FARGO — The conditions for the Sanford Fargo Marathon on Saturday were perfect — compared to training in Minot, N.D., this winter. Subzero temperatures, snow, blizzards; Val Curtis saw it all trying to train for 26.2 miles. She conquered every obstacle in her way in taking the women’s division with a time of 2 hours, 43 minutes, 8 seconds. She reached the standard for the Olympic Marathon Trials that’s been the goal all along.
FARGO - After grabbing the lead at about Mile 20, Arturs Bareikis spent the final six miles in the Sanford Fargo Marathon on Saturday constantly looking over his shoulder. There was nothing to see. The 32-year-old from Midlothian, Ill., made his third trip to Fargo one to remember winning the 15th annual event in 2 hours, 27 minutes, 14 seconds. That second place finish in 2014? He was on a mission not to let that happen again. “I came here to do one thing,” Bareikis said.
FARGO - Make that three in a row for North Dakota State quarterbacks getting a chance at professional football. The Los Angeles Chargers took Easton Stick in the fifth round Saturday afternoon in the NFL Draft in Nashville, Tenn. There was no shortage of national attention on Stick. ESPN had a camera in his family’s home in Omaha, Neb., to catch his reaction, which included a long hug from his teary-eyed father Mike Stick. The selection of Stick means the Chargers won't be without an NDSU player for long.
FARGO — It’s 450 miles from Cedar Falls, Iowa, to Fargo, a distance that has become quite popular with North Dakota State football coaches in recent history. When the Bison hired David Braun away from Northern Iowa as the defensive coordinator in January, it marked the third time NDSU has plucked an assistant coach with ties to its Missouri Valley Football Conference rival. It’s been a quick transition for the Braun family. Last week, he came home from work one night and his two boys each presented him with a painting: one a “horns up” depiction and the other a bison.
Craig Bohl was hired as the head North Dakota State football coach in 2003, taking a NCAA Division II job with the task of bringing the Bison back up to speed. The squad finished 2-8 in 2002 in front of a half-empty Fargodome and that doesn’t fly in Fargo. In reality, the task given Bohl was much bigger. The university president at the time, Joe Chapman, had something more in mind than making a run in the Division II playoffs. “The marching orders were given,” Bohl would say later.
FARGO — The first spring football practice was about to wrap up, and Tyler Roehl wanted the last word. His face was bursting with emotion. His voice was somewhat hoarse, but was loud enough to bounce off the fabric walls of the Dacotah Field bubble. Whatever happened with turnovers and the Bison offense during practice, it wasn’t good. With the same type of energy he used during a 20-yard burst when he was an NDSU running back, Roehl let the players know what was acceptable. Welcome to the job as offensive coordinator.
FARGO — The easy thing for North Dakota State would be to leave Jabril Cox at his same outside linebacker position this spring, and watch him coast through the 15 allowable football practices. It’s not what head coach Matt Entz has in mind, however. In an effort to challenge his standout junior, the Bison are moving him from one outside linebacker spot to the other. It’s all about a catchword Entz emphasized during the first week of practice: Uncomfortable. He used the word a few times in his spring practice press conference last week.
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Just two minutes. That’s all it took for Duke to flex its muscle Friday night, March 22, in the first round of the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament. A 9-0 run to start the second half quickly dispelled any upset thoughts by North Dakota State and the Blue Devils went on to an 85-62 victory at Colonial Life Arena. It was a game effort by the Bison, a noble first half that saw them trail by only four points to the tournament’s top seed, but talent ultimately took over.
FARGO — There were 3.9 seconds remaining. That’s how much time was left for four North Dakota State seniors to keep their five years of dedication to Bison men’s basketball alive. That’s how much time was left when Ben Woodside released the shot that will forever be enshrined in the history of NDSU athletics. It was the field goal that sent the Bison to the NCAA Tournament in their first year of Division I eligibility. That was 10 years ago as another Summit League tournament is underway this weekend in Sioux Falls, S.D. NDSU's 2009 accomplishment is rare territory.
FARGO -- They're still young on the roster -- the North Dakota State men's basketball team has no seniors -- but in reality they're not young anymore. It's March and there is no room for pacifiers in college basketball. It's the madness of the Summit League tournament in Sioux Falls, S.D., a time of the year when it's win or return to Fargo with the season over. "I think everybody has grown up from the beginning of the year to now," said Bison junior Tyson Ward. "And there is no excuse of being young anymore."