Thirty-seven feet—it doesn't sound like a lot. Unless you throw the discus like Shelby Frank. That's almost the distance between the best the Grand Forks Red River High School sophomore has thrown and the best any other Class A opponent has thrown this spring.
MAYVILLE, N.D.—Pitching with a state tournament berth on the line, Thompson sophomore Clay Odenbach felt some butterflies in his stomach Tuesday. "I was a little nervous at the start,'' the left-hander said. "Once we got the first couple of runs, though, it got a little easier. The nerves went down.'' If the nerves went down after Thompson scored four runs in the second inning, Odenbach must have been totally relaxed after the Tommies added 11 more runs in the third.
Thomas Lundmark knows he is capable of bigger throws. He sees them at almost every track meet. The problem for the Grand Forks Central High School senior is that, too often, his best efforts in the shot put are before the competition begins. "I know there's more I can do,'' Lundmark said. "I know I've hit farther than 53 feet. But it usually happens in warmups. It hasn't transferred over to the competition. I haven't saved the big throws for the competition.''
LARIMORE, N.D.—Chase Peebles isn't just close any more. The Langdon-Edmore-Munich senior picked up his first open title in the Northeast Region track meet here Saturday, winning the triple jump. Peebles also was runner-up in the 100 and 400 and, until Saturday, the region has been a string of those near misses. "I've improved every year,'' said Peebles, who was named the region's boys senior athlete of the year. "But there always seemed to be another guy who got faster or jumped farther than me. But my jumping got a lot better this year.''
Former Thompson High School state track champion Aaron Dewald now lives in Utah. But he still follows the program through social media. The success of the Tommies' 4x800 relay team caught Dewald's attention. "When Aaron saw our times, he asked if we had somebody who runs a really fast split or if we have four kids who run solid times,'' Thompson track coach Jeremy Anderson said. "And that's what we have, four kids who are running around 2:05 and 2:06.''
After hitting four home runs last season, Kenzie Whalen didn't have a single one through East Grand Forks Senior High's first 10 softball games this season. "I wasn't getting frustrated,'' the Green Wave senior said. "I was hitting the ball hard. I just had to be patient.'' The patience paid off. Whalen hit her fifth home run in as many games Tuesday, a record-setter as Senior High romped to a 20-3 win against East Grand Forks Sacred Heart.
Thomas O'Halloran now has a record to share with his father. On Monday, O'Halloran anchored the Grand Forks Red River High School 4x200 relay team that not only took first, but tied a 30-year-old meet record time at the Bob Zimney Last Chance Invitational meet at Cushman Field. The quartet of O'Halloran, Zack Topping, Tyler Burian and Pierson Painter ran a time of 1:31.93 to tie the meet record set in 1988 by another Red River team. And running a leg on that foursome was Bob O'Halloran, Thomas' father.
THIEF RIVER FALLS—Only the first name is changing in the head girls basketball coaching seat here. Jeff Loe resigned as the Thief River Falls High School's head coach earlier this spring after 22 seasons in charge of the program. Last week, his successor was named—Brian Loe, son of the former coach, is the Prowlers' new head coach. "At first dad was a little hesitant about me applying for the job,'' Brian Loe said. "He knows what it takes to be a head coach, all the time commitment. And he knows I'm a family guy.
There were no easy outs in the Grand Forks Red River lineup Thursday. The Roughriders accumulated 28 hits in sweeping a high school fastpitch softball doubleheader against Grand Forks Central. Seven players contributed hits for Red River in winning the opener 8-4. In the nightcap, a non-region game, Red River got at least one hit and one run from every spot in the batting order in taking a 17-7 win.
Grand Forks Red River has yet to finish lower than third in a boys golf meet this season—a status that is frustrating for the defending Class A state champion Roughriders. Red River was runner-up at its own meet Thursday. Fargo Davies won its fifth straight meet, shooting a 294 to beat Red River by seven strokes at King's Walk Golf Course. Grand Forks Central finished fourth with a 321.