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GGF track and field preview: Red River thrower Logan Arason making the most of two unique seasons

Arason, who finished third in the javelin at last year's North Dakota state Class A meet, is also one of the state's top football recruits.

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Grand Forks Red River junior Logan Arason, one of the area's top throwers and college football prospects, throws the javelin.
Submitted photo
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GRAND FORKS — Logan Arason isn’t going to let the last two track and field seasons get him down.

The Grand Forks Red River junior thrower didn’t get to have a freshman season due to the pandemic. His sophomore season was sent off course by an elbow injury.

“I think it was a blessing in disguise,” Arason said. “My freshman year, I was big but I wasn’t strong, so my freshman year I really hit the weight room in my house and got a lot stronger. That really helped me.

“Last year, since I hurt my elbow, I couldn’t do javelin or shot put, so I put a lot of my time into the discus. That really paid off. So now I’m a lot better at disc and could have a future career in that. I try not to think about it all as a negative. I think last year ended up being an okay season, and I’m happy with how it ended.”

With that ending — a third-place state meet finish in the javelin and a ninth-place finish in the discus — Arason and the Red River track and field coaching staff are excited for this spring season to take flight.

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“He’s just so much stronger right now than he was a year ago,” Red River coach Jeff Bakke said. “We’ve seen pictures from a couple of years ago, and it’s unbelievable to see the transformation he’s gone through. We’re excited to see the hard work that he’s been putting in pay off.”

Arason, who’s 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds, had a best javelin throw last year of 172 feet, 5 inches, which ranks 15th all-time in Red River’s impressive history of throwers. But if you look at that mark in terms of Red River’s best all-time for sophomores, it ranks No. 4 all-time.

Arason won the shot put, discus and javelin in the Grand Forks dual between Red River and Central to open the outdoor season on Monday.

Arason threw 176-6 in the javelin.

This spring, Arason is focusing on staying healthy, rather than picking marks to beat.

“Past years, I have been so worried about numbers and places that I’ve overworked myself,” he said. “This year, my goal is to make it through and hopefully get some good throws.”

It has been a busy junior season for Arason, a three-sport athlete who has become a college prospect in both football and track and field.

“Going into this football season, I wasn’t expecting any football recruiting,” Arason said. “It all kind of hit me.”

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He said he hasn’t decided if he’ll pursue football or track and field — or both — at thet college level.

“Some want for both,” Arason said. “With football, I’m testing the waters and going on junior days and gameday visits.”

Arason has attended junior days at UND and North Dakota State, with plans to attend South Dakota State and South Dakota, as well. He was also invited to Iowa State but couldn’t fit the visit into his schedule.

Boys track & field

GF Red River at a glance

Coach: Jeff Bakke.

2021 finish: 13th at state.

Key returners: Sr. Gannon Brooks (eighth at state in 400, seventh at state in 4x400); sr. Dameon Zenawick (11th state in 800, 20th at state in mile, fourth at state in 4x800); jr. Jonah Dafoe (21st at state in 800, 15th at state in mile, third at state in 4x800); sr. Hunter McHenry (29th at state in 800, 12th at state in mile, 12th at state in 3,200, fourth at state in 4x800); jr. Mason Reynolds; jr. Carter Byron; sr. Tanner Schiller (seventh at state in 4x400); sr. Simon Haug (16th at state in triple jump); jr. Lukas Heydt (16th at state in triple jump); jr. Logan Arason (ninth at state in discus, third at state in javelin).

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Top newcomers: Jr. Caleb Severson; jr. Hudson Flom; jr. Grant Lelm; jr. Hudson Kilgore; jr. Mikey Mallory; soph. Ben Strand; soph. Grant Hoffarth; soph. Micah Larsen-Schmidt; fr. Elijah Dafoe; fr. James Walters; fr. Brody Andrade; fr. Pearce Parks.

Coach Bakke says: “This is the largest team we’ve ever had with more than 100 boys. Our strength will be depth in distance. We had the state runner-up cross country team, so we have a strong core of distance runners. We have a balanced team. We are looking to find some athletes to fill in areas we’re not as strong at. We’re excited about this group’s potential. After last year, which was so strange because everyone on the team was new to track or young, because we lost the prior season … this year, we feel like we have a good core of upperclassmen and leaders.”

GF Central at a glance

Coach: Sean Allan.

2021 finish: Eighth at state.

Key returners: Sr. Carter Elde (third at state in 110 hurdles, second at state in 300 hurdles, ninth at state in 4x200, fifth at state in 4x400); sr. Wyatt Mutzenberger (seventh at state in 200, seventh at state in 400, ninth at state in 4x200, fifth at state in 4x400); jr. Quinn Roehl (25th at state in 800, 14th at state in mile); soph. Ryaan Alshami; soph. Angel Lopez; sr. Joe Williamson; soph. Curtis Sande; jr. Oss Navy; sr. Anthony Lopez; jr. Zac Kuznia; jr. Jillian Riley.

Top newcomers: Sr. Justin Kerr.

Coach Allan says: “We’re stronger in speed and hurdles than in the past. We’ve been a distance team before but Carter and Wyatt and Joe will make waves in the hurdles and sprints. We also have Quinn Roehl who will be one of the top distance runners in the state. We’ll cover most events but we’re not real deep.”

EGF Senior High at a glance

Coach: Kirk Misialek.

2021 finish: First in Section 8A.

Key returners: Sr. Carter Vasek (third at section in 100, fifth at section in 200, first at section in 800 relay); jr. Cooper Smith (ninth at section in 200, third at section in 300 hurdles, first at section in 800 relay); sr. Jonathan Krueger (fourth at section in 800, third at section in mile); fr. Cooper Hills (ninth at section in 800, sixth at section in 3,200 relay); sr. Dawson McDonald (sixth at section in 3,200, fourth at section in 110 hurdles, 12th in section at 300 hurdles); soph. Jace Fore (eighth at section in 3,200, sixth at section in 3,200 relay); jr. Caleb Zejdlik (ninth at section in shot put); sr. Nate Afshari (third at section in pole vault, first at section in 800 relay); jr. Cole Olson (sixth at section in pole vault); soph. Tate Moore (sixth at section in 3,200 relay).

Top newcomers: Jr. Kaden Vanyo; soph. Hunter Jordheim; soph. Brayden Carlson.

Coach Misialek says: “I’m pretty happy with how we’ve started during our two indoor meets. We have a balanced team. We’re pretty well-rounded. We do move up to Class AA this year. We’re leaving Class A and that poses a little stiffer competition when we get to the end of the year. Our kids compete no matter who’s at the track, though. There’s some talent on our team, for sure. We have good kids coming back and others filling in the gaps.”

Girls track & field

GF Red River at a glance

Coach: Adam Eckert.

2021 finish: 12th at state.

Key returners: Soph. Jocie Schiller (sixth at state in 400, 12th at state 4x400, fourth at state 4x800); jr. Lauren Dosch (12th at state in 800, 15th at state in mile, 12th at state 4x400, fourth at state, 4x800) ; fr. Mya Mannausau (13th at state in mile, fourth at state, 4x800) ; sr. Campbell Dorsey (17th at state in mile); soph. Lauren Swanson; jr. Lauryn Rydell (fourth at state in high jump); sr. Emma Boe; eighth-grader Josie Fish.

Top newcomers: Soph. Morgan Hartze; fr. Ellery White; fr. Sophie Brakke; fr. Bryn Larson; seventh-grader Joce Hoefs.

Coach Eckert says: “Our numbers are a little down but the numbers we do have, we have experience especially in the distances. With the sprints, we’re young but there seems to be a lot of potential. We have some ninth-graders coming in. With a little more experience and by the end of the season, maybe they’re in contention by EDC. In throws, we have up-and-comers that the coaches are talking highly of. There could be some girls in there that maybe in a year or so will be contenders.”

GF Central at a glance

Coach: Sean Allan.

2021 finish: 18th at state.

Key returners: Soph. Claire Hynek (20th at state in mile, 15th at state in 4x800); soph. Aria Kindseth (15th at state in 4x800); jr. Kaylee Baker (17th at state in discus); sr. Hannah Hynek; jr. Camille Finney.

Top newcomers: Jr. Annika Presteng.

Coach Allan says: “They’re really young. We have one senior and then a lot of sophomores and freshmen. It’s going to be some development time with the girls to figure out what their best events are and to mesh as a team and gain that confidence together.”

EGF Senior High at a glance

Coach: Liesa Hanson.

2021 finish: Sixth in Section 8A.

Key returners: Fr. Katherine Allard (11th at section in 800, first at section in 3,200 relay); jr. Lydia Floden (second at section in 3,200, first at section in 3,200 relay); soph. Shalli Anderson (12th at section in 100 hurdles); sr. Emma Larson (fifth at section in shot put, 10th at section in discus); sr. Malia Beich (third at section in pole vault); sr. Macie Stanislowski (fourth at section in long jump); sr. Ty Garcia (eighth at section in triple jump).

Top newcomers: Fr. Camryn Adams.

Coach Hanson says: “We have good numbers with about 30 girls out. We have some key returners with seniors who have been around quite a while. The two returning from state in Floden and Allard. They were on the 4x800 at state and Lydia ran the two-mile state. The big twist for us is Minnesota going to three classes and we are now at AA. At the end of the year, it’s going to be a different look to trying to advance to state and who we are competing against.”

Related Topics: GF RED RIVER
Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019.

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, tmiller@gfherald.com or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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The senior earned all-state honors last season on a 14-2 Green Wave squad.
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