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Sickler overcomes hurdles

There are a number of things behind the driving force of Marcus Sickler. The Dickinson Trinity senior has battled minor injuries the past two years, and last season, he didn't quite live up to the top billing he earned when he went into the state...

There are a number of things behind the driving force of Marcus Sickler.

The Dickinson Trinity senior has battled minor injuries the past two years, and last season, he didn't quite live up to the top billing he earned when he went into the state track and field meet tied for the top time in the 800 at 1:59.74. He finished fifth.

This season, things have been different.

Sickler is completely healthy and is looking to cap his track career with a state title in an open event at the Class B state track and field meet, which starts today in Bismarck.

Sickler has the best time in the state in the 800, and the second best time in the 400 behind Hazen's Brian Sorensen. He has also qualified in the open 200.

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"He's definitely one of the leaders for us on the track," Trinity coach Craig Kovash said. "Over the years, he's had some minor injuries, but no major setbacks. He's been healthy this year."

Sickler has suffered from plantar fasciitis, a disease that affects mainly the heel of the foot and is commonly caused by walking or running on hard surfaces.

It flared up during football season, though Sickler missed time during that sport too because of a dislocated shoulder. That injury caused him to miss the beginning of the basketball season, and he dislocated it again at the start of the District 14 tournament.

Sickler said fighting the injuries has been tough.

"You work all summer and you can't do what you've been working for so long," Sickler said. "That's a hard pill to swallow."

Sickler's injuries aren't the only reason he's out to prove himself. He and now-graduated teammate Chris Scherr entered last year's 800 with the best two times, only to watch Langdon-Munich's Eric Schauer win the event. Sickler also ran the best preliminary time in the 400 at state, but finished third as Sorensen took home the title.

"That second day was really upsetting," Sickler said. "I definitely think about that a lot. With how it turned out, I was upset. I have a new approach. I don't worry and just go out and run."

Sickler and teammate Jake Braunberger could score some points for the Titans in the 800 as both are currently in the top six.

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Braunberger is fifth in the 3,200 and sixth in 1,600. In the hurdles, Scott Poswilko has a time of 15.94, which is fourth best while sophomore Aaron Grinsteinner is third in the long hurdles with a 41.54.

All five of Trinity's relay teams are in the top five in the state, including a top-two time in the mile relay.

Kovash said the Titans are hoping for a top-five finish.

"That's a realistic goal for us," Kovash said. "As far as I'm concerned, nobody's going to beat Hazen. Right now, it's their track meet to lose."

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