N.D. area high school track and field: Hook's no longer unbeaten, but still a favorite
Griggs County Central's Kali Hook got a wake-up call that she didn't appreciate. Hook will be one of the big favorites to win a championship today at the North Dakota Class B Region 2 track meet in Grafton. The shot put is Hook's specialty, and f...
Griggs County Central's Kali Hook got a wake-up call that she didn't appreciate.
Hook will be one of the big favorites to win a championship today at the North Dakota Class B Region 2 track meet in Grafton. The shot put is Hook's specialty, and few do it better -- the senior is defending region and Class B state champion.
But Hook had a reality check just a week ago, at the Al Cassell Relays in Jamestown. Hook was runner-up with a toss of 40 feet, 8½ inches -- 3½ inches short of the winning distance of Maple Valley-Enderlin eighth-grader Kelsey Laufenberg.
"At first, it stunk," Hook said of the loss. "But then it made me realize that it can happen, that I can be beat. I needed that. It's motivated me to work harder, because I know there are people who can beat me."
Defeat hasn't happened often. Laufenberg became the first shot putter to beat Hook in the past two seasons. Her competition in that span has included meets in which Class A schools such as Grand Forks Red River, Grand Forks Central, West Fargo and Jamestown have been in the field.
Hook has been a model of consistency this season.
She'd never hit a 40-footer prior to this spring. This season, she's hit the 40-foot mark in nine of the 10 meets in which she's competed. Only two others in the state, Laufenberg and Richland's Olivia Johnson, have reached 40 feet this spring.
"Kali is very consistent," GCC coach Nancy Paintner said. "She's very precise; everything is done in a certain order. Kali doesn't look like a shot putter. She's not a real big girl. But she is strong and very quick, and she's very skilled. She does everything right."
Hook also has had to be self-motivated.
Often, her first throw at a meet has had the distance to look like a winning effort. So she strives for more than beating the competition and first-place finishes.
"It's throwing against myself and reaching my goals," Hook said. "In most meets, the next-closest throw has been three or four feet from mine. So I have to find something to motivate myself. I try to set goals in meets, like hitting 41 feet, four throws that are more than 40 feet, things like that.
"I'm still hoping to hit 42 feet. That's my goal."
The best mark this season has been 41-10 for Hook, a multisport athlete who was an all-district pick and one of the leading hitters on Griggs County Central's Region 2 runner-up volleyball team and a regular in basketball.
More throws in the future
College track is ahead for Hook, who has signed to compete at Northern State in Aberdeen, S.D. For now, however, the senior still has something to prove at the high school level.
After getting beat for the first time at Jamestown, Hook was in second place at a meet Monday going into her final throw.
"She came from behind to win it," Paintner said. "She's got guts when she's competing.
"I think (losing to Laufenberg) made Kali realize that there is good competition out there. Now she sees that she has to work a little harder. I think it was good for Kali. It did wake her up.
"With her experience, ability, determination and work ethic, she can be a state champion again."
DeVillers reports on sports. Reach him at (701) 780-1128; (800) 477-6572, ext. 128; or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .