The 2012 track season finally began for the Northome/Kelliher/Blackduck Bulldogs April 3 at Bemidji State University. Actually, the season began March 12 in Northome with a pizza making adventure but competition just began. The team had its first meet at BSU cancelled so the athletes were straining to be let loose and compete at the Little Amik II.
The Bulldogs showed great effort for the girls and the boys teams.
Both squads went to Bemidji missing athletes due to a variety of reasons but those that went competed very well.
Scoring for the Bulldogs began in the first event of the meet. The boys 4x800 relay team ran well enough to capture 6th place. Juniors Caleb Schneider and Keith Shuaghnessy led the way before handing the baton off to rookie sophomore Michael Tate. Tate in turn gave it to senior Butch Strand who with a strong finish crossed the line in 9:10.64.
The next points for the Bulldogs came in the 1600m run. Schneider returned to the outdoor track to work on his stamina by racing a longer distance than usual. After leading for the first 400m, Schneider dropped back to fifth. With a strong push to the end, he was able to move back up into fourth place and finished in 4:56.32.
Meanwhile, inside the field house Shaughnessy sprinted two laps to complete a very impressive early season 400m run in 55.46. The run was good enough to place second overall.
The next scoring for the Bulldogs was in the 800m run out at the outdoor track. Sophomore Kristi Mills picked up wehre she left off last season and ran a very strong run. Mills finished the race in 2:36.01 and in 8th place.
Following the 800m was the 3200m. Strand who was also training at a longer distance, ran a very nice opening day run in early April sun.
After the eight laps Strand finished in eighth place in 11:46.90.
In the final running event of the day, the boys 4x400 team startd the season on very positive note. Shaughnessy and Schneider again started the relay with strong legs before handing the baton to the new guys.
Junior Tristan Williams returned after taking a year off to rehabilitate his knee with a very strong performance to keep the team in first place in the heat. Rookie Dominic Palmer the finished the race for the Bulldogs in a time of 3:58.78 which placed them fifth overall.
In the final event of the day, Shaughnessy again left is mark. This time the event was the high jump. Just before the 4x400m relay, Shaughnessy had cleared 5'6". After he had finished the relay, he returned to the high jump and proceeded to clear the next hieight and just missed at 5'10". He leap placed him third.
At the end of the day, the boys team had earned 28 points which placed the sixth out of the 28 teams at the meet. The girls team finished tied for 24th with Nevis.
Other strong finishers were the girls 4x800 relay of sophomores Paula Pearsall, Kelly Heck, Mills and junior Katie Lutz ran an 11:11.49 for 12th place, Lutz tied with 11 others in the high jump at 16th place at 4'4", junior Carrie Carrigan took 16 in the shot put with 28', Palmer placed in the top quarter of the 60m dash in 30th with 8.01 seconds, in the boys triple jump Williams placed 13th with 35'11" and junior Brandon Schmid was 16th with 33'9.5", in the boys shot put senior Scott Pierson was 21st with 37'3" and seventh grader Mort Eckstrom was 24th with a 36'9.5", Pierson also placed 15th in the discus with a toss of 101'11".
All the athletes that particpated did very well and worked very hard.
With that type of effort, the season looks bright for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs next meet is scheduled for April 12 in Deer River at the Deer River-Northland Invitational.