Carrington girls running laps around competition

An abbreviated season hasn’t affected the Carrington girls track and field team.

The Cardinals have won all four of their meets, including a decisive 200-point victory in the Ray McDaniel meet at Devils Lake on Monday. Carrington has qualified for state in 11 of the 15 individual events as well as all four relay races.

“The one thing that’s been surprising has been dealing with the weather,” Carrington coach Greg Hoeckle said. “We were never able to get on the track until a couple weeks ago. We were having trouble getting workouts in. We didn’t quite know where we were at, but it turned out that things went better than we thought.”

Sprinter Josey Page hasn’t let a torn ACL suffered during basketball season derail her senior campaign on the track. Page pushed back knee surgery for one final chance to compete at state and her resiliency has paid dividends. The 5-foot-5 sprinter qualified for state in the 100-meter dash and 200 in April. She posted a season-best time of 12.22 seconds in the 100 and 25.44 in the 200 on Monday.

“She has put a tremendous amount of time into her training,” Hoeckle said. “She’s probably one of the stronger individuals in the state. As of right now, things are looking pretty good.”

Page is one of four Cardinals to qualify in the 100.

While Page is Carrington’s top sprinter, Ashley Neumiller is the team’s best distance runner. The eighth-grader qualified for state in the 800 at the Charlie Hanneman Memorial meet Sunday, posting a 2:23.82. She qualified in the 1600 on Monday with a time of 5:29.42.

“Neumiller has done a lot of work in the offseason to get stronger and it’s showing up in her times,” Hoeckle said. “She’s qualified for four events now.”

The Cardinals are just as strong in the field events. Led by junior Kayla Hochhalter, Carrington has qualified in four of the six field events. Hochhalter placed in the top two in the javelin, discus and shot put in all four meets this season.

“She puts a lot of work in during the offseason,” Hoeckle said. “We have a very good group of throwers. We have a lot of competition just on the team.”

Senior Carly Copenhaver, junior Madison Wendel and sophomore Bailey Retzlaff have also qualified for state in field events.

The Cardinals look to qualify in the 3200, long jump, triple jump and pole vault today in the Carrington Invite.

Trio shining bright for Northern Lights golf team

The Northern Lights boys golf team has teed off in just two tournaments this season, but coach Cory Davis is shocked at how well his team has performed.

Northern Lights claimed the Garrison Invitational on Monday with a team score of 304, 28 shots better than second place Bishop Ryan.

“I knew we had solid players, but I didn’t know we were at that form already,” Davis said. “With the shortened season, you don’t know what to expect.”

Freshman Dalton Poitra won the individual competition with an even-par 72, besting teammate Nick Myhre by two strokes. Sophomore Casey Julson finished fourth with a 76. All three qualified for state.

“Dalton is a real solid athlete,” Davis said. “He really enjoys the game of golf. He’s only a freshman so I didn’t know what to expect.”

Northern Lights shaved 37 strokes off its first outing at Garrison Golf Course on May 2, when it finished nine shots behind Rugby. Myhre – state runner-up last year – shot a team-best 78.

Northern Lights hits the links today at Velva Golf Course.

Coaches cope with

shortened season

Last season, most high school baseball teams played 20-plus games during the regular season.

This season, those same teams will be lucky if they play 10 after a prolonged winter canceled the majority of April games. After a unanimous decision by the NDHSAA Board of Directors against extending the spring sports season on April 23, time is running out for teams to fit in games before region tournaments begin May 20.

“We could have a max of 12 games before regionals,” Bishop Ryan coach Brent Nelson said. “We usually have about 20-25 games going into regionals. It’s definitely a challenge.”

The Lions (5-0 overall, 2-0 Region 6) opened their season on May 3 and squeezed in five games in five days. While Ryan’s wins have it atop the region, Nelson said the shortened season comes at a cost to the younger players.

“I have kids on the JV team that I’d like to see move up,” he said. “But you can’t really do that because you have to play the varsity kids both games so they can get some at-bats. Every game is important.”

Surrey-Our Redeemer’s Christian School is trying to avoid the region play-in game after dropping its first two games of the season. But the Mustangs have not changed their approach with the season winding down.

“We just have to go about it one game at a time like we normally would,” Surrey-ORCS coach Bruce Mack said. “Yeah, it’s short, but we still have to play everybody. We’re still looking to be the best we can be when our tournament starts in two weeks.”