BISMARCK Since he was a freshman, Bottineau's Harrison Aide has had a stranglehold on the Class B pole vault event.
Aide, now a senior, won his fourth consecutive state pole vault title Saturday at the Class B state track and field meet at the Bismarck Community Bowl. Aide reached a height of 14 feet, topping Larimore's Jake Peterson by 4 inches to add to his hardware collection.
Aide's mark was a season-high after reaching a maximum height of 13-6, which was tied with Peterson for the best mark entering the state meet. Although good for first place, Aide's final height this year was a foot shorter than last year when he set the Class B boys state record at 15 feet.
Tim Chapman/Pierce County Tribune
Bottineau's Harrison Aide clears a height of 14 feet during the Class B state track and field meet Saturday at the Bismarck Community Bowl. Aide won his fourth consecutive pole vault state title.
Hazen's Dakota Wood defended her state titles in both the 100- and 300-meter hurdles.
"I was pleased for jumping 14 feet for how short of a season we had," Aide said.
Unlike the weather this weekend, the conditions throughout the season had been less than pleasant for Aide and the rest of his teammates in Bottineau.
"Today's nice, but in Bottineau it feels like there's a bubble over us with cold weather," Aide said. "It's been nice at the state track meet and it was a good day to pole vault."
Pole vault titles are nothing new to Bottineau. This is the 13th straight year a Bottineau athlete boy or girl has won a pole vault state title. It's also nothing new to the Aide family, which has a rich tradition in the event. Between Harrison, his sisters, Abbie and Kelsey, and father Mark, the Aides have 14 pole vault state titles. Kelsey holds the family record with five, followed by Harrison's four. Abbie and Mark each have three.
Rugby's Victor Gronvold also got on the podium, finishing eighth with a height of 12-3.
New Town's Wheeling takes 3,200 title
He's only a freshman, but New Town's Ryan Wheeling now owns state titles in the 1,600 and 3,200 runs.
Wheeling claimed the 1,600 title Friday, finishing in 4:23.62. He topped defending champion Elliott Stone of Shiloh Christian by nine seconds.
The 1,600 race, along with being the final leg of the 3,200 relay, left him fatigued when he woke up this morning. But he led from start to finish in the 3,200, crossing the finish line in 9:45.08.
"I was feeling a little tired after the mile and we had the relay yesterday, too," Wheeling said. "I started easy, saw what everyone else was doing. After the first mile I started kicking it in more."
Wheeling and teammate Jalen Chase, an eighth-grader, ran 1-2 for the first mile before Stone passed Chase to take over second place. Stone, the defending state champion in the event, couldn't catch Wheeling in the final mile as the New Town freshman emptied the tank in the final laps.
"I had a teammate behind me and he was really pushing me and then Stone ran a heck of a race, too," Wheeling said. "Knowing that they were behind me really pushed me. It feels really good. There's no other way to put it."
Wheeling entered both the 1,600 and 3,200 as the top qualifier. He posted personal bests in both races, finishing 10 seconds ahead of his top mark in the 1,600 and five seconds faster in the 3,200.
Wheeling joined Watford City sophomore Asha Smith as winner of both the 1,600 and the 3,200. Smith also claimed first in the 800.
Hazen's Wood defends hurdles titles
Hazen junior Dakota Wood nearly saw her chance at winning the girls 300 hurdles slip away on her final jump, but held on to win by the slimmest of margins.
With a comfortable lead heading into the final hurdle, Wood got tripped up on that last jump, allowing Hillsboro-Central Valley's Rachel Dryburgh to make up the distance at the finish line. But Wood just crossed the finish line first, defending her state title with a time of 44.79. Dryburgh clocked in at 44.91.
"I just hit the hurdle and I didn't realize she was so close to me," Wood said. "I hit the hurdle and then I saw her, so I knew I had to make sure I finished really well."
Despite the slight hiccup, Wood still posted her best time of the season. She entered the state meet with the top time in Class B at 45.35. Wood recorded a 44.30 at last year's state meet.
Wood responded with what she said was her cleanest race of the year to repeat as state champion in the 100 hurdles. She again bested her previous season-best time, finishing in 14.94. Wood entered the state meet with the second-best time behind Mott-Regent's Abby Honeyman, but finished 0.41 ahead of her to sweep the hurdles for the second straight year.
"It feels the same," Wood said. "It's a good feeling and it's just awesome because there are so many good people to compete with. I know I wouldn't be where I am if they weren't there."
Carrington girls repeat as state champions
Despite losing a few key pieces to last year's state title, the Carrington girls track and field team successfully defended their team championship.
The Cardinals, winners of three straight team titles, finished with 87 points and had three state individual winners. Carrington grabbed the lead with 40 points at the end of the first day Friday and held off a late charge by Hazen on Saturday on the oval.
Senior Kayla Hochhalter, named the Class B girls senior athlete of the year, scored 28 points herself in the field, winning the javelin and shot put. Hochhalter set a state record in the javelin with a throw of 143-11. She finished second behind teammate Bailey Retzlaff in the discus. The Cardinals scored 42 points in the field.
Carrington missed having sprinter Josey Page, who won the 100 and 200 as a senior last year, but freshman Ashley Neumiller provided a boost in the distance events. She placed third in both the 1,600 and 3,200, topping her season-best times in each. Neumiller finished the 1,600 in 5:16.56, seven seconds faster than her season-qualifying time. She crossed the finish line in 11:39.64 in the 3,200, more than 20 seconds ahead of her previous best time.
"Each championship has something different from it," Carrington coach Greg Hoeckle said. "You're dealing with a different set a girls and different circumstances. It's always a great feeling to have the seniors who are going out to go out on top."
Mike Kraft covers Minot High athletics and general assignments. Follow him on Twitter @MKraft24_MDN.