Ava Phrakonkham continues strong track and field tradition at Bagley-Fosston

Jun. 4—GRAND FORKS — Bagley-Fosston track and field coach Sean Peterson has been around long enough to see two athletes come through his program most would consider once-in-a-lifetime performers.

Peterson, in his 29th year with Bagley-Fosston, was an assistant coach in 2011 when Bagley's Analisa Huschle won the 100, 200, long jump and triple jump at the Minnesota state track and field meet.

This year, Peterson has another Bagley athlete he holds in similar regard to Huschle.

Ava Phrakonkham is the Class A No. 1 seed in the 200 and the No. 4 seed in the 100, according to, heading into the state track and field meet this weekend.

"She's in that mold," Peterson said. "They're both hard-workers and fast."

Phrakonkham has never met Huschle, but she hears about her all the time. Everyone wants to know if she's near her records.

"I'm close to her records, and it's a goal of mine I think I can reach," Phrakonkham said.

The junior has been to the state meet every season since the eighth grade.

A year ago, Phrakonkham finished seventh in the 100, seventh in the 200, seventh in the 4x100 and ninth in the high jump.

With a busy day of prelims Thursday between sprints, a relay and high jump, Phrakonkham is focused on her recovery.

"I had issues in the past with a two-day meet with prelims and finals," she said. "A lot of events like that exhausts me. I'm focusing this week on water and what I'm eating and what I'm doing between prelims and finals."

Phrakonkham is beginning to draw interest from college track and field coaches.

"(Recruiting) is definitely going to be busy this summer," she said. "I'm reach out to some college and a couple of colleges have talked to me."

Phrakonkham went on an unofficial visit to Minnesota last fall and has been in contact with North Dakota State.

"She works really hard," Peterson said. "Her times have dropped this year but she came in as an eighth-grader and was fast then. She's improved every year. I think she has a chance to be right up there in the 100 and 200. If she has a good day in the high jump, I know her goals would be to win all three."

Note: Below is a list of athletes in the Grand Forks Herald coverage area ranked in the Top 5, according to

Class A girls

100 — 4. Ava Phrakonkham, Bagley-Fosston

200 — 1. Phrakonkham, Bagley-Fosston

400 — 3. Katrina Hitchen, Fertile-Beltrami

300 hurdles — 3. Hannah Pederson, West Marshall

Discus — 1. Allison LaVine, Clearbrook-Gonvick

Class A boys

Long jump — 1. Ryan Kangas, Win-E-Mac

Class AA girls

100 — 3. Kendra Mehrkens, Thief River Falls

Class AA boys

400 — 4. Brayden Carlson, East Grand Forks