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N.D. AREA CLASS B STATE TRACK AND FIELD PREVIEW: Coles runs in shadows

Good times, but bad timing -- that sums up Kiley Coles' track career. The Hillsboro High School senior has been a dominant distance runner in Region 2 for the past six seasons, with nine region titles on her resume. Coles has been a placer at the...

Good times, but bad timing -- that sums up Kiley Coles' track career.

The Hillsboro High School senior has been a dominant distance runner in Region 2 for the past six seasons, with nine region titles on her resume. Coles has been a placer at the North Dakota state Class B meet in each of the past four seasons.

But this is the Lindsay Anderson era.

"You hear people say, 'You'll never have a chance (to win a state title) because of Lindsay,'" Coles said. "It's hard hearing that, even if it is more than likely the truth.

"She's always beaten me. If she wasn't there, I think I'd have more of a chance to win at state. She's an amazing runner. And she makes me work harder."

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Anderson, a Benson County senior, has cast a long shadow over other quality distance runners, including Coles.

At the state meet Friday and Saturday in Bismarck, Anderson will be after her sixth straight state title in the 1,600. She's won the 3,200 the past two seasons after finishing second to older sister Krista three straight years. And she won her first 800 state title last season after three straight runner-up finishes.

Coles, meanwhile, has had nine top-eight places at state in the distance events. Her best showing was last season when she was sixth in the 400, third in both the 800 and 3,200 and runner-up to Anderson in the 1,600. Coles ran a time of 5 minutes, 19.44 seconds in the 1,600; Anderson finished at 5:06.80.

"That's been Kiley's story," Hillsboro coach Dan Hoornaert said. "She's an outstanding runner, but she's stuck behind Lindsay.

"Lindsay is a fantastic runner. To be a state champion, Kiley has to beat her. She's never done that. That gets to be a mental thing that's tough for a high school kid to overcome. But Kiley is such a positive person. Not much bothers her."

Coles isn't alone. In Region 2, such standout distance runners in recent seasons as Grafton's Nicole Woinarowicz and Chloe Tweten, Minto-Midway's Jess Schanilec and Griggs County Central's Tenielle Klubben have come up short in bids to beat Anderson.

Schanilec is seeded third in the 800, behind Anderson and Adrienne Thomas of Park River Area. Anderson is ranked first in the 1,600, with Coles and Klubben tied for the state's second-fastest times this season. Anderson is seeded first in the 3,200, with Schanilec third, Klubben fourth and Coles 14th.

"Our region has had some very strong distance runners,'' Hoornaert said. "Kiley has gone back and forth with those girls. But, by the end of the season, she's usually done pretty well against that region competition. Kiley's a very competitive girl, and she's been a kid who generally peaks at the end of the season."

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But beyond the region looms Anderson, an obstacle no Region 2 runner has been able to overcome.

Running in the shadow of another standout isn't new for Coles. She's the younger sister of Kinsey Coles, who won several state titles before going on to an All-America career at North Dakota State University.

"It gets a little old," said Kiley Coles, who holds school 800 and 1,600 school records. "But it's been incentive for me, too.

"If I could overcome those shadows (cast by Anderson and her older sister), it would be pretty amazing."

Benson County

eyes repeat

Anderson leads a Benson County team that is defending North Dakota Class B girls state track champion. It also won the title in 2005.

Benson County romped to the title last season, scoring 94½ points to runner-up Rugby's 52. Benson County co-coach Jeff Manley looks for a closer race.

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"In 2005 and last year, things went very well for us,'' Manley said. "That's what's going to have to happen again. We don't have as many qualifiers, and we don't have as many events covered.

"There's no way we'll get 90-some points like we did last year. But if a teams gets to 60 points, that might be what it will take to win. And that's possible for us if everything goes well.''

In addition to Anderson, Benson County has returning state placers in Jordan Callahan, Jessie Schwanke, Katrece Thompson and Sharisa Yri.

Others to watch

Here are some of the other top area qualifiers for the meet:

n Adrienne Thomas, Park River Area: The senior won the 100, 200 and 400 at state last season in her first season of varsity track. She's expected to be a big point producer again, as Thomas has the state's fastest times in the 100, 200 and 400 and the third-best long jump of the season.

n Kristyn Nelson, Rolette-Wolford: The senior has the state's fastest time in the 100 hurdles, the second-fastest in the 300 hurdles and is tied for the second-best time in the 100. Nelson placed second in the 100 hurdles and seventh in the 300 hurdles at state last season.

n Jess Schanilec, Minto-Midway: The senior enters state seeded third in both the 800 and 3,200. Schanilec finished fifth in the 800 at state last season.

n Katie Gruman, Griggs County Central: The senior is defending state champion in the discus and has the state's longest throw in the event this season. She's seeded third in the shot put, an event in which she finished third last season. Gruman also was state runner-up in the javelin in 2007.

DeVillers reports on sports. Reach him at (701) 780-1128; (800) 477-6572, ext. 128; or send e-mail to gdevillers@gfherald.com .

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