ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Red River jumpers keep pushing the limit

Devon Pope is defending North Dakota Class A state champion in the triple jump. There are times this spring when the senior isn't even the best triple jumper on Grand Forks Red River High School's track team.

Red River's Ashley Conneran, qualifies for state with a 5 foot 11 inch jump during Thursday’s Grand Forks Duel track meet between Grand Forks Central and Red River , April 13, 2017 at Cushman Field in Grand Forks, N.D. (Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald)
Red River's Ashley Conneran, qualifies for state with a 5 foot 11 inch jump during Thursday’s Grand Forks Duel track meet between Grand Forks Central and Red River , April 13, 2017 at Cushman Field in Grand Forks, N.D. (Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald)

Devon Pope is defending North Dakota Class A state champion in the triple jump. There are times this spring when the senior isn't even the best triple jumper on Grand Forks Red River High School's track team.

Pope was runner-up in the event Thursday at the Grand Forks dual. Red River sophomore Carlos Martin won the triple jump with a 44-foot jump, beating Pope by 1.5 inches.

"We're going to be going back and forth all season,'' said Pope, who has verbally committed to compete in track at North Dakota State next season. "Just because I'm the state champion doesn't mean I'll win every time. Carlos is an outstanding athlete.

"As long as Red River is winning, we're OK with whoever wins. It's never fun to come in second. But it's a learning experience. We give each other a pep talk before each meet.''

The meet was Red River's fifth of the season. The win tally in the triple jump now sits with three for Pope and two for Martin, a sophomore who finished third at state last season.

ADVERTISEMENT

"I love competing against Devon,'' Martin said. "Tough competition makes you better.

"I didn't expect to beat him this year. But I didn't think that I'd be jumping this far, either.''

The two are friendly rivals. In practices and in meets, they help each other. And, veteran Grand Forks jumping coach Tim Delmore said, the daily competition helps.

"It's good for both of them,'' Delmore said. "If you're winning by three feet in a meet, it's hard to push yourself. But with the two of them-and Central has some good triple jumpers, too-there's always good competition.''

Red River has had a tradition of strong triple jumpers, with a few state champions that includes state record holder Mike Backes. For a one-two combination, however, the Pope-Martin duo is unprecedented at Red River.

"We've had a lot of good triple jumpers,'' Delmore said. "These two are up there with our best. And as far as having a twosome, it's probably the best two I've had on the same team. To have two 45-footers on the same team, that's pretty incredible.''

Grand Forks swept both divisions in the dual. The Red River boys won 891-5-405.5, while the Roughrider girls won 831-429.

ADVERTISEMENT

Related Topics: GFH INSTAGRAMPREP SPORTS
What To Read Next
Featuring area prep sports cancellations and postponements, local boys and girls basketball results, N.D. girls wrestling second edition coaches' poll and much more!
Featuring the prep honor roll, area college basketball conference standings, N.D. Class A and B prep basketball polls, and much more!
Featuring boys and girls hockey results from throughout the region, area prep basketball scores, boys swimming and diving results, and much more!
Manning needed 24 points to break the school record held by Kyle Sanden, who scored 1,549 points in the mid-1990s.