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Published May 30 2010

ND state track: Whirlwind day has difficult ending for Wahpeton's Smith

BISMARCK – Ryan Smith wasn’t the first to cross the finish line in the Class A boys 200-meter dash finals on Saturday at the North Dakota state track and field meet, but then the Wahpeton senior was named the state champ.

And then he wasn’t.

In the span of roughly two hours, Smith went from second to first to off the awards stand completely following a snafu over a disqualification.

“I feel like I want to kick something pretty hard,” said Smith, who will play football at North Dakota State. “This is going to bug me for awhile, definitely.”

Bismarck St. Mary’s junior John Welk was the first to finish the 200, but got disqualified for running more than three consecutive steps out of his lane.

Smith was moved up to first, and was awarded the state champ plaque and took his spot on the awards stand.

Then things got muddled. St. Mary’s protested, and there was a mistake somewhere in the communication regarding the disqualification.

The ruling was that it was Smith that ran out of his lane and not Welk, so the Wahpeton senior got disqualified.

“I know for a fact that I didn’t do anything wrong,” Smith said. “They said it was Lane 4 (Welk’s lane), and somehow they got Lane 5.

“The hard thing was you don’t just give someone a first-place trophy and then take everything away.”

Minot’s Milbrath gives good preview

If the state wanted to get a glimpse of life after Laura Roesler, they got it in Minot’s Morgan Milbrath.

The freshman became the only person to beat Roesler at the state meet since 2005 when she won the 100 in 12.35 – edging the South star by just .03.

“It was one of those things where you do something really great, but don’t really realize it because so much is going on,” Milbrath said. “When it started to sink in, it was pretty cool.

“She’s one of the best, and to be able to get one better than her, just once, means a lot.”

Milbrath also gave Roesler a run in the 400. The South star won, shattering her own record of 55.10 in the event with a 53.25, but Milbrath was just .06 behind in second.

Milbrath was also second to Roesler in the 200.

“I ran that close with her, and now she’s done,” Milbrath said. “Part of it is, ‘Yeah, she’s gone.’ But it’s also sad because she’s such a good person and such a great runner.”

Fargo South quartet gets two titles

Sometimes, change isn’t good.

The quartet of Jordan Erpelding, Kyle Roesler, Legonne Oriental and Tutey Gaylah ran every 400 relay and 800 relay for Fargo South this year, and it paid off.

They won both events on Saturday, taking first in the 400 relay in 43.39, and the 800 relay in 1:29.16.

“We wanted to win them both, and to get them both is a big deal for us,” said Gaylah, the anchor on both relays. “It was the same team all year.”


Roesler was the senior athlete of the year. Bismarck Century’s Nick Walker was Class A girls coach of the year. … Bismarck won the Class A boys team title for the seventh year in a row, scoring 185 points – a comfy 86 points ahead of runner-up Bismarck Century. … The Demons also won the girls’ title with 141.5 points. Fargo South was second with 133 points and West Fargo was third with 88. … Bismarck’s Brandon Barnes was senior athlete of the year, and Bismarck’s Darrell Anderson and Dave Zittleman were coaches of the year.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kerry Collins at (701) 241-5548