Midgets’ Zastoupil excels in sprints, middle-distance racesVersatility is the keyword when talking about Dickinson High senior Dallas Zastoupil.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Versatility is the keyword when talking about Dickinson High senior Dallas Zastoupil.
The Dickinson High senior has helped the 400- and 3,200-meter relay teams qualify for the Class A state meet, making him just as capable in sprint events as he is in middle distance races.
“Dallas is very versatile,” Dickinson co-head coach Jay Schobinger said. “Coach (Shawn) Leiss and I knew he was going to be 4-by-800 guy. He’s somebody that we can use in the 100 all the way up to the 800. It’s kind of nice that we can do that.”
Zastoupil’s take on running everything from 100 to 800 meters is getting acquainted to each race.
“When I was younger, I was always a sprinter,” Zastoupil said. “As I got older and when I got to high school, I joined cross country instead of football. I kind of did distance. As the years have gone by, I’ve slowly gone on into these other races.”
Senior distance runner Joesph Sickler said having Zastoupil on the team is a big lift across the board.
“It’s a great advantage that he brings so much to the team in sprints and distance,” Sickler said.
Though Zastoupil has assisted the Midgets in two relay qualifications, his heart is still set on qualifying in individual races. Despite the state meet times not coming yet, he said that can’t leave doubt in his mind.
“You just have to keep trying every week,” he said. “You just have to look forward to the next race and once you get it out of the way you will be fine.”
Zastoupil has a chance today when the Midgets host the Coca-Cola Invitational, which begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Badlands Activities Center.
Sickler will also be looking to qualify in multiple open events and said the team is going to put relay events in the backseat for now.
Achieving state meet qualification in individual events would make the experience even sweeter.
“It really makes you want it more, because you got so close, especially on the home turf with everyone watching,” Sickler said.
Not only are Zastoupil and Sickler looking for state times, but Michael Porter, Vlad Kutka and Austin Mack are looking for overcome slight disappointments felt at the last couple meets.
They’ve all missed individual qualifying times by mere seconds.
“It’s been all right,” Schobinger said. “We’ve been so close in so many individual qualifiers. They are all right there.”
The strongest attribute for the boys team is depth in each event. Zastoupil and Sickler each said it has been a contributing factor.
“This year there have been a lot of kids that have definitely stepped up,” Zastoupil said. “The underclassmen have really improved and the seniors have done really well.”
On the girls side, the season has been a work in progress. But senior Madi Deibert believes the team will be there at the end of the season.
“I feel like we’ve really been progressing,” she said. “I feel like we’ve been getting better each meet and I think that’s good. I feel there will be a lot more qualifiers for the girls at the end (of the season).”
Heading into the meet this weekend, Deibert hopes the weather is cooperating to the point where it makes qualifying easier.
“We’ve been having a few good practices and we’re hoping that the weather is nice, so we can get a lot more qualifiers,” she said.
Though the Midgets might only have seven seniors on the team, Deibert said passing on strong qualities to the younger athletes is a must.
“It’s definitely important, so they have something to go off of next year,” Deibert said. “Just to set a good example, I feel like that’s very important.”