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Tom Mix, Published May 26 2012

Central Cass girls win relay in photo finish

BISMARCK – The Central Cass 400-meter relay won a state championship by a nose on Saturday. Literally.

The Squirrels relay team of Paige Slemmons, Gabby Grommesh, Trina Steen and Megan Goeser finished the event in a time of 51.15 seconds at the Community Bowl in Bismarck.

The only problem was so did Carrington’s relay of Jacey Engelhorn, Becca Scherr, Josey Page, and Hannah Lipetzky.

The winner was determined by pictures taken at the finish line and automatic timing. It was ruled – after about 15 minutes of review – that Central Cass was the victor after zoomed-in, slow-motion video revealed Slemmons’ nose crossed the line before Lipetzky.

“It was honestly my nose that crossed first,” Slemmons said minutes after finding out the outcome. “My team all grabbed each other and jumped up and down. There were some tears involved.”

Lipetzky appeared to have the race won, but Slemmons charged late to force the review.

“I was freaking out because I had a bad hand off,” Slemmons said. “I took off too early, so I was going to be really disappointed if we didn’t get it. It feels awesome to make up that much ground.”

The result stunned the crowd and multiple video relays were shown on the video board.

The win is the first state track and field championship for Slemmons, who is running track and field at the University of North Dakota next year.

“It’s a great way to end my high school season,” Slemmons said. “I can’t believe we actually did it.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 451-5651