The Minot High boys and girls track and field teams opened May in the grandest of fashions.
The Magicians and Majettes dominated their respective home invites, winning a combined nine events and qualifying 13 for the state meet. The icing on the cake came in the form of the final team scores, with both teams coming out on top.
The Majettes finished with 196 points, topping Mandan by 52 points. The field events were again their strong point, but the 1,600-meter relay provided one last exclamation point. The relay team of Kelley Wu, Kylie Alexander, Annika Arnold and Sophie Bengson led from start to finish and qualified for state with a time of 4 minutes, 14.37 seconds.
Minot High senior McKinzie Fettig holds off Dickinson’s McKenzie Mortensen during the final leg of the girls 1,600 sprint medley on Thursday during the Duane Carlson & Majette Invitational at Duane Carlson Stadium.
"We've been working so hard to qualify and worked so hard in practice and worked together as a team," Wu said. "It feels awesome."
Wu set the pace in the opening leg, giving Alexander a lead to work with when she handed off the baton.
"It gets them more motivated to push themselves," Wu said of getting an early lead. "It's a big part of the race. It makes us comfortable, but not too comfortable because we know we have to push it to stay there."
Alexander also qualified for state in the 100 hurdles, finishing in 16.14 seconds.
The Majettes flexed their muscles in the 800 relay and the 1,600 sprint medley as well. The 800 relay edged Mandan by less than a second with Alexander narrowly crossing the finish line before Jasmyn Williams. The 1,600 sprint medley also was decided by the slimmest of margins as McKinzie Fettig held off Dickinson's McKenzie Mortensen.
The field events have been the Majettes' bread and butter and they showcased that well. They posted three of the top four scores in the discus, all of which were state-qualifying marks. Jessica Drady led the pack with a throw of 128 feet, 5 inches, followed closely behind by Mackenzie Gleason (125-9). Melora Haagenson (117-2) placed fourth.
"We've had an excellent day," Majettes coach Disa Salander said. "We had some good things happen on the track, but our throwing events were amazing today."
Gleason qualified for state in the shot put, too, with a mark of 37-7. Else Nelson finished third with a state-qualifying distance of 37-3
The Magicians were just as solid on the track and in the field. They finished with 174.50 points, 19.5 in front of Bismarck.
Karter Gorney won both the 100 and 200, qualifying for state in each event. He was the opening leg of the 400 relay, which placed first with a state-qualifying time of 43.71 seconds.
"We have several guys in the sprints and they're showing it week after week," Magicians coach Aaron Klingbeil said. "Guys that couldn't finish a 200 last year have shown their good 200 legs."
Ben Love qualified in the 110 meters with a first-place time of 15.84 seconds.
Alex Yonosko paced the Magicians in the field events. He took second in the long jump, qualifying for state with a distance of 21-8. He placed third in the javelin with a throw of 146-5.
"We had a couple really cool things happen in the field events," Klingbeil said. "Alex Yonosko had a good day. His performance in the long jump was good. He had a couple really big jumps."
The Majettes are in action Monday in the Fargo Rotary at Fargo South. The Magicians compete in the Minot Classic on May 9.
Mike Kraft covers Minot High athletics. Follow him on Twitter @MKraft24_MDN.