A last hurdle
Dickinson High senior Nathan Magstadt has grown a lot in his four years. His physical and mental development has made him one of the top hurdlers in the state. "I feel like I'm running fairly well," Magstadt said. "I hope I can keep running well ...
Dickinson High senior Nathan Magstadt has grown a lot in his four years.
His physical and mental development has made him one of the top hurdlers in the state.
"I feel like I'm running fairly well," Magstadt said. "I hope I can keep running well and improving my times."
Magstadt, who finished fifth in both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles at the state Class A track and field meet last year, is the favorite in the 300 hurdles this year.
He's posted the three fastest times in North Dakota this season in the three races he's ran, with improvement coming every week. In the 110 hurdles, Magstadt has the third-fastest time in the state, and has posted quicker times every week.
The goal for the 300 hurdles, besides winning a state title, is to get his times below 40 seconds. His fastest time this year is 40.15. In the 110 hurdles, his goal is to get under 15 seconds.
"I like my chances," Magstadt said.
Magstadt has also qualified in the 200, plus runs the 400, 800 relay and 1,600 relay when needed.
Only the hurdle events are a given for Magstadt to compete in at state, but the coaches will put him in a position that can best help the Midgets rack up team points.
The 6-foot-2 speedster will get a chance to showcase his talents in front of a home crowd Saturday at the Coca-Cola Invite at Huffman Track at Badlands Activities Center in what will be his final home meet of his high school career.
When Magstadt first started to run for the Midgets, co-head coach Jay Schobinger said Magstadt didn't look the part of a hurdler as he was several inches shorter.
"How is he even going to be a hurdler?" Schobinger said when thinking back on Magstadt as a freshman.
The growth spurt came, as well as the muscle. That, along with perfecting his form, has helped Magstadt improve year after year.
"Now he's gotten stronger and faster, and that's definitely helped," Schobinger said.
Success didn't come easy for Magstadt as he participated in the Acceleration Training Program at Dickinson State University a couple of months before the track season began. Magstadt credits that program for helping him burst through with top times.
"I put on a lot of endurance and strength muscle," Magstadt said. "I know that's definitely helped a lot."
Dickinson assistant track and field coach Phil Moorman, who oversees Magstadt's training on a daily basis, noticed a difference.
"The thing we see about him is he's stronger," Moorman said.
"You may look at him and not see that in him, but he has and that's put him above a lot of the competition."
The training wasn't easy, as it consists of running on an inclined treadmill and utilizing plyometrics.
"It helps with quickness and building muscle," Magstadt said.
The first few days were trying for Magstadt as he described it as agony.
"The first days were pretty much misery," he said. "It was fairly tough."
Mentally, Magstadt is more aggressive as well. Moorman ascribed that to senior leadership and the fact that Magstadt loves competing.
"He wants to run against the best kids," Moorman said. "He's in a unique position. He's got a chance right now to be a state champion in two events."
Moorman said that Dickinson has seen quality hurdlers in the past, but none possessed the talent to excel in both the 110 and 300 hurdles like Magstadt is doing right now.
After high school is over, Magstadt will be attending DSU, but he is unsure if a college track career is in the cards.
"I'm not 100 percent sure if I'm going to be running track or not," Magstadt said. "I'm pretty sure I'm going to go and try, because I don't want to regret not doing it."
For now, he'll wait and see how his senior year shapes up.