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Getting home-course advantage is something Merle Mikkelsen takes with a grain of salt. The North Dakota East Region boys golf meet originally was scheduled to be held at Fargo Edgewood. Due to flooding in Fargo, the meet was moved to Grand Forks' King's Walk, where it will be held Tuesday at 9 a.m. "Edgewood is a nice course, and you're sorry for the situation Fargo has gone through," said Mikkelsen, the Grand Forks Red River coach. "But we're happy to get on our home course. We're not used to the trees (at Edgewood).
BISMARCK -- First and foremost, Paul Shafer considers himself a distance runner. But the Grand Forks Central junior has developed some unusual options on the track. Shafer was a third-place finisher in both the triple jump and the 1,600 here Friday in the opening day of the North Dakota Class A high school track and field meet. "I still consider myself a distance runner first," said Shafer, who only began triple jumping last season.
BISMARCK -- There were no visions of grandeur when Garrett Pic arrived here this weekend. As a freshman last season, he finished sixth in the discus in the North Dakota Class B boys high school track meet. The Park River Area sophomore was hoping to move up a spot or two and maybe break his personal record. Winning a state championship? "No-o-o-o," Pic said, shaking his head and smiling. "I figured I would place. I didn't figure I could win. I was figuring somewhere around that sixth spot again. "But the throwing events can be very unpredictable." Pic is now a state champion.
Olivia Knutson no longer is on the golf course with her older sister. But the Hatton-Northwood standout still benefits from competing with her sibling. Olivia Knutson recently won medalist honors at the North Dakota Region 3 meet, shooting a 73. That was one stroke better than older sister Abby -- who was medalist at the 2010 Class B state meet -- ever shot in a prep meet. "They've kept track of their scores through the years," Hatton-Northwood coach Keenan Konschak said. "Her first priority was winning the region. But she knows she beat Abby's best score.
Making the jump from junior high to varsity track was something Rachel Dryburgh did reluctantly a year ago. "I was afraid of doing badly," Dryburgh said. "I kind of wanted to stay on our junior high team, where I felt I could beat some people -- probably not everybody, but some people." As it turned out, Dryburgh was good enough as an eighth-grader to finish second in the North Dakota Class B Region 2 high school meet in the 300 hurdles and compete at the state track meet.
There never was time for track for Brandon Chrest. The Cavalier High School senior plays baseball in the spring. And, until this year, his time away from the diamond was taken up by travel-team basketball tournaments. But with no college basketball in his future, Chrest had some free time. "Everyone said I should try track," Chrest said. "And I'm glad I did." Chrest may be a track rookie, but he's taken to the sport quickly.
GRAFTON, N.D. -- All season long, Mike Dietz has been curious how his Grafton boys track team would do at full strength. Saturday Dietz got his answer. The Spoilers won their first meet of the spring, and it was a big one. Grafton edged Park River Area 99-98.5 for the title in the North Dakota Class B Region 2 meet. It was a three-peat for the Spoilers and a sweep for Grafton, as the Spoiler girls won the championship with 116 points to runner-up Cavalier's 103. "We've never had all our kids together for a meet,'' Dietz said.
Going to the polls wasn't easy for Mike Marek this spring. Marek's East Grand Forks Sacred Heart girls fastpitch softball team takes the No. 1 seed in the South Division into the Minnesota Section 8A tournament, which begins next week. In a 5 p.m. first-round game Tuesday, Sacred Heart hosts the winner of the Norman County West-Hillsboro/Fertile-Beltrami play-in game. Section seeding is done by a vote of coaches. "I think the seeding voting was the hardest it's ever been," Marek said. "This year, there are so many teams that could have been No.
While Sydney Larson was on her way to winning the second of her three consecutive 300 hurdles titles in the North Dakota Class B Region 2 high school track meet as a freshman, she was encouraged to try throwing the javelin. Larson was lukewarm on the idea. "It was an event the coaches had me try," Larson said. "I thought it could be a fun event. But it wasn't my first choice of something to do.
Season one of stand-alone baseball at North Star High School has been a big success. After separating from its co-op with Munich-Starkweather after last season, the Bearcats captured the North Dakota Region 5 regular-season championship. North Star finished 11-3 in region play and takes the No. 1 seed into Friday's first round of the regional. Rugby, Minot Ryan and Bottineau are seeded second, third and fourth, respectively, each going 10-4 in region play. "We had a nucleus of kids who have played baseball in the summertime all their lives," North Star coach Corey Hagler said.