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Associated Press, Published June 22 2010

NDAPSSA Special Achievement: Roesler wins writers award

Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux excelled on the international athletic stage this past year. For Laura Roesler and the Bismarck boys high school athletic program, it was domination on a statewide level.

They are all recipients of the Special Achievement award as selected by the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. The Special Achievement award is considered the most prestigious of the awards selected annually by the association. Individuals can win the award only once.

The Lamoureux twins of Grand Forks were key players on the United States women’s hockey team that won a silver medal at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver in February.

Roesler graduated from Fargo South this spring as the all-time leader in individual state titles won at the state track meet.

Bismarck had a dream season, as the school won five boys state sports championships in football, cross country, basketball, track and the individual portion of the state wrestling tournament.

Laura Roesler

When it comes to winnning state championships, nobody has done it better than Roesler, who graduated from Fargo South this spring.

Roesler won three events at the North Dakota Class A high school track meet this spring. That gives her 20 – all in individual events – during her six-year varsity career. That’s the most ever won by a North Dakota athlete, eclipsing the mark set by former Carrington High School and current North Dakota State University standout Whitney Carlson.

“I would have never thought,” Roesler said of her 20 individual titles. “It’s been a really long journey, but it’s been a lot of fun.”

Roesler wrapped up her career by winning the 200, 400 and 800 at the state meet. She broke the state meet record in the 400 with a time of 53.25 seconds.

It marked the fifth straight season Roesler had won the 200 and 800, and the sixth straight title in the 400. Roesler also won four straight 100 championships, a streak that was snapped when she finished second to Minot freshman Morgan Milbrath. In the 100 prelims, Milbrath had become the first North Dakota opponent to beat Roesler in any open event since Roesler was in seventh grade.

“We’ve had some very good Division I track athletes from Fargo,” said Ed Lockwood, an athletic administrator in the Fargo public school system for the past 20 years. “But we’ve seen very, very few athletes like Laura. It’s hard to comprehend one person winning that many state championships. It’s pretty unbelievable.

“She has great natural talent. And she has a tremendous work ethic to develop that talent.”

Roesler, who is heading to compete at NCAA Division I track power Oregon, also made her mark on the international scene. At the Pan Am Junior Athletic championships last summer, she finished sixth in the 800-meter finals.

The Lamoureux twins

The Lamouruex twins became the first University of North Dakota female athletes to become medalists at the Olympics.

They played five games on national television, did an interview Tom Brokaw, received a call from a U.S. senator and were in every major newspaper in the country. But while celebrating their silver medal after returning from the Olympics, the twins made no bones about their competitiveness and talked about the mixed feelings they had after losing the championship to Canada 2-0.

“You work so hard for years, and for the last year we’ve been training for one game,” Jocelyne said. “Obviously, it didn’t end the way we wanted. Once you kind of step away from the rink and put it all in perspective, it’s pretty cool, though. It’s awesome having people come up and say, ‘Congrats on your silver.’”

“It was the top moment (of my career),” Jocelyne said before pausing and adding: “But I’d trade it for a gold medal.”

Monique finished with four goals, six assists and 10 points – one away from leading the team. She had a hat trick in Team USA’s semifinal win against Sweden. It was the only hat trick of the medal round.

Jocelyne finished with two goals, four assists, six points and a team-best plus-10 rating. Her between-the-legs goal in the opener against China gained international attention.

The twins played hockey at the University of Minnesota in the 2008-09 season. After sitting out the 2009-10 season to play in the Olympics, they’ll play at UND next season.

“We have a silver medal from the Olympics,” Jocelyne said. “Not a lot of people can say that. But we’ll use it as motivation for 2014.”

The Twins also were named winners of the NDAPSSA’s Dakota award. The award is presented to North Dakota athletes who excel beyond the state’s borders.

Bismarck boys sports

The Bismarck High school boys athletic teams were chosen for the Special Achievement award for winning state titles in five sports – football, basketball, cross country track and wrestling – in one school year.

Within that group, the trio of Esley Thorton, Jake Miller and Dexter Werner became the first big-school athletes to win championships in football, basketball and track in the same school year since 1929-30.

Bismarck’s track team has won seven straight titles, the cross country team five consecutive championship and the football team two in a row. The wrestling team won its third straight title in the individual state tournament.

“We’ve had incredible run of kids,” Bismarck basketball coach Steve Miller said. “They work hard, they’re very coachable and they have an incredible work ethic.”

Mark Gibson, who coached the football team to an undefeated season, praised Bismarck’s seniors for their contributions.

“We’re very fortunate, because a class like this doesn’t come around very often,” Gibson said. “They’ve taken full advantage of their opportunities.”

Darrell Anderson, the co-head coach of the track and cross country teams, said the Demons benefitted from having so many multi-sport athletes.

“They’re very competitive kids by nature, and they enjoy the competition, the challenge of each sport,” Anderson said. “I think they also enjoy their teammates and the camaraderie.”

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