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BOYS TRACK: Larimore has No. 1 seed in pole vaulting

Jake Peterson

Another season, another No. 1 seed. That’s been a common position for Larimore sports this school year. Only this time, Polar Bears junior Jake Peterson has to share the designation.

Peterson and Harrison Aide of Bottineau are the top seeds in the pole vault in the North Dakota Class B boys high school track meet, to be held Friday and Saturday in Bismarck. Both have cleared the bar at 13 feet, 6 inches this season.

“He’s still the favorite,” Peterson said. “He’s a great vaulter. He’s the three-time (defending) state champion.”

Aide not only has a habit of winning, but he’s done it in record style. The senior set a Class B state meet record with a winning vault of 15 feet last season.

Peterson could be excused for deflecting the favorite’s role. It hasn’t been kind to the Polar Bears lately.

Larimore had the No. 1 seed out of Region 2 in the Class A football playoffs last fall, only to see an undefeated season end with a first-round loss. In basketball, the Polar Bears were the No. 1 seed in the District 3 tournament, but felt short in their bid for a berth in the Region 2 tournament.

But Peterson, a multi-sport athlete who started on the football and basketball teams and is also the No. 4 seed in the javelin, doesn’t shy away from the spotlight.

“During the big events, we have come up short,” Peterson said. “It’s nice to be under the radar. But I like the success we have had.

“I put (the past) behind me and just try to be the best I can be. It is in the back of your mind. But I think it pushes me to work harder to be better.”

Peterson, who finished seventh in the vault at state last season, has been on a roll.

“Jake was sitting at 12-6,” Larimore coach Rick Henry said. “Then, in the last few weeks, he went 13 feet, then 13-6, and he’s cleared 14 feet in practice.

“It all comes down to who is on at the right time.”

Besides an inner drive, Peterson gets a challenge in practice every day by Alex Mutch. The sophomore has gone 12-6 this season and takes the No. 6 seed to state.

“We push each other,” Peterson said. “We’re friends. But we compete. We always joke around about who will go higher.

“I hope to PR again at state. Placing high would be nice. But improvement, that’s all that really matters to me.”

Five to watch

Here are five other area athletes to watch at the Class B boys state track meet:

  •  Dylan Boura, Grafton: The junior is seeded second in the 110 hurdles and fourth in the 300 hurdles. He was a top-four placer in the 110s (third) and 300 hurdles (fourth) last season.
  •  Austin Contreras, Grafton: The senior has a top-eight seed in three events, highlighted with a tie for the second-best high jump (6-3) in the state this season. He’s also tied for the No. 6 seeds in the 100 and 200. Contreras tied for third at state last season in the high jump.
  •  Josh Thompson, Grafton: The junior has the fastest Class B time in the 800 this season (2:00.94) and is the No. 4 seed in the 1,600. Thompson placed fifth in the 800 at state last season.
  •  Aaron Sletten, Larimore: The junior’s season-best throw of 175 feet, 10 inches gives him the No. 2 seed in the javelin at state.
  •  Paul Tharalson, Drayton/Valley-Edinburg: The senior has gone 13 feet this season, putting him in a tie for the No. 3 seed in the pole vault. Tharalson placed fourth in the vault at state last season.

N.D. Class B boys  track at a glance

Top qualifiers

Here are the top seeds and local top-8 seeds in individual events at the North Dakota Class B boys state track meet, to be held Friday and Saturday in Bismarck.

100 — 1. Nigel Hageness, Rugby, 10.74; 6. (tie) Austin Contreras, Grafton, 11.14

200 — 1. Tucker Beck, Killdeer, 22.14; 5. Bennie Bradner, Mayville-Portland-CG, 22.74; 6. (tie) Contreras, Grafton, 22.94

400 — 1. Lewis Dobitz, Killdeer, 50.15

800 — 1. Josh Thompson, Grafton, 2:00.94

1,600 — 1. Ryan Wheeling, New Town, 4:33.16; 4. Thompson, Grafton, 4:39.74

3,200 — 1. Wheeling, New Town, 9:50.39

110 hurdles — 1. T.J. Hochstetler, Northern Cass, 15.34; 2. Dylan Boura, Grafton, 15.54

300 hurdles — 1. Eric Bachmeier, Kindred, 39.65; 4. Boura, Grafton, 41.34

High jump — 1. Nolan Hovland, Rugby, 6-4; 2. (tie) Contreras, Grafton, 6-3; 5. (tie) Quentin Sears, Benson County, 6-0

Long jump — 1. Kellemon Hinton, Ellendale, 22-9½; 7. Ryan Chrest, Pembina County North, 21-11½

Triple jump — 1. Hinton, Ellendale,* 46-5½

Shot put — 1. Austin Cieslak, Hazen, 52-0; 6. Justin Hanson, Griggs Co. Central, 47-5½; 8. (tie) Jaden Lunde, Benson County, 47-3

Discus — 1. Elijah Grady, New Town, 174-7

Javelin — 1. Austin Schmidt, Stanley/Powers Lake, 181-5; 2. Aaron Sletten, Larimore, 175-10; 4. Jake Peterson, Larimore, 155-10; 8. Spencer Rehovsky, Park River/Fordville-Lankin, 149-11

Pole vault — 1. (tie) Peterson, Larimore, and Harrison Aide, Bottineau,* 13-6; 3. (tie) Paul Tharalson, Drayton/Valley-Edinburg, 13-0; 6. Alex Mutch, Larimore, 12-6

* Returning state champion

Area returning state

individual placers

800 — 5. Josh Thompson, Grafton

1,600 — 7. Nick Pedersen, Hatton-Northwood

110 hurdles — 3. Dylan Boura, Grafton

300 hurdles — 4. Boura, Grafton

Long jump — 5. Ryan Chrest, Pembina Co. North; 8. Austin Contreras, Grafton

High jump — 3. (tie) Contreras, Grafton

Pole vault — 4. Paul Tharalson, Drayton-St. Thomas/Valley-Edinburg; 7. Jake Peterson, Larimore