Horses carry Cowboys: Killdeer follows Dobitz, Beck to 2nd-place finish in Class B
BISMARCK — After accepting his final award as a member of his school’s 1,600-meter relay team, Killdeer senior Tucker Beck broke down in tears as he hugged teammate Hunter Lincoln.
They weren’t tears of sadness, but tears of joy.
“I’m just glad that I had the honor to run with all my teammates,” Beck said. “It was a real blessing.”
The Killdeer boys track and field team won three titles and placed runner-up as a team during the final day of the North Dakota Class B state track and field meet on Saturday at the MDU Resources Community Bowl.
Killdeer didn’t want to recreate the 2013 state meet, when the team entered the state meet with some of the best times but didn’t crack a top four finish in any relay. The Cowboys proved it by wasting no time winning their first state championship.
Killdeer won the 800 relay — the second track event of the day — in a time of 1 minute, 30.64 seconds. The Cowboys followed with a 400 relay championship (44.09 seconds) and junior Lewis Dobitz winning the open 400 (49.96).
“We just wanted to run our best and we were out there to have fun,” said Beck, who finished with state titles in the 400 and 800 relays and was runner-up in the open 200. “I think that’s what made the difference this year. That was a real big confidence booster when we got (the 800 relay title). It just took off from there.”
Dobitz ran the final leg of the 400 and 800 relays for the Cowboys. He beat Eric Bachmeier of Kindred in the open 400 by less than two-tenths of a second. Dobitz also finished third in the open 200 (22.71).
“I’m really glad for Tucker because he’s a senior and he’s graduating,” Dobitz said. “This was really a gift for him that he could go out with a bang.”
Beck couldn’t have asked for a better ending to his high school career. As a team, the Cowboys scored 55 points, which was 26 points off of Class B champion Kindred. New Town rounded out the top three teams with 52 points.
The Cowboys also had junior Trenton Rohr take seventh in the open 200 (23.23). He was also on the state champion 400 and 800 relay teams. Killdeer’s 1,600 relay team of Calum Blankenship, Beck, Dobitz and Lincoln placed fourth. Junior Caleb Musick ran the second leg of the championship 400 relay team, while Lincoln was the third leg on the 800 relay.“I’m really happy about how we did in groups and individuals,” Beck said. “We all did really good.”
Kram surprises at state
Entering the state meet, Dickinson Trinity freshman Dawson Kram had the sixth-best 100 dash time in Class B.
He left the community bowl in the No. 1 spot.
Kram had to do a double take after he crossed the finish line.
“I didn’t really believe that I beat everybody by that much,” said Kram, who finished with a time of 11.03 seconds which was nearly one-tenth of a second faster than the runner-up. “I figured if I ever won a state championship, it would have come down to either a hundredth or thousandth of a second. It’s pretty amazing.”
Kram also helped the Titans’ 800 relay team finish runner-up and the 400 relay place fourth.
Though there were some nerves, Kram gained confidence after the 800 relay.
“This is my first time being in state track,” he said. “I felt really good going into (the 100) after the 800 relay.”
Honeyman’s runner-up finish
For the second straight year, Mott-Regent senior Abby Honeyman entered the 100 hurdles finals with the fastest preliminary time. Yet again, she couldn’t find the right formula for a championship run.
“Always the bridesmaid and never the bride,” Honeyman said with a smile. “It’s been a good run. I’m kind of sad that it is over.”
Honeyman finished second to Hazen junior Dakota Wood with a time of 15.35 seconds. Wood defended her title with a championship run of 14.94 seconds.
Though Honeyman placed runner-up and seventh in the 300 hurdles (47.25), she doesn’t have any qualms about her final state meet.
“Dakota is a great athlete and I wouldn’t have wanted to be runner-up with anyone else,” said Honeyman, who will compete for the Dickinson State women’s track and field team next year. “She definitely pushes you to be your best.
“Knowing that I’ll be back on the track next year is easier to take in. It will be alright. It will be different not putting on the Wildfire uniform.”
Kruger places 4 times at state
After the 1,600 relay, Trinity junior Jace Kruger sat on the bowl infield staring at the track.
The Titans entered the state meet with the best 1,600 relay time (3:30.54).
However, Trinity’s quartet of Joe Mayer, Cole Beck, Lance Reiter and Kruger couldn’t recreate the same time during the state meet. The Titans placed runner-up to Kindred.
“(Kindred) kind of snuck up on us,” Kruger said. “They got a great team and they are always running good times.”
Kruger ended the state meet with four placements. He was runner-up in the 800 and 1,600 relays, fourth in the pole vault and seventh in the open 400. Kruger finished the pole vault with a height of 12 feet, 9 inches. Bottineau senior Harrison Aide won the pole vault for the fourth straight year with a height of 14 feet.
Kruger hopes the youthful Titans team continues to grow for next season.
“We have a young team — we only had two seniors,” Kruger said. “Everyone is returning for next year, so hopefully we can do some damage next year.”
Weinreis prepares better for warm weather
Beach junior Hunter Weinreis admitted he wasn’t quite prepared for the sunny temperatures during the 1,600 meters on Friday.
He made the necessary changes during the 3,200 run on Saturday.
“I felt like I ran to more of my capabilities and I was more comfortable for a majority of the race,” he said. “I felt better about today than yesterday.”
Weinreis placed fourth in the event with a time of 10:06.17. He said there are a couple areas he needs to work on during the summer, but he was glad to stay with the lead pack for the majority of a race.
“I’m going to focus more on my core and my finish,” he said. “I kept up with the main group of six out of the eight laps and a bit of the seventh. I just didn’t have enough to finish it.”
On the boys side, Mott-Regent freshman Brady Wegh and Bowman County senior Tanner Fischer placed fifth and sixth, respectively, in the 110 hurdles.
Fischer also placed eighth in the 300 hurdles, while Trinity junior Coltyn Nelson took seventh. Richardton-Taylor’s Cory Rebel placed sixth in the long jump (21-5½).
For the girls, Trinity senior Katelyn Grinsteinner and Hettinger-Scranton freshman Taylor Hestekin finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 800 run. Richardton-Taylor junior Emily Tyrrell took sixth in the 3,200 run (11:49.81).
The Bowman County 400 relay team of Natalie Kempenich, Justyce Duffield, Brittany Hansey and Shelbi McGee placed runner-up. The Bulldogs 800 relay team of Ashlee Edwards, Duffield, Hansey and Shelbi McGee took third. Trinity’s quartet of Maddie Hanson, Selina Kudrna, Kennedy Keator and Grinsteinner finished fourth in the 800 relay, while Hettinger-Scranton’s Molly Holt, Kaitlin Reitz, Cassie Holt and Kaycee Schwind were seventh.
The Titans also had the 1,600 relay team of Alanna Sickler, Hanson, Keator and Grinsteinner close out the state meet in eighth place. Killdeer junior Kallisha Keller finished in a three-way tie for seventh place (8-6).