Ready to race

Dickinson Trinity junior Aaron Grinsteinner said he knows how high he set the bar when he finished second in the 300-meter hurdles last May at the Class B state track and field meet.

Aaron Grinsteinner
Dickinson Trinity junior Aaron Grinsteinner placed second in the 300-meter hurdles at the Class B state track and field meet last May.

Dickinson Trinity junior Aaron Grinsteinner said he knows how high he set the bar when he finished second in the 300-meter hurdles last May at the Class B state track and field meet.

"The coaches told me 'you have one race left, you might as well give it your all,' " Grinsteinner said. "I liked how I ran it."

Grinsteinner had finished fifth in the preliminaries, running a 42.05.

However, he turned in a sparkling 40.73 to finish second behind champion Rowdy Lund of Watford City.

"There was a lot of good competition at state last year," Grinsteinner said. "That helped push me. It motivates you even more when you see all those good hurdlers."


This season, expectations have risen and Trinity coach Craig Kovash said Grinsteinner will play a big role in what the team does this season.

"Aaron's going to be a pretty busy guy on the track for us," Kovash said. "He knows what he's capable of."

Grinsteinner could also play a part in relays as he was a leg on the 1,600 and 800 relays that finished second and fifth, respectively.

"With our relays, we have a lot of guys coming back," Grinsteinner said. "We have a lot of chemistry with our handoffs."

Trinity's relays were a scoring boost for the Titans at state as all four placed.

Grinsteinner, senior Kaden Ficek and junior Kohl Koppinger all return in the 1,600, providing that's where they are put by the coaching staff.

"There might be some other options," Kovash said. "We'll see where we stand to score the most points."

Attaching Ficek to the right race could prove to be crucial as that previously spelled good luck for the Titans. He ran in four events at state and all four placed, though three were relays. He took fifth in the 200, and helped out the 400 (fifth), 800 and 1,600 relays.


"We have some seniors coming back that did some nice things at state," Kovash said. "Some of those are the guys who ran on our relays."

Senior Jake Braunberger also returns after placing third in the 1,600 and sixth in the 3,200.

"Jake has gotten better every year for us," Kovash said. "I hope this year is no different. He's bigger, stronger ... I think that's going to help him."

In the field events, Koppinger placed eighth in the pole vault and Kovash said the Titans' development in the field events is crucial to being a good team.

"We have some kids that I think are really going to come around this year," Kovash said. "We need to be a well-rounded team."

The Dickinson Trinity girls team doesn't boast the same number of athletes as the boys, but the quality is definitely there, Kovash said.

"Our girls' numbers are maybe not where the boys are at, but I look at the team and see a quality bunch of girls," Kovash said. "We do have some kids that did very well last year."

Senior Breanna Messer leads the way, finishing fifth in the 100 with a 15.61 and helping her 400 relay team finish eighth. Messer and senior Shannon Ernst are the only two individual placers returning as Ernst took sixth in the javelin thanks to a toss of 112 feet, 3 inches.


"Those are things that we can build on," Kovash said.

Another runner that could make noise is junior Jordyn Bender, who attends New England High School and runs with the Titans as part of a co-op. Bender anchored the 400 relay and the 1,600 relay that took second. Senior Marie Franzen is also expected to be a contributor on the track as well as juniors Ashley Sickler and Whitney Wilhelmi, who were legs on relays at state.

"I think the track is going to be our definite strength," Kovash said. "We do have kids that did very well last year."

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