—by Todd Thorson
It became a battle of HOIAC teams at the Bulldog Relays held at Ogden on Monday, April 29, as five of the seven teams competing were of the Heart of Iowa variety. The Norsemen boys battled South Hamilton and North Polk throughout the evening and finished third with 97 points. The Comets edged ahead of the Norse for second with 106 points. The Hawks were just two in back of Roland-Story in fourth with 95 points. Greene County edged in front early on and maintained a grip on the top spot throughout the meet, eventually claiming the team title with 134 points. Gilbert finished fifth with 84 points, followed by host Ogden (37) and Colo-Nesco (4).
The Norsemen captured two individual titles and one relay crown. Ryan Skaar won the high jump with a leap of 6 ft. 0 in. Spencer Dedic posted a six second victory in the 1600 with a finish of 4:54.81. The 4 x 100 team kept their chance at catching North Polk for second alive by also winning the second to last event of the night in :45.28. Members of the 4 x 100 included Dylan Halder, Blake Morgan, Joe Gast and Charlie Steenhagen.
The Norse had two runner up finishes – the 4 x 800 (8:24.23) and the distance medley (3:41.32). The latter battled North Polk until the very end; just missing first place by 7/100ths of a second. Members of the 4 x 800 included Jerald Frtiz, Trent Elliott, Zach Hovick and Matthew White. The distance squad was made up of Blake Morgan, Charlie Steenhagen, Rob De Penning and Matthew White.
Coming in third for Roland-Story were Andrew Schlatter in the shot put (43 ft. 6 in.), Charlie Steenhagen in the 100 meter dash (:11.95) and Blake Morgan in the 200 meter dash (:23.76).
Six strong fourth place finishes helped the Norse stay near the top of the leader board. Ryan Nielsen had one of his best outings of the season, coming in fourth in the long jump with a leap of 17 ft. 11 in. Rob De Penning was also fourth in the 400 meter dash (:53.80), as was Cole Johnson in the 110 hurdles (:18.13). Three relay teams came in fourth – the shuttle hurdle (1:06.96), the 4 x 200 (1:38.17) and the 4 x 400 (3:42.19). The shuttle hurdle team, just missing second by 35/100ths of a second, consisted of Cole Johnson, Ben Crisman, Brody Concannon and Ryan Skaar. The 4 x 200 included Joe Gast, Andrew Schlatter, Parker Witthuhn and Alex Teig. And the 4 x 400 was made up of Jerald Frtiz, Trent Elliott, Josiah Soderstrum and Parker Witthuhn.
Three fifth place finishes, as well as three sixth place finishes, provided additional, all-important points for the Norsemen. Dylan Halder was fifth in the 100 meter dash (:12.32), and so was Ben Crisman in the 110 hurdles (:18.20) and Spencer Dedic in the 800 (2:15.09). Finishing sixth for R-S was Jason Darland in the discus (106 ft. 3 in.), Jacob Dedic in the 3200 (11:21.16) and Zach Hovick in the 800 (2:15.79).
"I thought we ran and competed well," said Coach Brian Petersen. "We put some kids in different positions and we’re not running the guys as hard right now, as we were getting ready for (the) conference meet (May 6), district (May ) and state (May 16-18). I am especially happy with the 4 x 800 and the distance medley (teams), which ran times that put them in the top six (6th for the 4 x 800 and 4th for the medley) in the state right now."