown coming down to the last event. The Squirrels finished as runners-up, but got plenty of podium time behind freshman force Elise Wisnewski.
Wisnewski left the meet a two-time state champion with wins in the 100 and 200. She won the 100 with a personal-best time of 12.24 seconds, which set a Class B state record. She had no idea she had just solidified herself a spot in the state record books until a teammate who was competing with her in the event ran up to her.
“I couldn’t believe it,” she said.
The sprint was the fastest time Wisnewski had ever registered in her life. Central Cass sophomore Decontee Smith, who placed third in the 100 in 12.58 seconds, gave Wisnewski a big hug at the finish line.
“It felt amazing. I knew I had tough competition going into it,” Wisnewski said. “I knew that I just had to believe in what I could do and just try to beat the person in front of me.”
That person in front of her has been Oakes’ Awender, who was favored in the sprints. Wisnewski has been chasing Awender her entire track career, but it was a different story Saturday.
Wisnewski won the 200 in 25.20 seconds, .49 seconds ahead of Awender. She also brought home a runner-up finish in the 400-meter dash (59.16).
Jaguars sprint to first
Thompson was at the front of the pack heading into the final stretch of the boys 800 relay. The Tommies held a steady pace, with their sights set on crossing the finish line first.
But Northern Cass senior Tristin Johnson had something different in mind. The anchor leg of the relay, Johnson turned on the jets and got some distance. He passed the first-place runner to win the state title in 1:30.54.
“It feels amazing. We worked so hard for it,” Johnson said. “Our handoffs were terrible yesterday, but we fixed it today. We just ran our race.”
Johnson said he ran the hardest he possibly could in the last stretch as the Jaguars also set a new personal best with the state-title winning mark. Johnson's younger brother, Isaac, is the second runner on the relay team.
“We’re really close,” Johnson said. “I just had to do it for him.”
Sprints at the end
Lisbon’s Kendra Odegard won the girls javelin with a top throw of 142-2.
May-Port-CG’s Tatum Mehus won the 800 title in 2:20.54.
Hillsboro-Central Valley senior Kaden Pastian, who set a Class B state record in the discus Friday, won his second state title Saturday in the shot put with a throw of 60-8.
The Burros 1,600 relay team of Ethan Sherva, Parker Gallagher, Luke Dryburgh and Henry Nelson closed out the meet with a first-place finish in 3:30.25.