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Chris Murphy, Published June 05 2013

NDSU's Orgon, Brost ready for D-I outdoor track meet

FARGO – It was a relatively serene Wednesday morning in Eugene, Ore., which for North Dakota State track and field athletes Casey Orgon and Leslie Brost was the proverbial quiet before the storm.

They are NDSU’s representatives at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships and in the case of Orgon, the first male athlete to carry the Bison flag in the Division I era.

It’s fitting, really, considering the school was an unknown on the college elite circuit until making the Division I move. A walk-on from Bemidji, Minn., Orgon literally came from nowhere in the hammer throw to become one of the best in the country.

He has the 11th-best throw heading into the meet at 216 feet, 6 inches, which he did two weeks ago at the NCAA West Preliminary in Austin, Texas. If the throws from just the preliminary rounds were taken into account, he has the seventh-best toss.

While Orgon is making his first appearance, Brost has practically competed more at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon than she has at her own Ellig Sports Complex. Her most recent appearances at Hayward was the U.S. Track and Field Championships in 2012 and the Olympic Trials and NCAA West Preliminary in 2011.

“I feel like I’ve competed here as much as anywhere,” she said. “It looks the same and it’s getting to be familiar. Hopefully it will feel more familiar and I’ll be able to feel comfortable right away.”

The Bison previously had two male athletes qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships with hurdler Matt Bishoff in 2009 and multi-athlete Andy Lillejord in the heptathlon this year. Lillejord finished seventh to become an All-American.

The top hammer throw seed is Nick Miller of Oklahoma State with a throw of 234-11. Tomas Kruzliak of Virginia Tech is not far behind at 232-5.

Brost is also within reach of women’s All-America honors with the 10th-best vault clearing 14-0 at the NDSU Tune-Up meet on May 3. Her personal outdoor best is 14-1¼ at the 2010 Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif.

Three women have cleared 14-7 heading into the meet including Bethany Buell of the University of South Dakota, although Brost topped Buell in the Summit League Championships this year for her fourth straight league title, just the third athlete in Summit history to win four titles in any event.

The winning vault in each of the last three NCAA Outdoor meets was 14-7¼, and the height in three of the last four years required for a top-eight finish and All-American status was 13-9¼, which appears well within reach for Brost. Even a 14-7, she said, is not out of the question.

“I have to have a good day and apply some of the stuff that I’ve been getting figured out in practice,” she said. “If I do that, it’s a possibility.”

Like Orgon, this weekend will not be the last in track and field for Brost, who said she has yet to reach her potential and wants to keep competing until she does. She’s healthy and she hasn’t been injured much in the past.

Both hope to head into the summer with some Division I hardware.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia