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Getting in the groove: Blackwell surpasses expectations after qualifying for state in 3 events

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson High junior Carter Blackwell, left, finishes the 300-meter hurdles during the Carlson Booster on April 10 at Biesiot Activities Center. Blackwell has reached state-qualifying times and distance in 110 and 300 hurdles and long jump.

Before the season started, Dickinson junior Carter Blackwell was hoping to meet one state-qualifying mark.

He has three — the 110- and 300-meter hurdles and long jump.

Needless to say, Blackwell’s first season with the Dickinson High track and field team has been successful.

“This is season has been great,” said Blackwell, who moved to Dickinson from Cypress, Texas. “The weather has been good. It’s never been too cold and the wind has never been a huge factor.”

Though Blackwell has achieved his initial expectations and then some, he doesn’t want to end there.

The continued hope for Blackwell is grab as many state-qualifying times or distances as he can.

“I figured I could get at least one, but never three,” he said with a smile. “If I can get four, that’s my goal is just get another one.”

Despite Blackwell being surprised on the number of state-qualifying marks, Dickinson co-head coach Jay Schobinger had an idea of what the junior could accomplish.

“Carter is a multi-talented kid,” Schobinger said. “It was kind of early on we put him in some different events to see what he could do. He can do a lot of things. He’s that kid who can do some jumping, he can hurdle and run anything from the 100 to the mile if we wanted to.

“I watched him play football, so I knew he was athletic and he had some decent speed. I think he’s surprised himself, but we knew he was a talented kid.”

The event Blackwell has been most proud to qualify in is the 110 hurdles. His top time of 15.91 seconds ranks as the ninth-fastest time in Class A.

“After I qualified in the 300, I knew I had to qualify in the 110,” Blackwell said. “I kept practice and kept telling myself, ‘You have to do this.’ We went to Mandan last week and I had the best race. You can ask any coach. I was giving everyone hugs. I was so excited.”

However, the good fortune haven’t just found its way to Blackwell. The Midgets have at least one state qualifier in 12 of 19 events. The most state qualifiers in one event is long jump where Dickinson has three — senior Levi Jordheim, sophomore Wyatt Kainz and Blackwell.

Dickinson senior Jace Dukart is qualified in five events — 100, 200 and 400 dashes and 400 and 1,600 relay. Jordheim is in the long and triple jump and 400 and 1,600 relay. Junior Jackson Binstock is in the 1,600 and 3,200 run and 1,600 relay.

“We’ve got kids qualified in almost every individual event, which is nice,” Schobinger said. “We almost have every relay qualified. The season has gone well.”

On the girls side, Dickinson is young and inexperienced. A majority of its runners are freshmen.

Though Dickinson’s girls only have three total state qualifiers — all are in the field events — co-head coach Greg Jung has continually told the underclassmen not to get discouraged about the lack of state-qualifying times.

“They are young girls that are competing against juniors and seniors, and in the West Region there are some very good junior and senior runners,” he said. “We try to keep things in perspective for them. Some of them are a little bummed that they haven’t achieved a state-qualifying standard yet, but they are getting better. We are focusing on the improvement and we feel good things are going to happen soon.”

The three state qualifiers for the girls are senior Elizabeth Adsero, sophomore Kesley Calhoun and freshman Alissa Godievsky.

Adsero and Godievsky are qualified in the pole vault at 9 feet, 3 inches. Calhoun’s longest throw of the season in the javelin is 113-5, which is the fifth-furthest distance in Class A.

“We are really happy with the pole vaulters. Liz and Alissa are qualified, but we have another one who is really close, so we could have three,” Jung said. “Kelsey is qualified in the javelin, and her and Leah Grove are real close to qualifying in the shot put and the discus as well.”