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Tom Mix, Published May 06 2013

Davies' Bye takes advantage of opportunity at Rotary Invite

FARGO – Fargo Davies freshman Katie Bye saw an opportunity to break from the pack on Monday, and she took it.

The result was a first-place finish in the girls 1,600 meters during the 49th Fargo Rotary Invitational track and field meet at Fargo South High School.

Bye broke away during the final 400 meters and posted a time of 5 minutes, 15 seconds.

“We got out to a good pace and we all just settled in for a while,” said Bye, who started running on the Eagles’ varsity as a seventh-grader. “That last lap I just gave it all I had.”

Bye has qualified in four individual events (400, 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters) for the Class A state meet, set for May 24-25 in Bismarck. Athletes are allowed to compete in up to four individual events at the state meet.

“Katie is such a competitor,” said Davies girls coach Missy Wilson. “If you are running with her side by side, she is tough to beat.”

On Monday that was the case. Bye also won the 800 meters with a time of 2:23.98.

In the 1,600 victory, Bye was able to hold off an old cross country rival in Fargo South senior Madeline Strandemo, who was coming off an impressive weekend at the Howard Wood Relays in Sioux Falls, S.D., where she placed second in the 800 meters.

“She is a great runner and I admire her,” Bye said of Strandemo.

Bye was three seconds off from her personal-best time in the 1,600 as a seventh-grader, but she said the victory is a big confidence booster heading into regionals and state.

“Now I just build off this,” Bye said. “Hopefully this race can foreshadow some good things for me in the mile.”

Scheel lunges to victory

in boys 3,200 meters

When defeat seemed imminent, Fargo Davies junior Branden Scheel put his head down and pushed toward the finish line in hopes of snatching a thrilling win.

The final push proved beneficial with Scheel winning the 3,200 meters in a time of 9:54.69 edging West Fargo senior Austin Albrecht, who finished in 9:54.70.

In the moments that followed the race even Scheel wasn’t sure if he had won.

“I gave it everything I had and put the lean-in at the end,” said Scheel, who finished fourth in the 3,200 meters at state a year ago. “That’s the best 2-mile finish I think I have ever seen. That was a fun race. I love those races.”

Scheel led most of the race, but in the final lap Albrecht sped to the front and created a sizable lead.

It wasn’t enough to hold off Scheel, who turned on the burners in the final 100 meters.

“My team and I have trained hard on our finishes,” Scheel said. “We work out every little ounce we have.”

West Fargo’s Levin posts three wins

The long delay to the start of the outdoor season hasn’t slowed West Fargo junior Amanda Levin down.

The Packers track and field standout has qualified for state in five events. The five events include the 100, 200 and 400 meters as well as the 800- and 1,600-meter relays.

On Monday, Levin raced to convincing wins in the 100, 200 and 400 meters.

“It was a nice day and you have to use it to your advantage,” Levin said. “You got to push yourself because the Eastern Dakota Conference and state meets are coming up quick. There hasn’t been a lot of time to prepare this spring, but you got to make the most of it.”

Levin finished the 100 in 12.65 seconds, the 200 in 25.58 and the 400 in 57.94.

Levin finished second to Minot standout Morgan Milbrath in all three events at the state meet last season. Minot was at the Rotary meet, but Milbrath did not compete because of a hamstring injury.

West Fargo girls coach Darrin McKinnon thinks the competition with Milbrath will bring the best out of Levin later this month.

“Amanda is very consistent,” McKinnon said. “She goes out and competes at every meet and is just so focused. That is who she is and this time of the year she just lives and breathes track and field.”

Lisbon’s Mangin races to first in boys 200

Lisbon senior sprinter Nathan Mangin found himself surrounded by Class A competition on Monday, but that did not stop him from turning in a first-place finish in the 200 meters.

Mangin finished with a time of 23.20. Fargo Davies junior Marcus Welk finished second in 23.39.

“It’s nice to come away with the win in the 200,” Mangin said. “It’s also great to go up against these runners at this meet.”

Mangin entered Monday already qualified for the Class B state meet in the 100, 200 and the 400-meter relay.

“He had a great day,” Lisbon boys coach Mark Moss said. “He ran state-qualifying times in the 400-meter relay and the 100. Then he finished off with a win in the 200 and at this meet that is a nice day.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562