East Region high school track: Roesler, Smith dominate

WAHPETON, N.D. -- Fargo South's Laura Roesler dominated the North Dakota East Region girls track and field meet again Saturday, setting a trio of records to lead the Bruins to the team title.

Jimmy Evers of Grand Forks Red River dominates the boys' 110-meter hurdles Saturday in Wahpeton, N.D. during the North Dakota East Regional Track and Field Championships. Michael Vosburg, Forum photo editor.

WAHPETON, N.D. -- Fargo South's Laura Roesler dominated the North Dakota East Region girls track and field meet again Saturday, setting a trio of records to lead the Bruins to the team title.

The senior standout already has 17 individual state titles as well and will be looking for more this week at the North Dakota Class A state meet in Bismarck.

While Roesler, an Oregon recruit, had another record-setting day at the region meet, Grand Forks Red River came away with a solid performance in a third-place finish. The Riders won four events, including two relays.

Roesler-led South finished with 202 points, followed by West Fargo's 156 points and Red River's 138. Grand Forks Central, led by an individual title from Jessica Lindsay in the 800 meters, finished fifth with 40 points.

In the boys division, West Fargo, led by distance runner Jameson Gehrig, won its first region title in school history with 182 points. Grand Forks Red River, with three individual titles, was second with 155 points.


Grand Forks Central was fourth with 95 points. The Knights came away with two individual titles at the Owen and Dee Jensen Track and Field Complex.

Bruins' Roesler continues to shine

Roesler set meet records in the 100 meters (:12.08 seconds), the 200 (:24.73) and the 400 (:54.56) to help the Bruins overcome the disappointment of losing the region title to West Fargo last season.

"We were really focused on how our team did today," Roesler said. "For us (seniors), it's our last year. We wanted to get it back because we have a solid group this year and a lot of talent. We've performed well all year and the girls want it."

Roesler, whose 17 individual state titles is equaled only by former Carrington star Whitney Carlson, was at the top of her game in each of her events.

"It was not really about times today," said Roesler, who was named the East Region senior athlete of the year. "It was just about placing and running relaxed. This is just a tune up for state."

Red River had a good tune up as well.

Ashley Zeitvogel won the pole vault with a jump of 11 feet. She dominated the event as the next best height was 8 feet, 6 inches. The Riders also picked up a win in the javelin from Jordyn Steffen, whose 127-6 effort topped the field by more than 14 feet.


Red River also won the 800 relay in a time of 1 minute, 46.70 seconds and the 1,600 relay in 4:03.50.

Lindsay, meanwhile, won the 800 in 2:19.71.

Defending state high jump champion Kira Larson of Fargo North broke the 21-year-old East Region meet record by clearing 5 feet, 8 inches. The previous record of 5-7½ was set by Katy Unruh of Grand Forks Red River in 1989.

Surprising Packers

West Fargo won the boys division behind Gehrig, who earned titles in the 1,600 (4:24.94) and 3,200 (9:57.18). The senior has run the event just three times during the outdoor season leading up to the region meet.

Grand Forks Red River and Central, meanwhile, came away with strong showings in the hurdles and field events.

Red River's Jimmy Evers won the 110 hurdles in 15.08 seconds while Central's Ger Schmidt took the 300 hurdles in 41.24. Central's other title came in the discus, where Jeremy Zahradka's throw of 144-0 was the top throw.

Red River's Brian Ericson won the javelin with a throw of 171-1 and teammate Elby Pope took the long jump with a leap of 21-3½.


While Roesler dominated the girls division, Wahpeton's Ryan Smith, a NDSU football recruit, had a big day in the boys division.

Smith was named the region's senior athlete of the year after breaking his own meet records in the 100 (:10.64) and 200 (:22.19).

Smith set the previous 100 mark of 10.71 and the previous 200 record of 22.20 in 2008.

He said he's now focused on topping former Bismarck sprinter and former UND standout Weston Dressler's state meet record of 10.44 in the 100.

The state meet is scheduled for this weekend at the Bismarck Community Bowl in Bismarck.

"If I peak at the right time, it's definitely in my sights," Smith said.

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