Considering the student population in Mott-Regent, their track program always seems to have a great presence at the state meet each year. This year the Wildfire brought eight athletes to Bismarck to compete in the two-day competition that started on Friday, May 28 in the Community Bowl on the Bismarck State College campus.
By COLE BENZ
Ellie Messmer and Sadie Ambers were the lone female athletes from Mott-Regent. Both competed in field events with Messmer hitting the long and triple jump and Ambers throwing discus and shot put.
Messmer leapt to a distance of 33-10.00 on the first day of competition in the triple jump. Her distance was good enough for 11th place out of 22 other athletes. Her best jump the next day in the triple jump was 15-3.00, and landed her 15th out of 20.
Ambers threw her shot put for her best distance on the day of 29-08.5, which placed her 20th. Her discus throw landed her in 16th place the following day with a throw of 92-04.
The Wildfire ran two relays in Bismarck.
The 4×100 team consisted of Josh Wallace, Tanner Zentner, Sean Hertz and Hunter Crist. Their preliminary time on Friday of 48.74 had them missing the final cut by about three minutes. They placed 21 out of 22 teams.
The 4×200 relay team included Zentner, Hertz, Crist, and Michael Mayer and they finished with a time of 1:38.38. The race was also on the first day of the meet and their time was good enough for 17th place, but ended up missing the cut again by about three minutes.
Wallace also qualified for javelin. He threw for a distance of 134-01, and placed 19th out of 21 competitors.
Crist participated in the two hurdle events, and came about as close to qualifying for the finals as one could. In the 110 meter hurdles he finished in 16 minutes and 14 seconds, missing a spot in the finals by .01 seconds. In the 300 meter hurdles he missed the finals by .52 seconds with a time of 42.64.
Mott-Regent junior Brady Wegh was the big scorer for the Wildfire. Competing in four events, Wegh scored in three of them—and nearly took home a state championship in one.
Wegh fell short of placing in the triple jump. He leapt to a distance of 39-03.00, which gave him a 17th-place finish on the first day of competition.
But he soon redeemed himself with his performances in the three other events he entered.
He qualified for the finals in the 110 hurdles and 300 meter hurdles with times of 15.42 and 41.01 respectively. His 15.42 finish in the high hurdles was the tops in the preliminary round.
The junior opened the second day of competition with the long jump. After scratching the his first jump, his head coach—Ron Benson—pulled him aside for a talk. The talk was simple, “stay cool,” is what Benson said, according to Wegh.
“Staying cool was the most important part, and not getting all excited and getting those nerves and adrenaline going inside of you and making you do some stuff that you don’t usually do,” Wegh said.
He reiterated to The Herald that it wasn’t a technique issue. He was a foot over on that first jump so his coach told him to move back, and again, “stay cool.” So he did, and Wegh was able to get on the board and wouldn’t scratch again.
Wegh ended up placing sixth in the event and gave Mott-Regent three points with his finish. He barely had enough time to get off the award podium before his next event, the 300 meter hurdles.
Finishing seventh with a time of 41.43, Wegh admitted that his legs may have been a little worn out for the event.
“I didn’t get any warm up time for hurdles, because I had to go on the podium then I had to go sign up for hurdles right away, so I didn’t get any time, and my legs really didn’t get rest,” Wegh said. “No excuses I guess, you just have to fight through it.”
His finish gave the Wildfire another two points.
Wegh’s final event of the competition happened to be his best. After coming into the finals of the 110 meter hurdles with the best qualifying time of 15.42, he finished .04 seconds shy of placing first in the finals. Following the race, he told The Herald that the race felt good, but that he hit every hurdle, and maybe if he would have missed on or two he could have made up that time,/ But he also said that getting too high would also have been a problem.
“I’d rather be hitting them and staying low than getting too high and getting out of balance,” Wegh said.
Overall Mott-Regent finished the state meet tied for 20th with Park River/Fordville-Lankin and Parshall, with all three teams garnering 13 points.