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Press Photo by Royal Mott-Regent junior Abby Honeyman, right, receives handoff from teammate McKayla Roll during the 800 relay during the Class B girls state track and field meet at the Bismarck Community Bowl.

Honeyman is hungry for a state title

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Mott-Regent junior Abby Honeyman said coming up short of a 100-meter hurdles title was a tough pill to swallow.

Yet, Honeyman said finishing as runner-up was plenty of motivation to work to get to the top of the podium.

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The Mott-Regent junior is accompanied by a host of returning state placers that are positively optimistic about the season.

"We have a good group of athletes and a great coaching staff to go along with that," Honeyman said.

Honeyman placed in all four events she ran at last year's state meet as a sophomore. She placed runner-up in the 100 hurdles, third in the 800 relay, fourth in the triple jump and seventh in the 300 hurdles. She said it was a good experience, but she knows there's the ability to progress.

"That 100-hurdle championship is one that I want really bad," Honeyman said. "That's my main goal and I'd like to work on my time in the 300 hurdles and my triple jump could use some work.

"I know there's room for improvement and I know the girls around the state are just as competitive as I am, so it will make me work a lot harder."

One of the Wildfire's top runners -- senior Marah Friez -- has been battling an ankle injury since the basketball season. Mott-Regent head coach Ron Benson said she is working to get back to full strength.

The Wildfire also has senior McKayla Roll, junior Alyssa Olin and sophomores Allison Gion and Shantel Herner all returning with state meet experience. Benson is anxious to see what the seven freshmen, nine eighth-graders and two seventh-graders are able to bring to the table.

"The main thing right now is to get healthy and stay healthy," Benson said. "Every year we seem to be optimistic about the season and especially this season with Marah and McKayla both being seniors. We are pretty excited about the season."

Bowman County's rock last year was Erika Olson. She helped the Bulldogs place at state meet, but head coach Jon Jahner said her biggest asset was her leadership ability.

"At the end of the year, we were all really sad to see her go," he said. "They really realized it was really the leadership that Erika provided that was so valuable."

With Olson gone, Bowman County will look to two seniors -- Haley Sabe and Lisa Wegner -- for leadership.

Nonetheless, the Bulldogs' underclassmen have state meet experience. Juniors Macy Smyle, Shelbi McGee, Brittany Hansey and sophomores Justyce Duffield and Ashlee Edwards have competed against the top athletes in the state.

"Our girls have been doing a nice job," Jahner said. "We aren't as deep, especially for the relays. We are going to patch some things together, but we are going to be competitive."

Killdeer has a good mix of seniors and underclassmen. The Cowboys have three seniors -- Hannah Balderas, Elexis Clark and Brooke Fettig -- to go along with a host of freshmen, four sophomores and one junior.

Honeyman said there's plenty of solid competition in the Southwest Region and that's a huge benefit to gear up for the state meet.

"Our region is very good and it makes me work harder," Honeyman said. "It's good to have those competitors throughout the season, because I'll be competing with some of them at state."

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