Central's Ethan Thomas wins discus title at state track meet

May 23—BISMARCK — Grand Forks Central senior Ethan Thomas was hoping to break the school record in the discus Thursday at the North Dakota state track and field meet.

Thomas came up just short of a school record, but there wasn't much to be disappointed about with his state performance.

Thomas' throw of 191 feet, 7 inches was a personal-best, beat the field by more than 11 feet and captured a state championship.

"One of the most impressive things was how relaxed and smiling he was," Central coach Sean Allan said. "He was having fun. You didn't see him put pressure on himself. He was there to have fun and compete. That even made me more comfortable than I usually am."

Jack Shaffer of Bismarck came in second with a throw of 179 feet, 7 inches.

"As soon as he threw his last throw, he knew it was a foot and one inch off the school record," Allan said. "He knew his goal was the school record. He was having fun with it. As soon as 191 feet hit, we knew that was a good one."

Thomas has a chance to pull off an incredibly rare feat as one of the favorites in all three throwing events at state.

Thomas will throw the shot put on Friday and the javelin on Saturday.

"For Ethan, it's fun to see him having fun doing it," Allan said. "That bodes well for the rest of the events he has. If he keeps that attitude, he's going to compete with a smile and that's all you can ask."

Rain mostly held off Thursday at the state track meet, although wind gusts of 25 to 30 miles per hour presented a unique setup.

"It was a good wind for the disc," Allan said. "The throwing coaches told me if you could get a disc to spin in this wind, it'll go well."

Allan said Thomas' discus throw is the No. 24 throw in the nation.

The state meet held just three events in each class. After the first day, Bismarck leads the Class A boys team totals with 25 points, followed by Minot with 21 and Bismarck Century with 14.5.

Luke Conklin of Minot won the high jump with a leap of 6-8.

Owen Sondag of Fargo North won the 3,200. Grand Forks Red River's Joe Quinn finished fourth in the 3,200 with a time of 9 minutes, 25.17 seconds. Sondag finished in 9:18.93. Quinn's teammate Elijah Dafoe finished sixth in the 3,200.

In the Class A girls, Axumite Wren James of Fargo South won the high jump at 5-5.

In the girls discus, Ryen Brothers of Bismarck Legacy took the top spot with a throw of 138 feet, 4 inches.

In the 3,200, Eva Selensky of Bismarck St. Mary's finished first in 11 minutes, 25.81 seconds.

The Class A girls team race is led by Bismarck with 26 points, followed by Bismarck Legacy with 16 and Fargo South with 10.