Underclassmen power Titans to state meet
Most track and field teams have veteran leadership to get them past regionals and to the Class B state meet today at the Bismarck Community Bowl. That is not the case for the Dickinson Trinity girls' track and field team, which is taking two seni...
Most track and field teams have veteran leadership to get them past regionals and to the Class B state meet today at the Bismarck Community Bowl.
That is not the case for the Dickinson Trinity girls' track and field team, which is taking two seniors to state.
"It's kind of nerve-wracking," said freshman Kennedy Keator, who is qualified in the 100 and 200 meters, and is part of multiple relay teams for the Titans.
Despite the lack of experience other teams might have, the Titans feel they will be able to compete with any other team at state.
"We've had a good season," Trinity co-head coach Craig Kovash said. "We have a lot of qualifiers in the areas that we thought we'd have qualifiers and a lot of those times or efforts look pretty decent in the state right now."
The Titans' two seniors are McKenzie Kostelecky and Lydia Brooke. Kostelecky is competing in the pole vault, 400, 800 and 1,600 relays. She has the second-best height in the pole vault at 10 feet, 1½ inches. Watford City's McKayla Haugeberg has the top height at 11 feet. The three relays all have top six times in the state.
Weather has been a factor this season, with many meets getting canceled or postponed due to a pair of snowstorms in April. This has been a problem for most teams trying to get as much familiarity with competition as possible.
One thing the Titans have been able to focus on throughout the shortened season is self-improvement.
"We push each other every single day," junior Katelyn Grinsteinner said. "I feel really lucky that I have teammates that make me work really hard every single day to become a better runner."
There were a few surprises for the Titans at last Saturday's Southwest Region Meet in Beach that saw Trinity qualify more athletes for state.
"At regionals, sometimes you're not sure because of the qualifiers by place," Kovash said. "We had quite a few kids that did qualify for state by place that were a nice, pleasant surprise. They at least get to go and have that experience."
With so much inexperience, the Titans will be hoping to continue their improvement rolling into state after their performance at the regional meet.
"It was a good team effort that we had (at regionals)," Grinsteinner said. "We just told ourselves, 'We're going to run hard no matter what happens,' and that's just what we did."
Trinity will compete in 12 events at the state meet.
With so much youth on the team, the anticipation has been a little stressful for some of Trinity's underclassmen.
"I feel a little bit of pressure, I think," Keator said with a smile.
The Titans aren't entirely sure how the cards will fall, but this won't stop them from doing the best they can.
"We don't know where we're going to end up," Kovash said. "We're going to go down there and we're going to compete the best that we can, and whatever happens, happens."