Grand Forks Central's Jak Urlacher breaks pole vault record at state meet

Urlacher's vault of 15 feet, 7.5 inches beat the 2017 record of 15-7 set by Dickinson's Mike Herauf in 2017.

Grand Forks Central's Jak Urlacher set a state pole vault record Saturday at the North Dakota state Class A track and field meet in Bismarck. Photo/Mike Vosburg, Forum News Service

BISMARCK -- Grand Forks Central senior Jak Urlacher saved his best for last.

Urlacher reached a personal-best height in the pole vault Saturday and broke the North Dakota Class A state meet record in the process.

Urlacher cleared 15 feet, 7.5 inches, breaking the 2017 record of Dickinson's Mike Herauf (15-7).


Urlacher's vault was plenty to win the event at the Community Bowl, as Jakob German of Bismarck High finished second in the event at 13-6.

"I came into the meet wanting 15-7.5, so I'm very happy with the results," Urlacher said. "I feel ecstatic. It really is a perfect ending to my high school track career. At the start of the season, I thought there was potential to break a state record. It's a dream come true to realize it."

Urlacher cleared 15-7.5 on his third and final attempt at that height. He then attempted to clear the state's overall pole vault record of 16 feet, 0.5 inches. Urlacher felt his second attempt at that height was close but ultimately was too fatigued to clear the bar.

Entering the state meet, Urlacher's best vault was 15-3.

"The key was getting on to a bigger pole," Urlacher said. "Earlier in the season, I was vaulting with a 14-footer. Moving to a 15-footer was big. This was the first meet I was able to really get penetration into the pit (with the 15-footer)."

Urlacher also finished fifth in the 200 meters with a time of 21.95 seconds.

Central's standout hurdler, Carter Elde, took home a pair of top-three finishes. He was runner-up in the 300 hurdles to Bismarck St. Mary's runner Cullen Curl. Elde ran the 300 hurdles in 38.32 seconds.

In the 110 hurdles, Elde finished third in a time of 14.97 seconds.


Grand Forks Red River's top showing on the boys side came in the discus as sophomore Logan Arason finished third with a throw of 168-5.

The Central boys finished eighth as a team with 36, while Red River ended 13th with 15 points. Bismarck Century, Bismarck High and Bismarck Legacy finished Nos. 1 through 3, respectively, in the Class A boys team title race.

The Roughriders' girls team placed two in the javelin. Kaylee Lancaster took fourth, while Alex Page was seventh. Red River freshman Jocie Schiller took sixth in the 400 meters in a time of 59.44 seconds.

As a team, the Red River girls (20.5 points) finished 12th, while Grand Forks Central (two points) tied for 18th. Bismarck Century won the team title by one point over Fargo Davies 138-137.

Grafton's Kern has huge day

Grafton sprinter Tommy Kern hade a huge day Saturday, winning four state championships.

Kern won the 100, 200, 400 and ran a leg on Grafton's first-place 400 relay team. His 4x100 teammates were Anthony Gonzalez, Esgar Rios and Stevan Garza.

Garza also won the high jump for the Spoilers, clearing 6 feet.

Kern won the 100 in 11.20 seconds, the 200 in 22.14 seconds and the 400 in 50.11 seconds.


Kern's big day helped the Spoilers finish in a tie for sixth in the Class B boys team title race. Kindred won the team title, followed by Bowman County, Hillsboro-Central Valley, Harvey-Wells County, Beulah and Rugby.

Pastian adds another throws title

Hillsboro-Central Valley thrower Kaden Pastian won the Class B boys discus title with a state record throw on Friday.

Pastian didn't break the state record in the shot put on Saturday, but he had plenty of distance to win the event.

The North Dakota State recruit, who was named the B boys Senior Athlete of the Year, recorded a throw of 60-8 to finish ahead of runner-up Jack Packer of Kindred (53-5).


-- Thompson senior Sam Roller won the B boys javelin with a throw of 177-4. He beat out runner-up Ryan Sletten of Larimore. Sletten's best throw was 170-6.

-- Pembina County North's Elaine Martinez won the high jump at 5-2.

-- Tatum Mehus of May-Port-C-G won the 800 in 2:20.54.

-- Hillsboro-Central Valley took first place in the B boys 1,600 relay with a tight win over Thompson. The Burros finished in 3:30.25, while the Tommies were at 3:30.62. HCV runners were Ethan Sherva, Parker Gallagher, Luke Dryburgh and Henry Nelson. Thompson's runners were Josh Yon, Max Roller, Mason Kurtz and Sam Roller.


Grand Forks Central senior Jak Urlacher stands next to his North Dakota state meet pole vault record on May 29, 2021, at the Community Bowl in Bismarck. Photo by Sean Allan/Grand Forks Central.

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019 and 2022.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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