In a small meet with just a few athletes from the University of Mary and MSU - Billings, the members of the Dickinson State track and field teams were primarily competing against each other.
Of course, as is always the case, individuals were also trying to improve upon their personal-best marks.
The relaxed atmosphere seemed to suit the Blue Hawks, as many earned personal records and a few hit qualifying marks during the Last Chance Meet on Friday, May 3, at the Biesiot Activities Center.
"The Last Chance Meet is all about giving kids good opportunities. We had great weather here today," Dickinson State head coach Shayne Wittkopp said. "The meet's not full, so it's a little bit different environment for some kids, but overall, we've had a pretty good day."
Going into the 800-meter run, her only event of the day, sophomore Bailey Smith had one thing in mind: 23. As in, run the two-lap race in two minutes and 23 seconds. Running with three others clad in blue and white, Smith won with a goal-achieving time of 2:23.81.
"I wanted to be faster than a 2:24, because that's what I ran last meet," Smith said. "The first lap, our goal was to run a 73 (-second lap) and we ran like a 69/70, so a little faster than what we planned, but I kind of figured we would because we were by ourselves and it was pretty windy on the corner, so we were pushing the pace. The last lap, it was just kind of give it everything you have because you only have a lap to go."
Right behind Smith, freshman Emily Kuehn earned second, while junior Lisa Townsend and sophomore Julia Falcon finished fourth.
"It just felt like practice, honestly, like routine," Smith said of running against her own teammates. "Except for the fact that I had a goal this time, not just finishing practice, but actually bettering myself."
Smith has been trimming time all season, and at this rate, could do exceptionally well at the North Star conference meet next week, which will also be at the BAC.
The Blue Hawks women will look to claim their third straight conference title, while the men will try to pick up their fifth consecutive team title.
"My track coach used to say, 'The hay's in the barn,' which means the work's done," Wittkopp said. "The work is done for the season. All the hard workouts are over, we're just trying to get as healthy as we possibly can, and as sharp technically as we possibly can, and put ourselves in a position to go out there and give ourselves a chance."
Perhaps the biggest finishes of the day came from sophomore Cleet Wrzesinski.
He started his day at the long jump pit, where he sailed 7.38 meters, or more than 24 feet, on his first jump, hitting the 'A' qualifying standard and then some.
In the 400-meter hurdles, Wrzesinski blazed his way around the track and over the obstacles in 54.23 seconds, surpassing the 'B' standard.
"I kind of got out pretty strong at the start of the 400, I kind of like to do that, just get out and try to catch everybody and hold them for the rest of it," Wrzesinski said. "I thought I was pretty good over the hurdles, except for a few I hit with my leg and stumbled."
His qualifying marks don't actually mean anything though, as Wrzesinski will participate in the decathlon at the national meet in Gulf Shores, Ala. on May 23-25.
Wrzesinski is already a three-time All-American in the multi-events, most recently earning the title with a fifth-place finish in the heptathlon at indoor nationals just a few months ago.
Blade Miller, a sophomore out of Billings, Mont., hit the NAIA national meet 'B' qualifying standard with a winning throw of 15.32 meters in the shot put.
Because of the small size of the meet, Miller, senior Jeff Fisher and freshman Jayden Holley were together all day, starting at hammer throw before throwing discus, then moving across the way to throw shot put where they ended the day.
Fisher struggled at shot put, fouling on two of his throws. He finished fourth after hurling 13.18 meters.
"I'm kind of in a transitional state from gliding to spinning," Fisher explained. "I've done better spinning, today's just one of those days where I haven't been quite there."
In discus, he earned third, and in the hammer throw, he picked up a second-place finish with a throw of 40.5 meters.
Fisher has competed at the BAC for five years in both football and track and field and the conference meet next week will be his last appearance there. He has a goal in mind for each event, hoping to go out on a positive note.
"It's been a good five years," he said. "I've got to meet a lot of good people. The coaches have been phenomenal. Going through three head coaches has been kind of a change, but I wouldn't trade any of it for the world."
100: 1, Cain Boschee, DSU, 10.75. 2, Ethan Cleveland, DSU, 11.32. 3, Lucas Harper, MSUB, 11.63.
200: 1, Boschee, DSU, 22.19. 2, Mason Schram, MSUB, 22.56.
400: 1, Tymer Goss, DSU, 52.32. 2, Daniel Ramirez, DSU, 52.97. 3, Jayden Dolechek, DSU 53.22. 4, Bello Aisosa, DSU, 56.08.
800: 1, Isaac Bohaty, UMary, 1:59.87.
1,500: 1, Timothy Moore, UMary, 4:13.23. 4, Tristen Guillot, DSU, 4:22.23.
3,000 steeplechase: 1, Ase Ackerman, MSUB, 10:41.87. 2, Trey Smollack, DSU,10:47.34.
110 hurdles: 1, Vincent Whirl, MV, 15.95.
400 hurdles: 1, Cleet Wrzesinski, DSU, 54.23. 2, Jeremiah Morisette, UMary, 57.73.
High jump: 1, Shenley Allen, UMary, 2.1m. 3, Jared Steinbeiser, DSU, 1.83m.
Pole vault: 1, Jared Pflipsen, UMary, 4.75m. 2, Hoy Zander, DSU, 4.65m.
Long jump: 1, Wrzesinski, DSU, 7.38m. 2, Tyrell Rosencranz, UMary 7.14m. 3, Caleb Petross, DSU, 7.11m.
Triple jump: 1, Talon Staudinger, UMary, 14.48m. 10, Zander, DSU, 12.33m.
Shot put: 1, Blade Miller, DSU, 15.32m. 2, Forrest Cross, Un., 14.4m. 4, Jeff Fisher, DSU, 13.18m. 5, Jayden Holley, DSU, 12.59m.
Discus: 1, Cross, Un., 43.4. 2, Miller, DSU, 41.3. 3, Fisher, DSU, 37.1. 4, Jayden Holley, DSU, 36.65.
Javelin: 1, Paxton Miller, DSU, 52.63m. 2, Holley, 46.85m. 3, Riley Linder, Un., 46.39m. 4, Zander, DSU, 42.88m.
Hammer: 1, Cross, Un. 46.5. 2, Fisher, DSU, 40.5. 3, Holley, DSU, 38.
100: 1, Megan Erickson, DSU, 12.22. 2, Neleccia Richards, UMary, 12.71.
200: 1, Richards, UMary, 26.3. 2, Taylor Ludwig, DSU, 26.52. 3, Erickson, 26.64. 4, Edeen, DSU, 27.61.
800: 1, Bailey Smith, DSU, 2:23.81. 2, Emily Kuehn, DSU, 2:26.9. 3, Lisa Townsend, DSU, 2:40.55. 4, Julia Falcon, DSU, 2:40.96.
3,000 steeplechase: 1, Kailee Stoppel, MSUB, 12:50..69.
100 hurdles: 1, Mackenzie Grubbs, DSU, 15.46. 2, Nora Ramos, UMary, 15.52. 3, Boschee, DSU, 17.79. 4, Morgan Miller, DSU, 17.89.
400 hurdles: 1, Grubbs, DSU, 1:05.66. 2, Scott Robinson, DSU, 1:23.52.
High jump: 1, Alyssa Wisher, DSU, 1.43m. 2, Zoee Bosche, DSU, 1.38m. 3, Grace Edeen, DSU, 1.23m.
Pole vault: 1, Alysa Henry, UMary, 3.5m. 2, Lexee Craig, DSU, 3.35m. 3, Lacey Waid, DSU, 3.05m.
Long jump: 1, Emily Keller, UMary, 5.58m.
Triple jump: 1, Ricki Lindley, UMAry 12.27m. 3, Kadara Marshall, DSU, 11.22m.
Shot put: 1, Macradee Miller, DSU, 11.92m. 2, Savanna Walker, DSU, 10.7m.
Discus: 1, Tarissa Phipps, DSU, 37.15m. 2, Walker, DSU, 33.24m. 3, Miller, DSU, 32.
Javelin: 1, Wisher, DSU, 36.38m. 2, Shantelle Rule, UMary, 31.03.
Hammer: 1, Miller, DSU, 38.5m. 2, Phipps, DSU, 34.73m. 3, Walker, DSU, 34.54m.