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Tom Mix, Published March 31 2012

Reaching new heights: West Fargo high jumpers Bishoff, Heinen post personal bests

FARGO – West Fargo teammates Jordan Bishoff and Jaime Heinen raised the bar on Saturday.

The junior high jumpers each posted personal-best jumps and finished first and second, respectively, at the Lyle Hokanson Memorial track and field meet at the Ellig Sports Complex.

The meet was moved outdoors earlier in the week, with 20 North Dakota Class B and seven Class A teams competing under ideal weather conditions. The event was originally scheduled to be the state indoor meet at the Bison Sports Arena.

The move outdoors allowed athletes the opportunity to qualify for the state meet set for May 25 and 26 in Bismarck.

Bishoff and Heinen took full advantage, each recording state-qualifying jumps. Bishoff’s best jump was 6 feet, 6 inches.

“It feels really great,” said Bishoff, who finished fourth in the high jump at state last year. “At the beginning of the year I was joking about getting 6-6 and 6-8, but now it’s a reality. I just got to keep going and keep working hard in practice.”

Once the field was narrowed down to Bishoff and Heinen, the pair got tangled in an entertaining jump off. Both hit clean jumps on their first attempts, and all the while aimed for new heights.

“I’ve been jumping with Jaime since seventh grade all the way to now,” Bishoff said. “He’s always up there with me. We always have competitions in practice. … I want him to do well and I want to do well.”

“It was really exciting,” Heinen said. “He kept making it on his first try, so it was challenging me to get it on my first try to stick with him.”

Finally, Heinen, who finished sixth in the high jump at state a year ago, failed to match Bishoff’s

6-foot-6 jump, finishing with a personal-best 6-foot-4.

Bishoff had three attempts to clear 6-foot-8, but was unable to get enough hold in the air to avoid knocking the bar.

Kindred’s 3,200-meter relay team turned some heads, rallying to edge Grand Forks Red River and West Fargo with a first-place time of 8 minutes, 47.06 seconds.

The Vikings’ relay has both youth and experience, comprised of sophomores Jacob Lingen and William Moffett, junior Brandon Quibell and the senior anchor runner Race Heitkamp.

“The last leg for me is always a nail-biter,” Heitkamp said. “I didn’t think we were going to be this close and win, so when I saw West Fargo in reach I went after them.”

Kindred is still 10 seconds shy of the state-qualifying time, but shaved 21 seconds off the relay’s time at the Maple River Conference Indoor Invite last Tuesday at Concordia.

“We’ve just been practicing hard all year and we haven’t given up,” Quibell said. “We just kept running the race and didn’t let the other teams dictate it.”

Last year, Kindred’s 3,200 relay was ranked No. 4 in Class B, but finished third at regions and missed state.

Quibell said missing state a year ago has fueled the relay to strive for a trip to Bismarck in May.

“We have two 10th-graders and both (Jacob and William) have been really stepping it up lately, and that helps immensely,” Quibell said. “They don’t run scared and didn’t get intimidated.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562