Dillan Jepson was a bit tired when they called for the boys long jumpers are the Town Crier Invitational track meet Saturday at Dickinson State University on May 7.
By Bryan Gallegos
For the DC Herald
And who can blame him? The long jump was his fourth event in a long and already successful day.
He asked his coach if he could skip the event because his legs were heavy because just moments before had competed in the 800-meter relay. Killdeer boys head coach Andy Murphy thought about it for a second before nixing the idea.
Guess what Jepson did? He culminated his fantastic day by recording a personal-best leap of 19 feet, 11.5 inches to win the gold medal in the long jump. He broke his personal-best mark by 10.5 inches.
In fact, he broke his personal record twice that day. In the preliminaries, he leaped 19-2, topping his previous best by an inch.
“I didn’t think I could do it, my legs were so dead,” Jepson said.
Ironically, Jepson did the same thing last year in Dickinson. He was tired, asked to skip the long jump then proceeded to set his personal-best mark at the time.
“I got the swing of it after,” Jepson said. “After I found my mark, I thought I could do better.”
His 19-2 mark pushed Jepson into the finals at the third seed. By this time, he was feeling pretty confident. And it showed, especially on his second jump. He sped down the runway and exploded off the board, hurled himself into the late afternoon air and landed with his new record.
Jepson, a junior, shouldered the load for a team that was missing several key performers because they were competing in rodeo competition. And despite being short-handed, the Cowboys scored a season-high 101.75 points and placed fourth in the nine-team field. Watford City won the team title with 193.5 points.
In addition to the long jump, Jepson also won a gold medal in the 100-meter dash, upsetting top-seeded Josh Wallace of Mott-Regent, with a time of 12.08 seconds.
He won a silver medal in the high jump, marking at 5-8. He also helped the Cowboys’ 800-meter relay team of Hoyt Zander, Cole Dukart and Derek Tabor win a bronze medal with a time of 1:39.4.
The short-handed Cowboys showed a lot of balance in their efforts, placing in 12 events. And of those 12 events, nine had multiple placers, including pole vault and discus, which had three placers.
“We had some kids out because of rodeo and there’s no complaint,” said Murphy. “These kids just step in and run it.”
Hoyt Zander and Alex Sadowsky contributed silver-medal efforts for the Cowboys.
Zander continued his climb up the pole vault ranks, clearing a career-best 13 feet, marking the third time he has eclipsed the state-qualifying standard.
Sadowsky, meanwhile, tossed the Javelin 141 feet for his medal. He also paced the Cowboys’ effort in the discus, placing fourth.
Hayes LeMieux won a bronze medal in the high jump with a leap of 6-2 on May 5 at Dickinson State. He helped the Cowboys score 33 points and place seventh. The Cowboys placed in eight events, including three in the high jump.