Meet the 2021 Devils Lake Journal all-area track and field teams
As soon as the long awaited 2021 track and field season started, it was over. However, athletes around the lake region didn't go unnoticed in the short amount of time they were running, vaulting, throwing or jumping.
Last weekend, over 40 athletes from all six area programs participated in the 2021 NDHSAA State Track and Field Meet at the Community Bowl in Bismarck. Two athletes walked away with state championships while many others found their way onto the podium.
With such a deep track and field scene in northeast North Dakota, the Devils Lake Journal would like to name a select few athletes to its 2021 all-area teams, and name two individuals athletes as track and field athletes of the year.
All-area girls team
Lexis Olson, Langdon/Edmore/Munich
Olson was one a select few athletes that carried a heavy load into state, competing in four different running events. At the Community Bowl, Olson would qualify for finals in all four of her events and take second place in the 300 meter hurdles with a personal record of 45.08. This is the second straight season that Olson has finished as a state runner up in the event and the third straight season she has ran multiple events at state.
Ramsey Brown, Devils Lake
At season's end, Brown has still stood as one of the top four high jumpers in all of Class A. Her 5' 1" jump at the Ray McDonald Memorial was the fourth best marker in the final state rankings and would punch her ticket to Bismarck. She has played a major role in the girls 4x400 relay, the only Devils Lake event to place at state.
Keely Arnston, Benson County
Arnston carried a heavy schedule going into the state meet and leaned heavy into her cross country experience to find success on the track. Arnston would pick up a state runner-up finish in the girls 3200 meter run with a time of 11:34.44, which would also be a personal record. She would follow that up with another personal record and a third place finish in the 1600 meter run with a time of 5:23.65.
Erica Nelson, Devils Lake
Toward the mid-point of the season, Nelson proved that she can hang with some of the best in the state, throwing for a personal best 38' 6" at the Ray McDaniel Memorial to qualify for state. The throw still ranks as the sixth best of the season. She would throw for 36' 9" at state, which would be good enough for 11th place.
Danielle Hagler, North Star
Similar to a handful of other athletes on this list, Hagler has shown all around athleticism from volleyball to basketball and now track and field. The junior led the Bearcats in individual participation at the state meet, competing in the 100 meter dash and the long jump. Hagler would break the top six in the long jump with a distance of 16' 3", tying her third place finish at the North Central Regional a week before.
Cora Badding, Langdon/Edmore/Munich
In just her freshman year, Badding has left a significant impact on the North Dakota Class B jumping scene. She would pull out a state runner-up finish in the long jump with a distance of 16' 10.5", which still wasn't her personal record, which she set earlier this season at 17' 3" at the Charlie Hanneman Memorial. She would also place sixth in the triple jump with a distance of 34' 5".
Meredith Romfo, Langdon/Edmore/Munich
The youngest athlete to make this list, Romfo picked up state qualification in javelin as an eighth grader, and put some of the best in the state to the test. She would throw for a personal record of 116' 1" at the Ray McDaniel Memorial and would pick up a sixth place finish at the state meet with a distance of 111' 3".
Devils Lake Journal Girls T&F Athlete of the Year
Kelsie Belquist, New Rockford-Sheyenne
Belquist took the state by storm in her freshman season, breaking multiple personal and meet records as a freshman. In just her second time in Bismarck, she would pick up state championships in the 300 meter hurdles, with a time of 44.41, and the 400 meter dash, with a time of 57.33. She did not lose either one of those events this entire season. In addition, she would pick up two fourth place finishes in the 200 meter dash and 100 meter dash. Alongside her running events, Belquist has also anchored a handful of jumping events too.
All-area boys team
Tucker Regner, Langdon/Edmore/Munich
As L/E/M's lone boys competitor, Regner kept pace with one of the more selective events around the state. Multiple times this season, Regner would push himself into top three finishes, cleaning 10 feet in every meet this season. He would set a personal record of 12' 6" at the Devils Lake Rotary and would place in ninth at state.
James Tice, Devils Lake
Another selective event this season, Tice broke into the top 15 rankings in Class A shot put to earn himself a spot at the state meet. Alongside seven top three finishes this season, Tice would throw for a career best 49' 7.25" at the Devils Lake Rotary. At state, he would pick up an 14th place finish with a throw of 48' 4".
Brady Goss, Devils Lake
As one of Devils Lake's top distance runners, Goss represented the Firebirds in the Class A boys 3200 meter run, placing himself with some of the top distance competitors in the state. Late in the season, Goss would set a personal record of 9:58.40, which was good enough for fifth place at the East Regional. In Bismarck, he would take 20th with a time of 9:58.81, nearly matching his PR.
Garrett Syverson, Nelson County
Representing Nelson County at state, Syverson not only finished as the Chargers top athlete, but one of the best in the state. He would not only qualify for the 300 meter hurdles and 800 meter dash finals, but would pick up mid-range finished in both events. In the hurdles, Syverson would take seventh with a time of 41.78, and would set a personal record in prelims. In 800 meter finals, Syverson would set another PR in a eighth place finishing time of 2:03.75.
Colton Schneider, Devils Lake
Schneider found his way to state in a more untraditional way, off a previsional throw of 155' 8". However, that did not take away from the success he had throughout the season and at the state level. Schneider was putting up big numbers early on as he would throw for a personal record of 155' 8 just three meets into the season. At state, he would finish in 15th place with a distance of 140' 9".
Hayden Hagler, North Star
Hagler was knocking on the door for a handful of events coming into postseason competition. In his first, and last season, on the track, he would find his way to Bismarck in the 400 meter dash and the 4x400 relay. He would finish in 14th in the 400 with a time of 53.49, just .20 second off his personal record. With the 4x400 team, they would pick up a 12th place finish with a time of 3:43.07.
Devils Lake Journal Boys T&F Athlete of the Year
John Fischer, Benson County
Fischer has been at the top of the Class B pole vault standings for a long time and in Bismarck, he solidified his legacy. Jumping at a height of 14' 0", Fischer would win the Class B crown after finishing as a runner up in 2019. In addition to the state title, Fischer would break the Leeds record, CNDC record and his own personal record with a jump of 14' 3.5" at the CNDC outdoor meet. He only had one finish this season that was not in first place and cleared at least 12 feet in every vault this season.