By JOHN VRANCIC
For the Daily News
NORWAY - There's an old saying 'good things come to those who wait.'
Burt Angeli/The Daily News Photos
North Dickinson’s Logan O’Neil (right) takes the baton from Blake Lindeman and races to victory in the 400-meter relay at the Norway Invitational track meet Monday at Ronberg Field.
Norway’s Brenda Casanova outlegs Niagara’s Shanna Nordell and Knights teammate Alexis Kallenbach in the 400-meter dash.
That pretty much summed things up for the North Dickinson boys' track team Monday as it opened its season by retaining its title in the Norway Invitational with 151 points.
The Nordics, who started nearly two weeks later than planned, were followed by North Central 115 1/ 2 and Northwood Storm 93. They have now won this meet four of the past five years.
Norway's girls also won for the fourth time in five years with 120 points, followed by defending champion Forest Park 107 and Northwood Storm 100.
"This is a big boost for us," said Norway girls' coach Carli Kelly. "In our first meet at Gwinn (on April 28), none of our times were good, then we improved a little at Stephenson (on Friday). This was our best meet so far. We told the girls we wanted to see that competitive drive and today they showed that."
The North Dickinson boys collected three firsts right off the bat in their belated opener, taking the 3200-meter relay, followed by senior Tim Hruska's victory in the 110 hurdles at 15.87 seconds and junior Jordan Neumann's triumph in the 100 (11.42) on this mostly sunny and mild day.
"I'm actually surprised," said Neumann, who came out of the slower heat to take the 100 and 200 (24.6). "I didn't expect my time to be that fast in either race. I was a little skeptical coming in here. I wasn't sure where my conditioning was at."
Neumann's effort in the 100 was enough to edge Northwood Storm's Tarzis Maurer by .01 second. His 200 time was .12 second better than North Central junior Tristen Harper. In each case, the runner-up came out of the faster heat.
Neumann also helped the winning 400 relay and Hruska added a first in the 300 hurdles (44.98).
"I had ankle surgery from football and not starting as quick as I'd like," said Hruska. "I go straight from the 110 hurdles to the 100, and today I was a little gassed from that. Otherwise, I'm generally pleased with the way things went."
North Central showed its strength in the distances, with junior Josh Granquist winning the 800 (2:14.04), sophomore Bryce Holle taking the 1600 (5:00.3) and freshmen Seth Polfus and Jon King placing 2-3 in the 3200.
Harper added a first in the 400 (55.15). He and Granquist also helped the winning 800 relay.
Northwood Storm's Dan Jones won the 3200 (11:24.44), with Polfus and King clocked at 12:03.32 and 12:27.26, respectively.
Sophomore Bill Ragio became a double-winner in Forest Park's season debut, taking pole vault at 11 feet, six inches and long jump (19-0).
The Norway girls secured their victory by taking two places in the open 3200 and placing second in the 1600 relay.
Norway sophomore Krya Johnsen won the 3200 (13:11.73) and teammate Sarah Bietila was fourth (14:54.81).
Republic-Michigamme's Josefine Hoppe, who mounted a challenge during the first half of the 3200, was runner-up (13:59.77).
"Kyra came around toward the end of last season," said Kelly. "She ran cross country last fall and I think that helped her. She's a good runner."
Norway took first in three additional events. Brenda Casanova won the 400 (1:05.88). Alexis Kallenbach copped high jump (4-10) and Jordan Kraemer captured long jump (14-1 3/4).
"We had some kids step up," said Kelly. "Teidra Fuson had never run the 300 hurdles before and she took third (53.89). We hadn't had much luck practicing outside. We went snowshoeing one day when we still had snow on track. We hadn't let up on the girls too much. They're working hard and there's still room to grow."
Forest Park grabbed the top three spots in the 800, with Emily Faccin winning in 2:58.88.
Kendra Campbell added a first in 300 hurdles (51.74) and senior Mary Grandahl anchored the winning 400, 800 and 1600 relays.
Northwood Storm got off to a promising start, taking the 3200 relay and Emma Baumgart winning the 100 hurdles (17.07), edging Campbell by .13 second.
North Dickinson's Deborah Starnes won pole vault (7-0) and 100 (14.14).
Junior Baylee Wells led North Central, winning discus (86-8) and taking second in high jump (4-8).
"I'm happy with our kids today," said North Central coach Dave Granquist. "Our speed relays did pretty well. We placed third in the 400 and 800. I can't remember the last time we placed that high in the sprint relays over here. We didn't break any records, but the girls competed hard."
North Dickinson 151, North Central 115 1/2, Northwood Storm 93, Forest Park 82, Norway 38, Republic-Michigamme 27 1/2.
3200 relay - 1, North Dickinson (Wagner, Clark, Roell, Johnson), 9:30.71; 3, North Central; 110 hurdles - Hruska, ND, 15.87; 100 - Neumann, ND, 11.42; 5, Harper, NC; 800 relay - North Central (Gagne, Rob and Josh Granquist, Harper), 1:42; 1600 - Holle, NC, 5:00.3; 400 relay - 1, North Dickinson (G. O'Neil, Neumann, Lindeman, L. O'Neil), 48.49; 3, North Central; 400 - 1, Harper, NC, 55.15; 5, Jason Whitens, NC; 300 hurdles - 1, Hruska, ND, 44.98; 4, Gagne, NC; 800 - 1, Josh Granquist, NC, 2:14.04; 4, Holle, NC; 200 - 1, Neumann, ND, 24.6; 2, Harper, NC; 4, Kleiman, NC; 3200 - 1, Jones, NS, 11:24.44; 2, S. Polfus, NC; 3, King, NC; 1600 relay - 1, Northwood Storm (Pultz, Parent, Gaedtke, Maurer), 3:47.76; High jump - 1, Nocerini, FP, 5-6; 2, Jason Whitens, NC; 5, Kangas, R-M and Josh Granquist, NC (tie); Long jump - 1, Raggio, FP, 19-0; 4, Kleiman, NC; Pole vault - Raggio, FP, 11-6; Shot put - Halmann, FP, 41-11; 2, Gatien, NC; Discus - Gustafson, ND, 131-6.
Norway 120, Forest Park 107, Northwood Storm 100, North Dickinson 87, North Central 69, Republic-Michigamme 16.
3200 relay - Northwood Storm (Anderson, Helin, Young, Nordell), 11:20.74; 1, Baumgart, NS, 17.07; 3, Arkens, NC; 100 - 1, Starnes, ND, 14.14; 4, Cryderman, NC; 800 relay - 1, Forest Park (Stankiewicz, Shamion, Campbell, Grandahl), 1:58.14; 3, North Central; 1600 - Johnsen, Nor, 6:15.15; 6, B. Wells, NC; 400 relay - 1, Forest Park (Stankewicz, Shamion, Dorton, Grandahl), 55.48; 400 - Casanova, Nor, 1:05.88; 300 hurdles - 1, Campbell, FP, 51.74; 6, Arkens, NC; 800 - Faccin, FP, 2:58.88; 200 - 1, Jacobson, ND, 30.45; 3, M. Wells, NC; 6, Faccio, NC; 3200 - Johnsen, Nor, 13:11.73; 1600 relay - 1, Forest Park (Stankewicz, Shamion, Nylund, Grandahl), 4:35.7; High jump - 1, Kallenbach, Nor, 4-10; 2, B. Wells, NC; Long jump - 1, Kraemer, Nor, 14-1 3/4; 4, M. Wells, NC; Pole vault - 1, Starnes, ND, 7-0; 2, Cryderman, NC; Shot put - 1, Doll, NS, 31-6; 3, Faccio, NC; Discus - B. Wells, NC, 86-8.