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Heath Hotzler, Published May 23 2009

ND state track: West Fargo's Mears defends title in 1,600

BISMARCK – West Fargo’s Alissa Mears felt an obligation to live up to expectations Friday at the North Dakota Class A state track and field meet.

Last year’s 1,600-meter champion, Mears didn’t want to let down her coaches, family, teammates or spectators at the Community Bowl.

That fear drove the freshman to a second consecutive crown.

Mears picked up the win in the 1,600 with a season-best time of 5 minutes, 7.08 seconds.

“My coaches were saying that as long as I go out and do my best they would be happy with that,” Mears said. “I still felt the pressure. Then and there, when the coaches were saying it, I was like, ‘Yeah, you have a good point.’ But the pressure was still there.”

Mears, who won last year’s title in a tight race with then-defending champion Melanie Funke of Minot, sprinted out with leaders Brecca Wahlund of Minot and Dickinson’s Dakota Wolf.

She stayed behind leader Wahlund, and just ahead of Wolf, until the final 400 meters.

Wahlund finished second with a time of 5:09.15, and Wolf was third at 5:10.01.

“I think this year’s race was a lot more uptempo,” said Mears, who will attempt to defend her title in the 3,200 today. “It was a faster race. I don’t know where that last lap came from. … Normally, I go the last 200. Today, I decided to go early.”

Grooters sets 300 hurdles record

West Fargo junior Ellie Grooters set a Class A state meet record in the preliminaries of the girls 300 hurdles with a time of 43.25.

The previous record of 43.30 was set in 2002 by Minot’s DaNae Carlson.

“I was kind of surprised when I saw my time,” Grooters said. “I was happy though. … There are still things I want to improve on.”

Grooters finished more than three seconds ahead of second-place finisher Jess Herauf of Dickinson in the first heat. Herauf, who qualified third for today’s final, ran a time of 46.44. Bismarck junior Twila Moser qualified second in the event by winning the second heat with a time of 46.92.

Grooters, who also ran the top preliminary 100 hurdles time of 14.96 on Friday, said her next goal is to try to break the Community Bowl 300 hurdles record of 42.26 that was set in 2006 by Carrington’s Whitney Carlson.

Grooters, Mears, Leah Hermanson and Christine Baltezore earned the 3,200-meter relay title with a time of 9:34.69.

“You have to know in your head that you have to push yourself,” Grooters said of her 300 hurdles preliminary. “… If you don’t, you’re dead.”

South’s Roesler captures pair of state marks

Fargo South standout junior Laura Roesler, who already has 13 Class A state individual titles, set overall state meet records in the preliminaries of the girls 400 and 200.

Roesler’s time of 55.37 in the 400 snapped her own overall state and Community Bowl record of 55.56 set in 2007. Bismarck Century’s Jill Steinwand was second in the prelims at 58.30.

She then captured the 200 record with a time of 24.66, topping Whitney Carlson’s mark of 24.95 set in 2006. The previous Class A state meet record in the 200 was 25.05 by Heather Zander of Mandan in 2005.

Roesler ran a wind-aided time of 24.30 en route to the 200 title last year.

“I knew I was faster than that today,” Roesler said. “I was pretty worked up and nervous on my first two races. (By the 200) I was calmed down and ready to go.”

Roesler also ran the top preliminary time in the 100 (12.41).

“Today is my day to run fast,” said Roesler, who advanced to the semifinals of the 800 at the Olympic Trials last summer. “I’m going to really focus on the 800 (on Saturday). I want to keep dropping (time).”

Jamestown’s Lillejord champion in triple jump

Jamestown’s Andy Lillejord took up the triple jump just a few days before last year’s East Region meet and didn’t advance to state in the event.

Now, he’s a champion.

Lillejord, who will compete in the pole vault and long jump finals today, drilled a leap of 43 feet, 3 inches to capture the first state track title of his career in the boys triple jump.

“I knew I could jump far enough to win,” Lillejord said. “But I really just wanted to place.”

Lillejord scratched on his first two attempts Friday. He hit the winning mark on his final attempt.

“I’m really excited about how I’m feeling today,” Lillejord said. “I’m excited for tomorrow.”


Bismarck leads the girls team race after six completed events with 77 points heading into today. West Fargo is second with 28 points. Bismarck leads the boys race with 44½ points. Jamestown is second at 41½. … Wahpeton junior Ryan Smith qualified with the fastest preliminary time in the boys 100 with a time of 11.17.


1. Bismarck 44½. 2. Jamestown 41½. 3. Minot 31½. 4. Century 31. 5. West Fargo 18. 6. (tie) Dickinson and G.F. Red River 11. 8. (tie) St. Mary’s and Williston 10. 10. Devils Lake 7½. 11. (tie) Valley City and Wahpeton 6. 13. (tie) Fargo South and G.F. Central 3.

1,600: 1, Osoro, Bismarck St., 4:16.41. 2, Huizenga, Bismarck, 4:17.28. 3, Uetz, West Fargo, 4:18.49. 4, Kelly, Century, 4:22.57. 5, Beaudoin, Minot, 4:23.40. 6, Slusser, Jamestown, 4:23.73. 7, Brownotter, Bismarck, 4:24.87. 8, Slusser, Jamestown, 4:25.36.

3,200 relay: 1, Bismarck (Hovland, Degree, Hintz, Huizenga), 8:03.10. 2, Jamestown (Slusser, Larson, Kamoni, Slusser), 8:03.59. 3, Minot (Wohl, Johnson, Johnson, Beaudoin), 8:08.40.

High jump: 1, Stein, Century, 6-03. 2, Poitra, Bismarck, 6-02. 3, Lillejord, Jamestown, 6-00. 3, Nelson, Minot, 6-00. 5, Sinner, Jamestown, J6-00. 6, Ratzlaff, Devils Lake, 5-10. 6, Schirado, Bismarck, 5-10. 8, Plutowski, GF Red River, 5-08.

Triple jump: 1, Lillejord, Jamestown, 43-03. 2, Nelson, Minot, 42-05.50. 3, Nelson, Valley City, 42-03.75. 4, Stein, Century, 41-10.50. 5, Patel, Dickinson, 41-08. 6, Johnson, Jamestown, 41-05. 7, Buchholz, Century, 40-08.75. 8, Dukes, GF Central, 40-08.50.

Shot put: 1, Qvale, Williston, 56-00.50. 2, Mammenga, West Fargo, 54-08. 3, Trappan, Wahpeton, 51-10. 4, Mielke, Jamestown, 51-09. 5, Meidinger, Century, 51-03. 6, Granfor, Bismarck, 50-09. 7, Wiest, Jamestown, 50-07. 8, Klein, Bismarck, J50-07.

Javelin: 1, Thorton, Bismarck, 182-09. 2, Aasen, Minot, 173-03. 3, Malm, GF Red River, 168-10. 4, Bittner, Devils Lake, 165-10. 5, Dvorak, Dickinson, 161-10. 6, Hickel, GF Red River, 161-08. 7, Malchose, Dickinson, 160-10. 8, Ericson, GF Red River, 159-06.


1. Bismarck 77. 2. West Fargo 28. 3. Minot 22. 4. G.F. Red River 21. 5. Dickinson 19. 6. (tie) Century and Fargo North 15. 8. (tie) Williston, Jamestown and G.F. Central 8. 11. Fargo South 7. 12. Mandan 4. 13. (tie) St. Mary’s and Devils Lake 1.

1600: 1, Mears, West Fargo, 5:07.08. 2, Wahlund, Minot, 5:09.15. 3, Wolf, Dickinson, 5:10.01. 4, Lambert, Bismarck, 5:17.45. 5, Lachowitzer, Fargo South, 5:17.83. 6, Haussler, Bismarck, 5:19.95. 7, Pintar, Bismarck, 5:20.13. 8, Fischer, Bismarck St., 5:23.12.

3,200 relay: 1, West Fargo (Hermanson, Grooters, Baltezore, Mears), 9:34.69. 2, Dickinson (Messer, Leiss, Hoffmann, Wolf), 9:36.95. 3, Bismarck (Schuh, Lambert, Beehler, Schuh), 9:48.73.

Pole vault: 1, Meyer, Bismarck, 10-09. 2, Novotny, GF Central, 10-06. 3, Zeitvogel, GF Red River, J10-06. 4, Horob, Williston, 9-09. 5, Govig, Century, 9-06. 6, Beeler, Minot, 9-00. 7, Miller, Jamestown, J9-00. 8, Ceglowski, Williston, J9-00.

Long jump: 1, Bennes, Bismarck, 18-00. 2, Reiner, Bismarck, 17-05.50. 3, Iverson, Jamestown, 17-05. 4, Larson, Fargo North, 16-10.25. 5, Yantzer, Bismarck, 16-08.50. 6, Zander, Mandan, 16-04. 7, Jeske, Century, 16-03.50. 8, Greening, Devils Lake, 15-09.

Shot Put: 1, Schulz, Bismarck, 38-06. 2, Weigel, Bismarck, 38-02. 3, Lopez, Fargo North, 37-04. 4, Hummel, West Fargo, 37-03.50. 5, Gordon, Century, 36-09. 6, Reeves, West Fargo, 36-07.25. 7, Ogden, Minot, 36-06.50. 8, Swenson, Bismarck, 35-11.50.

Javelin: 1, Sturlaugson, Bismarck, 126-00. 2, Storstad, GF Red River, 123-00. 3, Walsh, Minot, 119-05. 4, Herauf, Dickinson, 116-05. 5, Asche, GF Red River, 109-09. 6, Kraft, Minot, 108-07. 7, Steffen, GF Red River, 106-11. 8, Gustafson, Mandan, 103-06.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562.

Hotzler’s blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com