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BISMARCK -- Grand Forks Red River's Devon Pope won the triple jump here Saturday on the final day of the North Dakota Class A boys high school track meet. The junior won with a personal-record leap of 45 feet, 9.5 inches. He moved up one spot after finishing second in the event as a sophomore. The highest-placing area athlete in the Class B boys state meet Saturday was Shandon Toenies of Hillsboro-Central Valley, who was runner-up in the 400.
BISMARCK -- Wesley Odegaard beat the competition here Friday. First, however, he had to beat his own jitters. Odegaard became the first Griggs County Central athlete to win the shot put at the North Dakota Class B boys high school track meet. The junior had a winning throw of 54 feet, 3.5 inches, seven inches farther than runner-up Nicholas Rivinius of Grant County-Flasher. Also winning from the area on the opening day of the state B meet was Rolette-Wolford senior Lexy Wittmayer in the high jump.
BISMARCK -- After running the fastest 1,600-meter race of her life, Karly Ackley still had a bit of energy left. She made a final post-race kick, sprinting after crossing the finish line a short distance to leap into the arms of fellow Grand Forks Central distance runner David Hettich. "He's a good friend and I was really excited, winning and seeing that it was a PR,'' Ackley said.
Devon Pope hadn't practiced high jumping all season. He hadn't competed in the event since the first meet of the 2015 high school track season. But, with nothing better to do, he decided to high jump in Grand Forks Red River's final regular-season meet. All the 5-foot-11 Pope did was clear the bar at 6 feet, 2 inches to qualify for the state meet. The Red River junior showed that he's not only one of the best horizontal, but also vertical, jumpers in the North Dakota Class A state high school track ranks.
The pressure is off Maggie Powell. And the Grand Forks Central senior can thank teammate Karly Ackley for that. Powell goes into today's Class A East Region track meet in West Fargo knowing she doesn't need a top-six finish in the 3,200 or a state-qualifying time to advance to the Class A state high school track meet next week in Bismarck.
Spencer Rehovsky and Cole Clemetson were part of the team concept that took an undefeated Park River/Fordville-Lankin football team all the way to a second straight North Dakota Class A high school football championship last fall.
THIEF RIVER FALLS -- The new football coach is the old football coach at Thief River Falls High School. It was announced Thursday that Jeff Mumm will be the Prowlers' head coach in 2016. He replaces Aric Attig, whose coaching contract was not renewed by the Thief River Falls school board.
When Grand Forks Red River has had its full boys track lineup, only once in six outdoor meets this season has an East Region opponent defeated the Roughriders. That means very little to Roughriders coach Jeff Bakke heading into the East Region meet, to be held Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. at West Fargo. The top six finishers in each event, as well as all entrants who meet state-qualifying standards, advance to next week's state meet in Bismarck.
THIEF RIVER FALLS -- Running the 800 is an experience Meleah Biermaier is glad she won't be doing again this spring. The Thief River Falls High School hurdles standout not only ran the 800 on Tuesday at the Section 8AA true team track meet. Biermaier won the race. But she didn't enjoy the race.
Maddie Makovsky doesn't mind finishing what others start. The Grand Forks Red River senior pitcher picked up a save and a complete-game win Thursday as the Roughriders swept Grand Forks Central High School in a fastpitch softball doubleheader at Apollo. Red River won the opener 3-1 and the second game 11-6.