Three-Day State Track & Field Meet

Published: May. 20, 2022 at 5:49 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - It’s the biggest high school sporting event in North Dakota, in terms of number of competitors, and it’s not close with nearly 1,400 athletes coming to Bismarck for the state track & field meet next week. For the first time ever, it will take place over three days.

Dave Zittleman, Bismarck Public Schools Activities Director, “It’s been a discussionary point for more than a handful of years at the state track meet with all of the coaches and it finally caught on.”

Zittleman admits some coaches and administrators were hesitant but this past summer those two groups and the High School Activities Association figured it was time to give it a try.

“Most of our teams were coming in on Thursday because our coaches meeting takes place on Thursday evening and so it’s not like we’re missing more school or anything. They’re coming in and we are able to knock off one of the distance events which is the 3200-meters and I think our elite athletes are doing four events and when you spread some of that out over the three days, I think it allows our elite athlete to shine even more,” said Zittleman.

Dave thinks it also allows them to spotlight field events rather than hurry through them.

Zittleman said, “For instance, the first day on Thursday we have nine field events going on in two sessions.”

He believes the running events will benefit as well.

“The reason it helps running events is that you have kids in a running event that have to so to a field event and we were jamming 14 field events into each day and when a kid leaves a field event it essentially stops the field event. You have to wait for them to get back to finish that flight,” said Zittleman.

The new three-day format also allows for some scheduled breaks.

Zittleman, Not only for our worker but for some recognition, out hall of fame and it allows us to award some of the kids at that time, so they don’t have to leave an event.”

On Thursday, the track opens for warm-ups and hand-off practice at 3:30 p.m., the field events start at 4:30 p.m. and the featured race is the 3200-meters that Dave was talking about, and it takes place on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. CT.

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