Dickinson High School track and field runner Mustafa Taylor has had a solid spring in his sophomore campaign.
Having qualified for the state meet in five events, Taylor has the luxury of taking it relatively easy entering the stretch run of the season. However, even with his ticket for Bismarck in late May already punched, the sophomore continues to push himself.
"I'd like to stay sharp, keep my body good, keep in shape and try to get faster so when state comes, I'll have a better time, and probably place better, too," Taylor remarked.
On Thursday, May 9, Taylor was among the highlights for the Midgets during the DHS Carlson Booster Boys' Invitational from the Biesiot Activities Center, as he took fourth in the 400-meter run with a personal-best time of 51.78 seconds. Bismarck Legacy sophomore Calob Larson was victorious, taking the event after crossing the finish line in 49.90.
"I saw Calob Larson, him and a couple other kids help me run faster," Taylor said. "Whenever I see them at a track meet, I just look forward to running with them, keeping up with them, and trying to beat them, too. They just push me to run faster."
Taylor's effort was only one of two top-10 individual showings on the track, as Dickinson finished sixth out of eight teams with 49 overall points.
"We did try to pick and choose a little bit, but I wouldn't say it was a great day for us on the track," Dickinson boys track and field head coach Jay Schobinger said. "We've had some better days. We just didn't come out and compete like I think we are capable of and we got to make sure in the next week as we get to the regional track meet that we're ready to go."
Taylor teamed with sophomores Hunter Gregoire and Brady Yoder, and junior Aiden Jung to pick up Dickinson's highest relay finish of third in the 4x800, clocking in at 8 minutes, 23.83 seconds.
Yoder was the team's other runner to place in the top 10 in an individual event, capturing second in the 800 with a time of 2:01.43. He was edged out by Bismarck High senior Preston Wachter, who competed the run in at 2:01.20.
Behind a meet-high six victories, Bismarck Century were the top team on the leaderboard after collecting 209 points, while Bismarck Legacy was second 146.
"This time of the year, we're starting to think about the regional meet, which will be next Friday here, along with the state meet, so really this meet is just all about trying to get a couple additional qualifiers," Bismarck Century boys track and field head coach Tim Jacobsen said. "It's just about fine tuning a couple of things heading into regionals and state, that was the goal for today."
While unable to produce any state qualifiers, Dickinson fared better in field events. Sophomore Jayden Hocker was locked in a tie for seventh in the high jump and was 13th in the long jump.
Junior Jevon Kreidt tied for fifth in the triple jump while fellow junior Jacob Steckler was tied for fifth in the pole vault.
In the throwing events, junior Peyton Hanson earned a pair of top-10s in the shot put and discus while senior Ethan Grove, who has yet to qualify for state, was the highest-placing Midget in the aforementioned events, taking sixth in the shot put and discus.
"Shot put, it was a little cold this morning, had to do a little extra to get warmed up," Grove said. It can be better, it was a decent throw. ... I'm happy with the shot put, threw a (45 feet,10 inches), and discus wasn't bad either, I threw a 132-01. I need to improve some things, need to get higher on the throw so I can get me distance.
"I'm getting pretty confident for discus if I'm able to get it up there. With the practice we'll have tomorrow and the track meet Monday, hopefully I'll be able to qualify. I'm just throwing too low. Shot Put, I just got to get it. I'll throw a 47 on one and a 45 on a another, so I just got to keep going harder and harder."
Scheduled to compete at the Mandan Kiwanis Club meet on Saturday, Dickinson will host a WDA Last Chance Meet on Monday before all West Region programs return to the BAC for the conference meet on May 17.
"We've had a pretty darn good year," Schobinger said. "We got kids qualified in quite a few events. It's been a good season, we're just going to call this a down day and say, 'Hey, we're going to regroup.' Next Friday, same place, we're going to give it our best effort."
DHS Carlson Booster Boys' Invitational
Boys team scores: 1, Bismarck Century, 209. 2, Bismarck Legacy, 146. 3, Bismarck Legacy, 139. 4, Williston, 77. 5, Bismarck St. Mary's, 66. 6, Dickinson, 49. 7, Watford City, 23. 8, Mandan, 4.
100: 1, Caleb Monger, BC, 11.23. 17, Nathaniel Frimpong, D, 12.06.
200: 1, Ibrahim Oduong, BC, 22.75. 21, Jacob Sherer, D, 25.13.
400: 1, Calob Larson, BL, 49.90. 4, Mustafa Taylor, D, 51.78.
800: 1, Preston Wachter, BH, 2:01.20. 2, Brady Yoder, D, 2:01.43. 13, Aiden Jung, D, 2:06.67.
1,600: 1, Sean Korsmo, BH, 4:28.25.
3,200: 1, Diego Guzman, BC, 10:35.30.
110 hurdles: 1, Brock Johnsen, BC, 14.99
300 hurdles: 1, Christian Walth, BH, 39.71.
400 relay: 1, Bismarck St. Mary's (Evan Leingang, Braden Benz, Cullen Curl, Lucas Kaakenson), 44.79. 6, Dickinson (Jacob Sherer, Ethan Rixen, Frimpong, Alex Praus), 47.61.
800 relay: 1, Bismarck High (Walth, Wachter, Joey Patchen Mills, Isaiah Olsen), 1:32.15. 4, Dickinson (Sherer, Rixen, Frimpong, Elijah Hoerner), 1:38.34.
1,600 relay: 1, Bismarck Legacy (Aanders Weltz, Larson, Lyric Hoffman, Jacob Hudson), 3:33.21.
3,200 relay: 1, Bismarck Century (Sam Honeyman, Dawson Shirley, Austin Wald, Mason Kindel), 8:17.45. 3, Dickinson (Jung, Hunter Gregoire, Yoder, Taylor), 8:26.83.
High jump: 1, Rhett Clements, BL, 6-06. T7, Jayden Hocker, D, J5-08.
Pole vault: 1, Cameron Erbele, BH, 14-00. T5, Jacob Steckler, D, 11-06.
Long jump: 1, Leingang, BSM, 22-02.5. T13, Hocker, D, 19-10.
Triple jump: 1, Nick Kupfer, BL, 41-10. T5, Jevon Kreidt, D, 39-04.5.
Shot put: 1, Chase Dockter, BC, 50-11. 6, Ethan Grove, D, 45-10. 10, Peyton Hanson, D, 41-06. 11, Evan Showalter, D, 10-10.
Discus: 1, Alex Reuppel, BL, 140-04. 6, Grove, D, 132-01. 8, Hanson, D, 125.08. 11, Trevor Hirning, D, 121-03. 13, Tallon Klatt, D, 117-05. 16, Evan Showalter, D, 111-05.
Javelin: 1, Andrew Walter, BC, 163-05. 14, Remington Schatz, D, 127-10. 15, Klatt, D, 127-00. 17. Brandon Krebs, D, 121-06.