CLASS A PREP TRACK: Red River’s Hannah Arason hopes to end on a positive note
Hannah Arason is trying to put a positive ending to a disappointing season. The Grand Forks Red River junior is defending North Dakota Class A girls state track champion in both the high jump and javelin. However, most of this season was wiped ou...
Hannah Arason is trying to put a positive ending to a disappointing season.
The Grand Forks Red River junior is defending North Dakota Class A girls state track champion in both the high jump and javelin. However, most of this season was wiped out by a stress fracture in her left foot.
When she competes Friday in the East Region meet at Cushman Field, it will be Arason’s first competition in more than a month.
“It hasn’t been an ideal season, that’s for sure,’’ Arason said.
“At first, it was very frustrating. I just had to keep looking ahead. But it’s hard watching other people doing what you love to do and not being able to be out there competing yourself.’’
Arason won state last season with a javelin throw of 139 feet, 8 inches and a high jump of 5 feet, 3 inches. She set a personal record with a 5-6 high jump at an indoor meet this season and, in the first two outdoor meets, had state-qualifying performances in the high jump (5-3) and javelin (128-1).
Optimism for the season, however, was marred by the nagging pain in her left foot. Arason said she believes she suffered the injury during indoor practices before the first meet.
“I started feeling pain during the indoor season,’’ she said. “At first it was excruciating pain. Then it got to be just annoying, maybe because I was getting used to it. When I still was feeling it, the coaches told me I should go (to a doctor) and try to find out what was wrong.’’
Since the left foot is her push-off foot for high jumping and the landing foot for the javelin, it takes a pounding. Arason was limited in what she could do.
“It’s been a frustrating season for her,’’ Red River coach Tracey Heisler said. “The way she started the year, I suspect she would have had better performances than last year. She had a great start and she’s a competitor.
“We’ll see how it goes now. You hope she’s healthy. But you really have no idea how she is until she competes. This will be the test.’’
Arason said she’s probably limit herself to three jumps Friday. She’s hoping for a better distance in the javelin than her previous qualifying throw.
“A high place would be awesome, but I’m competing more against myself,’’ Arason said. “I’ve thrown 140 in the past. I’ve worked on technique. I think I can improve my mark.
“I’m thankful that I still have another season. But I don’t think this was a season wasted. It’s been a learning experience for me. And I’m looking forward to state.’’
Heisler said Arason has the experience, athleticism and competitiveness to compete at state next week. But does she have a healthy foot? “That’s the question, and we don’t know that answer yet,’’ Heisler said.
Arason faces stiff competition in both of her events. In the high jump, Fargo Davies’ Payton Mark has the best Class A leap of the season, clearing 5-6. And Akealy Moton of West Fargo has the state’s longest throw in the javelin with a mark of 133 feet, 2 inches.
Several athletes in Friday’s East Region meet have state-best performances, based on information submitted to the North Dakota High School Activities Association. They include:
- Grace Finney, GF Central: The junior has the highest pole vault in Class A this spring, clearing 11-3;
- Kealy Walker, West Fargo: The junior is the defending state champion in the shot put and has the state’s best throw this spring (44-7);
- Afure Adah, Fargo Shanley: The senior has the state’s fastest times in the 100 hurdles and the 300 hurdles.
- Devon Pope, Red River: The sophomore has gone a state-best 42-11 in the triple jump;
- Derek Murph, Red River: The junior was state runner-up in the javelin last season and has a state-best throw of 176-11 this season;
- Ty Brooks, Fargo South: The senior and NDSU football recruit has the state’s best long jump (22-4);
- Al Bates, Fargo Davies: The senior has cleared 6-5, the best high jump in the state.