Tom Mix, Published May 25 2012
West Fargo's Heinen prevails at ND Class A state track
The junior Packers jumper won a state championship in the boys long jump with a leap of 23 feet, ¼ inch at the North Dakota Class A track and field meet on Friday at the Bismarck Community Bowl.
A week ago, Heinen finished second in the event at the East Region meet and didn’t qualify for the long jump finals a year ago at state.
“I started out kind of flat,” said Heinen, who participated in the 400-meter relay preliminaries just minutes prior to the long jump. “My first couple jumps were 21s, and I think as I kept going, I just kept getting better and better.”
Heinen had the best preliminaries jump at 22-06 ¼ heading into the finals.
“Jaime came into this meet really focused,” West Fargo track and field coach Darin McKinnon said. “We were talking all week that he had a great opportunity to win the long jump, and he just took advantage of it.”
Defending champion Alex Neumiller, a senior from Bismarck, finished second at 22-03.
“Alex has been always been one of my role models ever since freshman year,” Heinen said. “He always has been one of the best jumpers in the state. It is crazy I beat him.”
North’s Mjelstad wins boys pole vault
For the second week in a row Fargo North senior Grant Mjelstad fell short of setting a school record. However, on Friday he had a state championship to fall back on after missing the goal he made for himself in the preseason.
Mjelstad vaulted 14-0 on his first attempt and edged Grand Forks Central’s Alex Torrey for the title based on number of misses at that height.
“It’s a great feeling,” Mjelstad said. “My approach was dead-on and I was kind of in a zone. I knew that if I vaulted well today I was going to bring home a state championship, and that is what I did.”
Mjelstad cleared 13-0 and 13-6 vaults on his first attempts as well. North’s record is 14-9, and Mjelstad had three attempts at 14-9 ¼, but couldn’t convert.
“We have been working hard all year and coming in he just had to stay confident and stay loose,” North vaulting coach Nick Magee said. “We knew if he could make the heights without any misses, it would be huge for Grant’s confidence.”
West Fargo girls 3,200 relay saves best for last
The third time was the charm for the West Fargo girls 3,200-meter relay on Friday.
The quartet of Alissa Mears, Christine Baltezore, and Keana Karnopp and Brooke Grooters raced to a first-place time of 9 minutes, 35.42 seconds.
“Words can’t even describe how happy I was,” Mears said. “I think I was smiling the whole last 100 (meters). It is exciting, especially being a senior and having won the event previously as a freshman.”
A year ago the Packers were ranked first entering state, but finished fifth and finished third in 2010. The team bested its 9:44.51 mark a week ago that was an East Region meet record.
“It’s something we have been waiting on for a while,” Baltezore said of the championship. “We all just ran our fastest today, and it ended up working out.”
Jamestown’s Allmer repeats girls 1600 meters
Jamestown junior distance runner Alison Allmer used a late burst to post a repeat championship in the girls 1,600 meters with a time of 5:05.83.
Fargo Shanley eighth-grader Sarah Jacobson led the race most of the way until Allmer kicked on the jets in the final lap.
“I think it is kind of a relief,” Allmer said of the repeat. “I don’t know if you are supposed to come back and win again, but it kind of felt like the pressure was going to be on.”
Allmer won the event a year ago with a time of 5:13.00. Fargo Davies senior Tarin Lachowitzer finished second with a time of 5:09.26. Jacobson finished third at 5:09.46.
Fargo Davies sophomore Alexis Bolstad finished second in the girls shot put with a throw of 40-6 … Grand Forks Red River junior John Hoplin won the boys javelin with a toss of 191-10 … Shanley junior Paris Ekman took fourth in the girls pole vault at 10-6 … South sophomore Emma Schalow took fourth in the girls long jump with a mark of 17-6.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Mix at (701) 451-5651
Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send a letter to the editor.