Shelby Frank is starting to like the shot put.
The Grand Forks Red River sophomore remained unbeaten in the shot this spring by winning Thursday at the annual Grand Forks Sertoma Invitational, held at UND's High Performance Center. Frank had a winning toss of 40 feet, 4 inches, beating teammate and runner-up Betsy Seaver by four feet, 4 inches.
Frank has made her mark statewide in the discus. She became the first eighth-grader to win the Class A state discus title, and repeated as champion last season. While she placed fifth at state in the shot last season, the event has been an afterthought for her.
"I never put as much work into the shot as I did the discus,'' Frank said. "I didn't enjoy doing it as much. It was just a big, heavy object to me. I didn't have fun with it. It seemed boring.
"But something seemed to click with it. I like it way more now.''
Success may have something to do with that. Frank entered the season with a personal-record toss of 39-2-the only time she'd reached 39 feet. This season she's surpassed 39 feet in each of her five meets. Thursday marked the second time she'd reached the 40-foot mark.
"Shelby never really liked the shot, but we always felt she could be good at it,'' said Lee Baker, her coach in the discus. "And 40 feet is really good for a sophomore.
"I think she could be just as dominant in the shot as she is in the discus. And she seems to be willing to work to do that.''
Those words aren't news to Frank. "They (coaches) always say that to me,'' she said. "I didn't believe it last year when they said it. But I think I'm putting the pieces together this year.''
Still, Frank is anxious for outdoor meets and a chance to compete in the discus. "It's still my favorite,'' she said. "I can't wait to get outside and throw the discus. But I am enjoying the shot.''
Six athletes were multiple open winners at the Sertoma, including two Grand Forks athletes in the girls division.
Central's Rachel Torrey won the 800 and 1,500, while Red River's Mackenzie Severson took first in the two hurdles races. Also winning a pair of events was Rose Gaye (100, 200) as she led Davies the team title. Davies scored 127 points to runner-up Red River's 117.5.
On the boys' side, West Fargo's Jacob Levin was a triple winner (100, 200, long jump) to lead the Packers to the team title with 115.5 points, 15 ahead of runner-up Fargo South. The Bruins' Muqsin Hussien (800, 1,500) and Fargo North's Erik Anderson (110 hurdles, 300 hurdles) also won two open events.