Herauf claims Class A pole vault state title for Midgets track and field

BISMARCK -- Dickinson High provided the bookends on the Class A boys pole vault podium on Friday.Mike Herauf can rest easy knowing that he vaulted a personal record 14 feet, 9.5 inches, a height that also made him a state champion at the Bismarck...

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Dickinson High junior Mike Herauf competes in the Class A boys pole vault at the state track and field meet Friday at the Bismarck Community Bowl. Herauf placed first in the event after clearing 14 feet, 9.5 inches. (Press Photo by Parker Cotton)

BISMARCK - Dickinson High provided the bookends on the Class A boys pole vault podium on Friday.
Mike Herauf can rest easy knowing that he vaulted a personal record 14 feet, 9.5 inches, a height that also made him a state champion at the Bismarck Community Bowl . Logan Ackerman ends his high school vaulting career knowing he made the podium in his last chance.
Herauf and Fargo North’s Connor Fuglseth both vaulted 14-9.5 but neither could clear 15 feet. Because Herauf hadn’t missed a single attempt until the final height, he won the tiebreaker and his first state championship.
“I was so nervous throughout the whole meet. (Fuglesth) was some really good competition,” Herauf said. “The fact we both made it to 14-9.5, vaulting at that level, it was a great season-ender. … I came out to the meet today, and I just wanted to compete my best.”
The junior opened the event by clearing heights in the 12- and 13-foot range with ease. Devin Schatz of West Fargo Sheyenne bowed out at 13-9, leaving just Herauf and Fuglseth.
Herauf escaped danger on his attempt at 14-9.5. Though he hit the bar on his way down, it remained steady.
“I closed my eyes and hoped it didn’t hit me on the way down,” he said. “I heard everyone cheering, I opened my eyes and it was wobbling but it was still on the pegs. It was really exciting. It’s really lucky for that to happen.”
At 15 feet, Herauf bailed out of his first attempt, saying he didn’t have the right feel for it as he went up. On Fuglseth’s second attempt, he nudged the bar just slightly, forcing it to bounce just enough to remain in place. But the momentum from the first bounce resulted in an unlucky hop to follow as it came down on top of him.
Herauf was over the bar on his second attempt but grazed it just enough to knock it down.
“When I’m coming over (the bar), I still kind of hold onto the pole,” Herauf said, “and you’re supposed to let go before, which is why I hit (the bar) with my chest a little bit.”
Both third attempts saw the bar fall to the mat as well, resulting in the tiebreaker.
“Fifteen is just a whole other level,” Herauf said. “You can go up an inch, but mentally it’s just crazy. I tried to get a bigger pole, but just attempting those heights, I’m focused more on form because that’s what’s going to get me over it.”

Ackerman, a senior, placed eighth in the event, clearing 12-6 in the process and placing in the top eight at state for the first time in his career.
“I came here looking for a PR, but I didn’t, but I still got on the podium, so I’m still happy,” he said. “I had some really good attempts at 13, but I just couldn’t pull it together. … I’m still so happy I placed.”
Herauf, with another year still to go in his own career, already anticipates stiff competition in defending his title.
“I’ll just to try to improve the best I can and work on a lot of form,” he said. “I know when I come (back to state), Connor will be right there with me again, and it’s great to have a guy like that from the east. I know I’m going to come nervous again for every jump, but I like that a lot.”
Other Dickinson finishers
Sophomore Lexi Jordheim placed third in the Class A girls pole vault after clearing 10 feet, a personal record.
“It feels good, especially at this point in the season. It was about time,” she said of her personal record.
The next height Jordheim would have had to clear was 10-3, but she didn’t quite get there.
“It was close,” she said. “Very close.”
Jordheim finished behind Grand Forks Central’s Grace Finney (11-6) and Bismarck Century’s Morgan Gietzen (11-3).
“That’s encouraging because there are some sophomores coming up,” Jordheim said. “It was a big year for girls pole vault. There were a lot of good vaulters.”
Freshman teammate Meghan Ackerman vaulted 9-3 but finished ninth, just one spot out of placing.
Junior Megan Erickson placed fifth in the prelims of the 200 meters Friday in 26.03 seconds. She was also sixth in the prelims of the 100 meters in 12.69 seconds. She will compete in the finals of both this afternoon.
The relay team of Macy Mack, Emily Keller, Aspen Galster and Erickson placed fifth in the prelims of the 800-meter relay in 1:45.97.
Mack, Peyton Selle, Galster and Erickson also advanced to the finals of the 400-meter relay by placing fifth in the prelims in 50.67 seconds.

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