Grand Forks Central's Ethan Thomas sweeps boys state titles in throws, a feat unseen for 109 years

May 25—BISMARCK — Grand Forks Central's Ethan Thomas looked back through his text messages recently to find the exact date.

On June 11, 2023, before Thomas had ever won a single varsity meet, he researched online when the last time a North Dakota boy in track and field won the shot put, discus and javelin at the state meet.

He discovered — and later verified with the Grand Forks coaching staff — Cavalier's Gordon Fisher in 1915 was the last North Dakota boy to secure the triple victory.

"A curiousity moment turned into reality," Thomas said.

Thomas became the first North Dakota boy athlete to win the shot put, discus and javelin at the state meet since 1915. He took the North Dakota Class A title in the javelin on Saturday with a toss of 185-7.

"It means a lot," Thomas said. "It's something that hasn't happened in so long. But so long can mean 30 years. 40 years. 109 years? Man ... it means a lot. The crowd today when I was on the podium and they mentioned that accolade ... I had chills going down my spine."

Grand Forks Red River's Daniel Severud made Thomas earn his triple crown. Severud threw 184-11 to finish in second. Red River's JB Walters was sixth at 160-3.

"Coming in, I knew Danny was going to be a problem," Thomas said. "We have been practicing together and talking it over. I knew the only way to beat him was to PR. He gave me a little scare at the end. That was a good throw from him."

Grand Forks javelin coach Tim Tandeski said Thomas got off to a strong start in the javelin.

"He threw 185-7 on his first throw," Tandeski said. "He put himself in a really good position. Ethan has just been such a wonderful kid to coach. He has a great attitude and made himself into a fantastic thrower."

Thomas has signed to compete at UND next season, but his javelin days may be over.

"I told him today this might be the last time you ever throw the javelin," Tandeski said. "He's such a big man. He'll probably be a shot put, discus, hammer guy in college."

Tandeski, a veteran track and field coach in Grand Forks, said not only does it take a rare athlete to compete at a high level in all three throwing events but there's pressure that comes with it.

Thomas, though, said he didn't feel the pressure.

"It never really felt like pressure," he said. "I just kind of went through it and did my best. It just feels so great, going up on that podium and hearing the announcer."

The Class A boys team race was won by Bismarck High with 170 points, followed by Bismarck Century wit 72.5 and Minot with 72.

Grand Forks Red River finished seventh with 40 points, while Central was ninth with 30 points.

Local top-eight individual finishes on Saturday included Owen Martin of Red River (eighth place, 400 meters) and Isaiah Gaye of Red River (fifth place, triple jump).

Red River's 4x200 relay team finished eighth, while the 4x100 relay team was sixth and the 4x400 relay team was fifth.