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Seeking a state title: Dickinson senior Dukart looks to end season with 200-meter championship

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson High senior Jace Dukart, left, races against Bismarck Century’s Drew Wiseman during the 2013 Class A state track and field meet on May 25 at the Bismarck Community Bowl.

Five-tenths of a second is what separated Jace Dukart from the Class A state title in the 200-meter race last spring.

The only competitor in Dukart’s way during the 2013 season was former Bismarck Century standout Drew Wiseman.

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Luckily for Dukart, he won’t have to race against Wiseman this season. The former Patriots standout is in his freshman season with the University of Nebraska track and field team.

“I want to hopefully win the state championship in the 200 and I want to do well in my other two events — 100 and 400,” Dukart said with a smile. “I was pretty close to breaking the school record too, so I’m hoping to do that this year too.”

Though Wiseman is gone, Dukart isn’t taking anything for granted. He knows it’s going to take hard work to win a state title.

“Every time I’m on the track working out, I think to myself, ‘Do I want that state championship or do I want to slack off?’” said Dukart, who also took seventh in the 100 meters. “It motivates me more and more.”

The Midgets have a handful of athletes who can score points at the state meet. However, one area the team is lacking to begin the season is depth.

Dickinson co-head coach Jay Schobinger said depth should be defined as the year progresses. The Midgets have six seniors, 19 juniors, 25 sophomores and one freshman on their varsity roster.

Expectations for the team is a top-five finish in the West Region and to do the best it can at the state meet.

Schobinger said, on a good day, the Midgets could be a top-three team in the West.

“A realistic goal for us is top four in the region,” Schobinger said. “A good year, we could be top three. I don’t see anybody touching Bismarck High or Bismarck Century. Minot has a good group back.”

One senior returning for the Midgets with multiple years of state tournament experience is Levi Jordheim. The senior, who is signed to play football at North Dakota State in the fall, qualified in the high, long and triple jumps last year.

His goal is to return to the state meet and place in each event. He didn’t place in any of three events last year.

“I want to get all three jumps qualified and maybe one or two running events,” he said.

The Midgets also have junior distance runner Jackson Binstock. He is joined by fellow distance runners Collin Schock and Wyatt Kainz. The two sophomores competed with the Dickinson High cross country team during the fall. Kainz placed sixth in the high jump at 5 feet, 10 inches, and Schock qualified in the 800 meters.

The Midgets will find out quickly where they stands when they begin the outdoor season with the Carlson Booster Meet at 9:30 a.m. today at the Biesiot Activities Center.

“We’ve got some quality back, just not a lot of depth,” Schobinger said. “One of tough ones is we only have six senior boys out. We are going to have to rely on young kids to fill in some relays. We have some kids who can score some points. We just have to have young kids step up, so we can develop some depth.”