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Jeff Kolpack, Published February 23 2013

Boschee, Bison eye Summit indoor title

FARGO – Jerry Boschee was a North Dakota State track and field standout in the late 1980s who is now a head high school coach in Montana. When he came back to NDSU recently, there was only one thing that was the same.

Don Larson.

The Bison head men’s coach is in his 34th year at the school.

“Lars hasn’t changed,” Boschee said. “I am impressed how the university has grown both academically, facility-wise and athletically. The tradition hasn’t changed, either, and that’s the main thing.”

The tradition in both the men’s and women’s programs hasn’t changed because the Bison keep recruiting high-level Summit League talent. The latest exhibit is Boschee’s daughter, freshman Lexy Boschee.

Her final two college choices were the University of Minnesota and North Dakota State, two track and field schools that she made campus visits on consecutive weekends. The first was NDSU.

The following weekend, the Montana state champion in the high jump, long jump and triple jump at Glacier High School in Kalispell was in Minneapolis when the Gophers were hosting a meet. The Bison happened to be there.

“I was like, this is cool, I know them but it wasn’t the same back because I was on the opposite school,” she said.

That opposite side feeling didn’t last. Boschee eventually chose NDSU where she’s picked up where her mom and dad left off. Jerry and Michele (Riepe) Boschee were standout Bison runners from 1986-90. Jerry’s 800-meter relay team still holds the second-best outdoor time in school history with a 1:29.10 in 1990. That record was broken in 2004.

NDSU is in Vermillion, S.D., today to defend its Summit League Indoor Track and Field title for the fifth time having won it every year since coming into the league in 2008. The Bison keep reloading with athletes like Boschee.

She’s currently second in the Summit rankings having cleared 5-8 in the high jump on three different occasions. She already has the seventh-best leap in school history.

But just because her parents and aunt and uncle are graduates, and just because she has grandparents in the area, it didn’t make for a slam dunk recruiting job by head coach Ryun Godfrey. Lexy said her parents stayed entirely out of the process.

“It was pretty much her baby,” Jerry said.

Lexy visited NDSU in the summer of her junior year.

“Then when Michele and her went back to NDSU, she hadn’t even gotten on the plane yet when she said, ‘Dad, I’m done. This is where I want to go.’ We were tickled it was her choice.”

Part of the reason, Jerry said, was the size of the schools and communities.

“With the University of Minnesota, Lexy loved everything about their program,” he said. “But the size of the program, the size of the campus and Minneapolis, it was just a detriment. It scared the heck out of her.”

NDSU had another advantage, too. Jerry Boschee said a visit to Michigan State was “very informal, never formally met the head coach. Just cold.”

That wasn’t the case in Fargo, where Lexy got to talk with NDSU President Dean Bresciani for about a half hour.

“She got to spend a half hour with the president of the university,” Jerry said. “It was just that feeling. They talked about the academics and plus the kids were great. The whole package sold her.”

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia