Midgets excited for West Region
Not even a chance of rain can hamper the spirits of the Dickinson High track and field team. The Midgets have been through much worse this season -- much worse. After spending most of the early part of the season indoors because of a pair of Apri...
Not even a chance of rain can hamper the spirits of the Dickinson High track and field team.
The Midgets have been through much worse this season -- much worse.
After spending most of the early part of the season indoors because of a pair of April snowstorms, Dickinson set its sights on one of two very important dates on the calendar. The first date is today when Dickinson hosts the West Region Meet beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the Biesiot Activities Center.
"Every team talks about the two most important meets and they are in order of importance, the West Region Meet and the state meet," Dickinson co-head coach Dave Michaelson said. "The region meet is a qualifier, which is a big meet for our kids."
Dickinson has had a quality season -- despite battling winter conditions -- on the boys and girls side with multiple state qualifiers on the track and the field.
On the boys side, senior Austin Mack has qualified in eight different events, including the 110- and 300-meter hurdles -- which he wasn't able to compete in last season. Mack tore his ACL last year, but he's back running strong this season.
"To do what he has done has taken an awful lot of hard work," Michaelson said. "He's a nominee for senior athlete of the year and he is very deserving. He's in the same category as some of the best that has come through here. Not only in terms of talent but being a strong leader, he means a lot to us."
Being qualified in eight events would be enough for most athletes, but Mack was hoping to compete in a couple of field events as well.
"I wish I could have done a couple of field events, too, if coach would have let me," Mack said with a smile. "He was just worried about my knee."
Two underclassmen, which have multiple state-qualifying times, are junior Jace Dukart and sophomore Jackson Binstock. Dukart has qualified in the 100, 200, 400 and multiple relays, while Binstock has the second-fastest time in the 3,200 and is also qualified in the 800, 1,600 with other multiple relays.
"Jackson runs with the maturity of a senior," Michaelson said. "The sky is the limit for that young man. Jackson is well respected by our team and he has put in a lot of roadwork to get where he is at.
"Especially in distance (running), it doesn't just happen. You have to put in the winter hours. Everything Jackson has earned, he's earned."
Michaelson knew coming into the season that the boys team would be strong and that's been proven. The guys have many state qualifiers in both the track and field events.
"The boys are taking care of themselves and we are where we thought we would be, and probably, even pleasantly surprised," Michaelson said. "We have nice nucleus of older kids and younger kids that are qualified."
However, Michaelson knew the girls side would take a little more work. With minimal state meet experience, the girls have still been able to accomplish state-qualifying distances and heights.
Abby Grove is qualified in the javelin at 110 feet, 2 inches. The senior thrower said it is nice to know there's a little less pressure to qualify, but she'll still be looking to qualify in the discus.
"That one throw that I got and having qualified felt really good," Grove said with a smile. "With WDA, I'm going to see if I can throw farther. It should be fun."
Other state qualifiers in the field events are senior Ali Moody in the long and triple jump, and junior Elizabeth Adsero in the pole vault.
Grove said it's a little relieving being able to compete at home for one of the most important meets of the season.
"I can't say traveling wears you out, but it's nice to be home where you feel comfortable," Grove said. "You know everything and it's just more comfortable being here."
With the top eight placers in each event punching their ticket to the state meet, Michaelson feels the team -- as a whole -- can nab even more state qualifiers on the boys and girls side.
"We knew coming into the season it was going to be a daily struggle getting state qualifiers on the girls side," he said. "We still have the potential to do more and get more state qualifiers."