Platinum Champions 2016

We've come to the conclusion of another exciting high school track and field season in the Dakotas, and that means it's time to present Midco Sports Network's "Varsity Sports" Platinum Medals for 2016! A few things to note:  

- We only medaled events that are contested in both North and South Dakota, which explains why Javelin isn't included. (If you're curious, Kyle Odegaard of Lisbon and Akealy Moton of West Fargo had the top jav marks in ND this year, but as South Dakota is still a few years away from adding the javelin, Odegaard and Moton only get a shout-out in this blog, not a full Platinum award. Courage, javelin throwers! Your time will come.)

- For consistency, we use fully automatic timing (FAT) to determine our champions and converted any existing hand-held marks accordingly. FAT is a more accurate - and therefore, slower - way of timing races, so if these times look off from what you've seen in the paper or on a website somewhere... Well, you'll just have to trust my math. (The Cliff's notes version of handheld to FAT conversion? Round up to the nearest tenth of a second and then add .24.) 

- This year's Platinum marks were IMPRESSIVE to say the least, as we had two all-time state records set this year as well as sixteen new Platinum records established, with twelve of those Platinum records came on the girls' side. (Granted, we've only been doing this for two seasons, so our records are only a year old...but it's still interesting to compare this year to last.)

- A year after being soundly beaten by South Dakota in the Platinum arms race, the gang from up north had a much better showing this time around, as North Dakota earned 16 of the 29 awards and picked up all six titles in the girls field events. The big schools made big gains this year as well, as athletes in "AA" in South Dakota and "A" in North Dakota picked up all but three Platinums, including EVERY top female time and mark. Much like last year, seniors dominated the boys honorees, as only three of the top marks were set by underclassmen. Not surprisingly, the ladies skewed much younger, with nine of the fourteen winners underclassmen.

- 13 of the 29 marks were set at the North or South Dakota State Track Meet, including all eight Platinum marks in the girls running events, while eight were established at either region or conference meets. (Again, not a surprise that the best competition brought out the best in our athletes.)

- We had three Platinum winners from a year ago return to the top of the podium, with Akealy Moton and Mason Hericks defending their titles in the Shot Put and the 100 meters, respectively, while Cortney Dowling added 100m and 200m titles this year to the 400 meter Platinum crown she won last season. Dowling and Hericks each now have three Platinums in their career, the most of any the two-year history of the award. (...I think it's still worth mentioning.)

- Finally, extra recognition to our six Double-Platinum winners! Mason Hericks of Watertown, Hunter Lucas of Fargo Davies, Alex Talley of West Fargo, Cortney Dowling of Pierre, Karly Ackley of Grand Forks Central and Elizabeth Schaefer of Rapid City Stevens all picked up two awards this time around, double the number of Double-Platinum winners from 2015. Hericks, Talley and Dowling all graduate, but Lucas, Ackely and Schaefer will be back next season to defend their hardware. 

Boys Platinum Champions                                                                                                                           Platinum Record

100m : Sam Clark, Baltic – 10.54+ (Chester Booster Club Meet, 4/12)                                                       10.54^  

              Mason Hericks, Watertown – 10.54^ (ESD Conference Meet, 5/14)

200m : Mason Hericks, Watertown – 21.60^ (ESD Conference Meet, 5/14)                                              21.60^

400m : Gabe Meschke, Mandan – 48.55 (State Track Meet Finals, 5/28)                                                    47.54*

800m : Josh Goehring, SF Roosevelt – 1:53.34 (Dakota Relays, 5/6)                                                        1:52.38

1600m : Hunter Lucas, Fargo Davies – 4:13.15^ (State Track Meet Finals, 5/27)                                   4:13.15^

3200m : Hunter Lucas, Fargo Davies – 9:09.87 (State Track Meet Finals, 5/28)                                     8:58.49

110m Hurdles : Zach Sweep, Bismarck Century – 14.34 (WDA Region Meet, 5/20)                                14.15

300m Hurdles : Maverick Coleman, Lisbon – 38.98 (State Track Meet Finals, 5/28)                               38.56

Shot Put : Alex Talley, West Fargo – 58-1 (EDC Region Meet, 5/21)                                                             63-6.5

Discus : Alex Talley, West Fargo – 170-6 (EDC Region Meet, 5/21)                                                              178-1

High Jump : Zack Anderson, Parker – 7-0 (Jesse James Meet, 4/16)                                                          7-0^      

Long Jump : Max Cook, Bismarck Century – 23-4 (WDA Region Meet, 5/20)                                           23-0.5

Triple Jump : Luke Fritsch, SF O’Gorman – 46-5 (State Meet Finals, 5/27)                                                  47-3

Pole Vault : Cole Christensen, Brandon Valley – 15-1 (Dakota Relays, 5/7)                                                16-0

 Totals: 8/15 from North Dakota, 12/15 from the biggest class in either state

*State Record                    ^Set This Year                   +Converted to FAT


Girls Platinum Champions                                                                                                                        Platinum Record

100m : Cortney Dowling, Pierre – 11.97^ (State Track Meet Finals, 5/28)                                               11.97^

200m : Cortney Dowling, Pierre – 24.27^ (State Track Meet Finals, 5/28)                                               24.27^

400m : Krista Bickley, Brandon Valley – 54.08* (State Track Meet Finals, 5/28)                                   54.08*

800m : Jasmyne Cooper, SF Lincoln – 2:13.72 (State Track Meet Finals, 5/27)                                    2:11.19

1600m : Karly Ackley, Grand Forks Central – 4:53.76^ (State Track Meet Finals, 5/27)                    4:53.76^ 

3200m : Karly Ackley, Grand Forks Central - 10:32.86* (State Track Meet Finals, 5/27)                   10:32.86*

100m Hurdles : Elizabeth Schaefer, RC Stevens – 14.77 (State Track Meet Prelims, 5/27)                14.54

300m Hurdles : Elizabeth Schaefer, RC Stevens – 43.92^ (State Track Meet Finals, 5/28)                 43.92^

Shot Put : Akealy Moton, West Fargo – 47-4^ (Packer Relays, 5/6)                                                           47-4^

Discus : Keely Walker, West Fargo – 143-2^ (EDC Region Meet, 5/21)                                                     143-2^

High Jump : Hannah Arason, Grand Forks Red River – 5-7^ (Bob Zimney Last Chance, 5/16)            5-7^

Long Jump : Grace Emineth, Grand Forks Red River – 18-10^ (Davies Relays, 4/22)                          18-10^

Triple Jump : Kylee Bergantine, Fargo Davies – 38-10.25^ (Packer Relays, 5/6)                                38-10.25^

Pole Vault : Grace Finney, Grand Forks Central – 11-9~ (EDC Region Meet, 5/21)                                   11-9~

Totals: 8/14 from North Dakota, 14/14 from the biggest class in either state

*State Record                    ~Tied Mark from Last Year          ^Set This Year   +Converted to FAT

Congratulations again to all of our winner this season! I should mention that if you've got a Platinum mark that you think we missed, feel free to email me at or contact me on Twitter @AHeinertMidcoSN.

Until next year, keep it Platinum, Track Nation!

Filed Under ND High School | SD High School | Running/Track and Field