Morgan Fiedler is one of those rare track and field athletes: put her in just about any event and chances are she will find a way to succeed.
The Aberdeen Roncalli junior is enjoying her first attempt at triple jumping this spring. Not only has it become a favorite, Fiedler is among the top Class A girls in the event, having the fifth best jump so far this season.
“I’ve actually really enjoyed it. It’s one of my favorite events, now,” Fiedler said. “It’s definitely one of those track events that can be a little hard on your body with all those little jumps that you have to do before you get into the pit. What’s really cool about it is all the technique that goes into it, because some people just think all you have to do is jump into the pit. That’s not honestly the truth at all, because there is a lot of technique that goes into it and I love that part of it.”
So how did Fiedler, a standout in multiple running events, end up giving triple jump a try?
Roncalli coach Mark Stone recalled walking over to the long jump area during a practice.
“I said, ‘All right some of you know this, when you report to the long jump at a track meet there’s going to be 50 people waiting to jump. In the triple jump there’s going to be about 12-15 maybe. I think some of you ought to try that.’ She started working on triple jump,” Stone said. “We got some good results with that.”
Stone is not at all surprised that Fiedler was able to adapt quickly to the event.
“Triple jump requires some speed which Morgan has and requires some some strength in those legs to get through all three phases which Morgan has, so it seems to be a pretty natural fit,” Stone said. “Anybody who has watched Morgan play soccer in the fall or basketball in the winter or track in the spring, knows that she’s a pretty natural athlete.”
The triple jump has replaced the 400-meter dash in Fiedler’s list of events. When asked if that was good, bad or indifferent, Fiedler responded, “Well, I would think of it as a good thing. The 400 is not my favorite race by any means, but it is something that I will do and the coaches really like to put a lot of athletes in the 400.”
What is Fiedler’s favorite event is the 400-meter relay. She enjoys that race because she gets to run with her teammates.
“I love my 4×1 team. It’s just so fun getting a perfect handoff,” Fiedler said. “The 4X1 is by far my favorite event. It’s just so fun to run with my teammates, especially when it’s their favorite event, too.”
Fiedler, who also gave the 300-meter intermediate hurdles a try this spring, will be competing in the Northeast Conference meet today in Groton. The last time she competed in the NEC meet she won four open events, the 100, 200, 400 and long jump.
“We’ve been very blessed with some exceptional athletes,” said Stone, who has been at Roncalli for 30 years. “I don’t remember any of our young ladies winning four individual championships at a conference meet, but Morgan did two years ago as a freshman.”
Fiedler would love to have a repeat performance of that again, even if it includes a new individual event this season.
“I’m expecting my coaches to probably put me in four opens events, again. That’s what a lot of people do is go in open events so we can earn some points,” Fiedler said. “I’m hoping I can do the same thing I did a couple of years ago. No promises, I’m hoping though.”
IPSWICH CONTINUES LRC DOMINANCE
When Ipswich swept the Lake Region Conference titles on Tuesday, it continued multiple streaks for the Tigers.
Ipswich has now won 15 straight LRC girls’ crowns, five straight boys’ titles (12 of the past 15), and 15 consecutive combined team championships.
Ipswich coach Todd Thorson said there is one thing that stands out during that run.
“A lot of kids working hard and having their best days at our conference meet,” he said. “We saw a lot of really good marks (Tuesday), especially out of our field events and jumpers. I think that’s what kind of got us across the finish line.”
Thorson knows that things have to fall in place in addition to having quality athletes.
This time it included kids stepping up for those who were injured, and athletes exceeding previous best marks by several inches.
“I knew our boys were going to be in for a challenge. Warner was really good in just about every event. They have the depth. They have a ton of kids out for track,” Thorson said. “I knew that would be tough, especially when Aberdeen Christian, Langford, Frederick and Leola all had kids that took away my best kids’ points.”
Still, like they have so many times before, the Tigers found a way to add another conference title to their banners inside the school gym.
The names have changed through the years, but Ipswich continues to be the gold standard when it comes to track and field in the LRC.
“It just seems like we go and compete so hard,” Thorson said. “I think that shows when you watch, our kids really love track and field in Ipswich.”
LEADING THE WAY
As the season wears on, there is getting to be less multiple open event leaders.
Angel Johnson of Viborg-Hurley continues to set the pace in Class B boys, leading the 100, 200 and long jump. He also runs on top relay squads in the 400, 800, and 1,600. Meanwhile, Averi Schmeichel of West Central sets the pace in Class A girls 100-meter hurdles, 300-meter intermediate hurdles and long jump.
There are 13 other athletes who lead two individual events, including Bennett Schwenn of Milbank Area in the Class A boys 200 and long jump, Cody Larson of Warner in the Class B boys 1,600 and 3,200, Zander Widener of Langford Area in the Class B boys hurdles, and Hank Kraft of Timber Lake in the Class B boys high jump and triple jump.
BY THE NUMBERS
Sioux Falls Christian continues to top the team leaders with top marks in seven events in Class A boys.
Other team leaders include Brandon Valley in Class AA girls (five events), Sioux Falls Roosevelt in Class AA boys (four events), West Central in Class A girls (four events), Viborg-Hurley in Class B boys (six events), and Colman-Egan in Class B girls (five events).
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