Moving Forward Track & Field Finish Indoor Season on High Note

TR Staff
Staff Writer

By Joey Marini
Valley City’s own USATF – certified club of the Dakotas, Moving Forward Track & Field finishes their indoor season on a high note, boasting personal records and scoring a vast amount of points at UND’s North Dakota Indoor Open, SDSU’s Indoor Classic, the Snowshoe Open, and the Parent’s Day Open. After a strong opening to their season at NDSU this past December, the team has grown from 9 athletes to 21 athletes; consisting of young adults from a total of three different schools, one post collegiate, and 5 working full time jobs. Moving Forward has also ventured into mid-distance and long distance and look forward to rounding out the rest of the track and field events by the time the outdoor season concludes.  
“We had few opportunities to compete against elite athletes in state-of-the-art facilities at the end of our season. It was a great way to finish out indoors and prepare us for the outdoors,” Coach Joey Marini noted. Now dawning a new Moving Forward polo instead of the original Moving Forward sweatshirt, he continued, “Moving Forward’s Track and Field had also grown in numbers, boasting over 20 registered athlete and have acquired tremendous support from our athlete’s families, friends, and the community. It means so much to have that backing and it should be known that it doesn't go unnoticed or unappreciated. We look to continue to move forward as the weather, and our marks improve.” 
The North Dakota Indoor Open allowed Moving Forward’s athletes the opportunity to compete against familiar, friendly faces in a local environment. The athletes were able to perform in front of their friends and families, which added to their intensity and already competitive nature. Adam Sakry had a tremendous showing in the horizontal jumps, placing 4th in the Long Jump and 8th in the Triple Jump. Sakry has been a strong presence in the club, hitting marks consistently that were on par with what he jumped at the end of his last season. This puts him in great position to grow during outdoors. Also competing in the long jump was Aaron Shoemaker, Jaylon Sibley, and Seth Kaim. All three athletes had great showings, holding their own in a mixed field of athletes across the NCAA and NAIA. For Shoemaker and Kaim’s performances, it was their first competition.  
The Men’s 60m Dash consisted of Vincent Whirl, Joseph Hewitt, and Adam Isokpan; all of which whom had personal records. Whirl placed 10th, just barely missing finals with a time of 7.38. In the Men’s 200m Dash, Jaylon Sibely, renowned Long and Triple Jumper, tested his speed and endurance. Finishing at 25.88, Sibley utilized this race as an opportunity to fix some sprint mechanics that will assist him in the horizontal jumps. 
The Men’s High Jump was yet again, one of the highlights of the meet. Austin Doornbos and Justin Cantwell, two freshman college students, competed in a field of 16 elite vertical jumpers, placing 7th and 10th respectively. Both showed amazing confidence, passing heights on their journey to more clearances. Cantwell, who is already qualified for USA Club Nationals, cleared 1.83m. He then got to watch his teammate clear two more bars and qualify for USA Club Nationals at a height of 1.93m. This ties Doornbos’ personal record. 
Emma Gamache competed in the Women’s 60m Dash and 200m Dash. After what she described as “an underwhelming performance in the 60m,” Gamache regrouped and shifted her focus to the 200m where she ran a personal record of 28.12. Gamache was resilient as she came around the final curve behind the top seeded competitor, maintaining her sprint mechanics and making her advancement to first just 10m before the line. 
In the Women’s High Jump, Amber ‘Petey’ Peterson jumped 1.40m. These consistent marks are what Peterson looks to continue hitting before having the opportunity to have technical practices outdoors.  
SDSU’s Indoor Classic was promoted as one of the biggest meets in the nation, hosting more than 50 full teams. Emma Gamache and Vincent Whirl took the trip down to Brookings, South Dakota with Coach Joey Marini to run against some of the nation’s finest athletes. Gamache had respectable races in the Women’s 60m Dash and the Women’s 200m Dash, finishing at 8.70 and 29.84 seconds. After an 8.79 the Men’s 60mHH, Vincent Whirl put all his focus and energy in the Men’s 200m Dash. From the inside-most lane, Whirl demolished the stagger and immediately made his presence known, passing all his competitors before the 100m mark. Whirl finished first in his heat with a time of 23.12, an indoor personal record.  
Both the Snowshoe Open and the Parent’s Day Open were meets held by the University of Minnesota, on Friday and Saturday, February 15th and 16th. Here, Moving Forward was able to witness two of their newest athletes perform. Tey Rione Harrell and Sierra Kramlich both had outstanding first meets and made an immediate impact on the team, both athletically and socially.  
Harrell led the Moving Forward brigade in the Men’s 60m Dash, finishing at 7.60 with Joseph Hewitt trailing closely at 7.63. This was an indoor personal best for Hewitt. Aaron Shoemaker, who performs in only his second meet of the season, also runs the Men’s 60m Dash, running 7.91.  
The Men’s 200m Dash was one of the biggest spectacles of Moving Forward’s weekend with Vincent Whirl running 23.26, Harrell running, 24.37, Hewitt crossing the finish line at 25.07, and Jaylon Sibley at 26.55. The facility utilized a 200m track and the Moving Forward athletes were placed almost exclusively in the inside lanes, making the race’s turns extremely difficult. 
On his first competition since 2015, Tey Rione Harrel said “My first races back in a few years? They were decent. I have some work to do but I know exactly what needs to be done.” Coach Marini nodding in approval interjected that, “The meet was a success for Tey especially because he has been lifting more than running. I look forward to see what he looks like when he’s speed based as opposed to a power based sprinter.” 
Harrel responded, “But now that I have Vince, Hewitt, Gamache, and Marvin to train with, I will be ready for the next meet outdoors. I can’t wait for that season. That's when the dogs come out to play” as his deep voice followed with a sharp, pitbull-esque bark. 
In the horizontal jumps, Jaylon Sibley and Aaron Shoemaker competed. Both were only granted three jumps but made technical corrections that they look to implement outdoors. Shoemaker boasted a 5.52m performance from a foot behind the board. In the Triple Jump, Sibley rekindled his old flame with the Triple Jump, going 12.16m for 7th place.  
The Parent’s Day Open was a large mix of tremendous female athletes with 4 of Moving Forward Track & Field’s athletes capitalizing on the competition. In the Women’s short sprints, Keauna Hansen and Sierra Kramlich represented Moving Forward. Hansen ran 8.41 in the Women’s 60m Dash and a 28.70 in the Woman’s 200. In the final heat of the Women’s 200m, the newest member, Sierra Kramlich performed with a 23.62. It was a tight race and Kramlich proved her worth, crossing the finish line right amongst all other competitors in the heat.  
After her first race, Kramlich stated, “My first meet went well. I wasn’t really able to train for as long as I should have been, but I look forward to beginning intense workouts. I’m excited for the outdoor season and even more excited to see bigger competition.”
Amber Peterson competed in the Women's High Jump, clearing 1.40m from a short approach. With the club acquiring a high jump mat from Valley Twisters Gymnastics, Peterson is confident and excited for more applicable training. Her and Head Coach Marini both would like to thank Maddy Fadely for her generous donation and continuous support. Megan Johnson competed in the Women's Long and Triple Jump after a short hiatus. Johnson went 4.71m in the Long Jump and 10.02m in the Triple Jump.
Moving Forward Track & Field will continue their season in Emporia, Kansas at the Emporia State University Open on March 23rd. It will be the host of a mixed bag of NCAA and NAIA teams as well as professional caliber athletes. It will also be the first outdoor meet of the season and the first time many Moving Forward athletes will be able to run on an actual track surface. The club will be traveling Wednesday, March 21st and staying till the 24th, providing them time to bond and get even closer as a team. The rest of the season has yet to be decided but Moving Forward is currently in the planning stages of where they will be competing and where they will continue to move forward. 
If you have any questions about joining or how you can support your local talent, please contact Coach Joey Marini at (973) 303 – 8020 or at