Ahead of Friday's North Star conference meet, Dickinson State senior Cain Boschee and sophomore Megan Erickson had yet to hit a qualifying mark for the NAIA national track and field meet.

Both were running consistently just under the 'B' standard, but on their home track at the Biesiot Activities Center, they both surpassed it.

With an 'A' standard national-qualifying time of 10.46 seconds, Boschee won the 100-meter dash. He also hit the 'A' standard in the 200 with a win-worthy time of 21.32 seconds. This is the fourth year in a row Boschee has won both sprint events.

"I don't really know what happened today, it just felt really good," Boschee said. "Maybe high jump and long jump to start out my day kind of helped, I don't know. I felt really good today. Been battling injuries all season and today they were nonexistent, so it felt good."

Boschee also competed in the long jump and high jump, finishing eighth and fourth respectively.

Despite the best efforts of Boschee and the rest of the Blue Hawk men, Dakota State (S.D.) edged them in the final two events, winning the conference title with a team score of 230 points. The Blue Hawk women's team won its third straight conference crown and fourth in the past five years with a total of 225 points. Head coach Shayne Wittkopp was named women's coach of the year.

Erickson's superb sprinting performance played a large role in the victory. The Dickinson High product snuck into the 60-meter 'B' standard at the NAIA indoor national track and field meet in the winter. All spring, she's been just shy in both her events, but her speed on Friday sealed a spot for her.

In the 100, Erickson took second with a time of 11.9, and in the 200, she earned third with a time of 25 seconds flat, just shy of the 'B' standard.

"We like to peak our kids (now), is basically it," Wittkopp said of the timely success. "We're not gonna have great weather in March to run fantastic times, so we want to peak in May when it matters the most and our kids, they did that. We've been backing off for a couple weeks. I've been getting some strange looks, like, 'Coach why aren't we lifting weights this week?' Just trust me. You got to trust the process here a little bit and know that I'm trying to get you ready for one day and that's where we're at."

Wittkopp's process worked, as 12 women and 11 men finished in the top three, earning important points for their team.

Sophomores Taylor Ludwig and Bailey Smith won the 400 and 800, respectively, while freshman Emily Kuehn won the 1,500-meter race in 5:19.35. Sophomore Mackenzie Grubbs won both hurdle events, while sophomore Julia Falcon took second in her first attempt at the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

"It's a little nerve wracking because you're used to running distance, but the barriers, you're like, 'I don't want to fall,'" Falcon said.

"I've been practicing barrier work for the past two or three weeks," she added. "I've gotten a lot of help from our boys steeple(chase runners) Trey (Smollack) and Hunter (Flynn). So it was like twice a week."

Smollack and Flynn took second and fourth, respectively in the boys steeplechase.

The greatest performance came from the 2019 NSAA men's track athlete of the meet, Dickinson State sophomore Cleet Wrzesinski.

Already having won the decathlon weeks ago and qualified for nationals, Wrzesinski tested his endurance by competing in five events, four of which occurred on Friday.

On Thursday, the Baker, Mont., native finished fifth overall in pole vault, but on Friday, he never earned a spot lower than third.

In the long jump, Wrzesinski finished second with a leap of 7 meters and in the 400, he ran a 49.37 to take third. He earned a new conference meet record in the 110-meter hurdles, stopping the clock at 14.45. Wrzesinski also won the 400 hurdles with a time of 54.84 seconds.

"We've got some special athletes on the team and we put them in a situation to maximize their talents. They responded because they're team guys," Wittkopp said. "We had some other kids (step up too). (Senior) Tristen Guillot in the 1,500 came out. He's had kind of a rough season and just pushed and pushed and pushed until he put himself in the position to score eight points."

Guillot finished second in the 1,500-meter race with a time of 4:16.34.

Blade Miller was the only other Blue Hawk man to finish first in an event. With a heave of 15.67 meters, he hit the passed the 'B' qualifying standard and nearly met the 'A' standard.

"My first throw was 14.9, or 15.2, I can't remember. The second throw of prelims there was a 15.67 and that was a huge (personal record), almost a foot PR off the foot-and-a-half PR I had last week," Miller said.

With more than the maximum three Dickinson State men at a 'B' standard, the qualifying mark doesn't mean Miller will head down to nationals in Alabama in two weeks. Being a sophomore, seniority might lead him to be left behind.

"It all depends," Miller said. "I'm kind of last-hired, first-fired type of thing, so I guess I'll get the boot if one of the track guys gets it."

Men's team scores: 1, Dakota State 230. 2, Dickinson State 204. 3, Valley City State 118. 4, Waldorf 111. 5, Bellevue 4. 5, Viterbo 4.

100: 1, Cain Boschee, DSU, 10.46. 2, Walker Olivier, DaSU, 10.48.

200: 1, Boschee, DSU, 21.32. 2, Joshua Snook, DaSU, 21.51.

400: 1, Joshua Snook, DaSU, 48.38. 3, Cleet Wrzesinski, DSU, 49.37. 8, Jayden Dolechek, DSU, 53.01.

800: 1, Alex Derr, DaSU, 1:55.48. 2, Daniel Ramirez, DSU, 1:57.81. 3, Dakota Mansfield, DSU, 1:58.52. 4, Tymer Goss, DSU, 2:00.12.

1,500: 1, Ayub Mohamud, DaSU, 4:15.83. 2, Tristen Guillot, DSU, 4:16.34.

5,000: 1, Braden Curnow, DaSU, 15:48.03. 4, Ernest Franssen III, DSU, 16:24.95. 6, Hunter Flynn, DSU, 16:41.73.

10,000: 1, Curnow, DaSU, 31:17.94. 4,Franssen III, DSU, 33:42.92. 8, Nestor Vazquez, DSU, 37:27.

3,000 steeplechase: 1, Dylan Olson, VCSU, 9:52.14. 2, Hunter Flynn, DSU, 9:56.42. 4, Trey Smollack, DSU, 10:17.53. 7, Michael Laris, DSU, 11:29.83.

110 hurdles: 1, Cleet Wrzesinski, DSU, 14.45. 2, Justin Jacobi, W, 14.51. 6, Tommy Sease, DSU, 18.57.

400 hurdles: 1, Wrzesinski, DSU, 54.84. 2, Olivier, DaSU, 55.22. 4, Tyler Burk, DSU, 58.17. 7, Ethan Cleveland, DSU, 1:01.99.

400 relay: 1, Waldorf 42.62. 2, Dickinson State (Ethan Cleveland, Ramirez, Jayden Dolechek, Boschee), 43.61.

1,600 relay: 1, Dakota State 3:23.46. 4, Dickinson State (Goss, Steinbeiser, Dolechek, Mansfield), 3:33.67.

3,200 relay: 1, Dickinson State (Ramirez, Mansfield, Goss, Guillot), 8:00.96. 2, Valley City State 8:13.66.

High jump: 1, Alex Otto, VCSU, 2.02. 4, Boschee, DSU, 1.87. 6, Austin Payne, DSU, 1.77.6, Jared Steinbeiser, DSU, 1.77.

Pole vault: 1, Hoyt Zander, DSU, 4.25m. 2, Anton Jehna, DaSU, 4.1. 3, Tommy Sease, DSU, 3.95. 4, Haakon Frederickson, DSU, 3.95. 5, Wrzesinski, DSU, 3.95.

Long jump: 1, Isaiah Craig, W, 7.21m. 2, Wrzesinski, DSU, 7. 4, Caleb Petross, DSU, 6.83. 8, Boschee, DSU, 6.54.

Triple jump: 1, Tyler Quilling, DSU, 14.32m. 2, Casey Engelhard, VCSU, 13.67. 4, Petross, DSU, 13.28. 5, Jared Steinbeiser, DSU, 12.67. 7, Zander, DSU, 11.97.

Shot put: 1, Blade Miller, DSU, 15.67m. 2, Zachary Co, VCSU, 14.73. 7, Jayden Holley, DSU, 13.03.

Discus: 1, Tyler Lems, DaSU, 48. 4, Miller, DSU, 41.45.

Hammer: 1, Lems, DaSU, 49.97m. 6, Jeff Fisher, DSU, 43.23.

Javelin: 1, Kyle Odegard, VCSU, 60.45m. 4, Paxton Miller, DSU, 56.84. 8, Zander, DSU, 48.33.

Decathlon: 1, Wrzesinski, DSU, 6275. 2, Olivier, DaSU, 5583. 7, Cleveland, DSU, 4514. 8, Paxton Miller, DSU, 4501.

Women's team scores: 1, Dickinson State 225. 2, Dakota State 160. 3, Waldorf 103.5. 4, Valley City State 100.5. 5, Viterbo 72. 6, Bellevue 10.

100: 1, Ashley Caswell, V, 11.68. 2, Megan Erickson, DSU, 11.9. 8, Shelbi McGee, DSU, 13.13.

200: 1, Caswell, V, 24.16. 3, Erickson, DSU, 25. 5, Taylor Ludwig, DSU, 25.38.

400: 1, Taylor Ludwig, DSU, 58.1. 2, Gabriella Czech, V, 58.75. 5, Edeen, DSU, 1:01.42.

800: 1, Bailey Smith, DSU, 2:24.73. 2, Emily Kuehn, DSU, 2:26.53. 3, Alyssa Weitkum, VCSU, 2:29.2. 4, Lisa Towsend, DSU, 2:32.54.

1,500: 1, Kuehn, DSU, 5:19.35. 2, Jacey Wilson, DSU, 5:20.56. 3, Mallory Aughenbaugh, DaSU, 5:41.56.

5,000: 1, Grace Miller, VCSU, 19:24.03. 4, Brittney Grove, DSU, 20:27.66. 5, Wilson, DSU, 20:36.12. 7, Julia Falcon, DSU, 21:15.59.

10,000: 1, Miller, VCSU, 40:58.9. 4, Grove, DSU, 43:22.47.

3,000 steeplechase: Ashley Robinson, DaSU, 12:35.8. 2, Julia Falcon, DSU, 12:42.44.

100 hurdles: 1, Mackenzie Grubbs, DSU, 15.07. 2, Morgan Straight, W, 15.22. 5, Zoee Boschee, DSU, 16.67. 7, Lexee Craig, DSU, 17.1. 8, Tia Halock, DSU, 17.76.

400 hurdles: 1, Grubbs, 1:06.3. 2, Jessica Giles, DaSU, 1:06.72. 4, Morgan Miller, DSU, 1:12.97. 6, Scotti Robinson, DSU, 1:16.98.

400 relay: 1, Dickinson State (McGee, Erickson, Grubbs, Ludwig), 48.63. Viterbo 49.67.

1,600 relay: 1, Dakota State 4:02.79. 3, Dickinson State (Grubbs, Smith, Ludwig, Erickson), 4:13.53.

3,200 relay: 1, Dickinson State (Townsend, Smith, Kuehn, Wilson), 10:08.88. 2, Valley City State 10:31.62.

High jump: 1, Charlene Garcia, W, 1.49m. 4, Alyssa Wisher, DSU, 1.39. 4, Zoee Boschee, DSU, 1.39.

Pole vault: 1, Lexee Craig, DSU, 3.5m. 2, Jade Derby, DSU, 3.2. 3, Lacey Waid, DSU, 3.05. 4, Makayla Teske, V, 2.9.

Long jump: 1, Kaila Jackson, W, 5.29m. 2, Kadara Marshall, DSU, 5.

Triple jump: 1, Marshall, DSU, 11.08. 2, Lindsey Martin, V, 10.89.

Shot put: 1, Bryeann Robertson, VCSU, 12.89m. 4, Macradee Miller, DSU, 11.79. 8, Savannah Walker, DSU, 10.55.

Discus: 1, Traia Hubbard, DaSU, 43.29m. 3, Tarissa Phipps, DSU, 38.33. 6, Walker, DSU, 35.63. 8, Miller, DSU, 32.96.

Hammer: 1, Jobi McCreary, DaSU, 43.77m.

Javelin: 1, Alyssa Wisher, DSU, 42.25. 2, Peyton Halverson, VCSU, 37.14. 3, Halock, DSU, 31.39. 6, Boschee, DSU, 28.69.

Heptathlon: 1, Jessica Giles, DaSU, 3593. 2, Boschee, DSU, 3213. 5, Halock, DSU, 1980.