Sophomore Soupir Raises the Bar for Barnes County North Track & Field

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By: 
Joey Marini
Staff Writer

Tanner Soupir of Barnes County is only a Sophomore, but the faculty and staff depend on his knowledge of the events, the student body reveres him as a leader, and his athletes across the region considers him a valiant competitor. Soupir considers his primary sport to be football, but shows a serious passion for Track and Field, with an emphasis on the jumps. He notes the lack of notority the sport receives, especially when it is one of the only sports that continuously send athletes to States.
After repeatedly spraining his ankle several times during the basketball season, Soupir was nervous about his Sophomore year of Track. Though a lot of athletes may bask in the glory of a 12 – 5 season, he only saw it as 'alright'. And he wan't just alright wit his performances off a bum ankle.
“Being that the basketball season and track season are in such close proximity, my main goal was trying to strengthen my ankle”, said Soupir. Through the Athletic Training staff at BCN and his coaches, Tanner seems to be slowly regaining that strength.
“I feel like I've got the height back. As that happens I feel like I need to refocus on the actual technique of the high jump.”
Soupir isn't just “feeling” better. The proof is in the sand filled Nikes that he wears for the horizontal jumps. After jumping a personal best of 39'3.5” in the Triple Jump, it is more than likely that his injuries have subsided and the elite athlete inside Tanner Soupir has returned. Alongside of getting a new best from just his athleticism, Barnes County North will be filling their sandpits early next week, ensuring more appropriate practices can be held. Soupir also noted the difficulties in not having a facility with actual track surface.
Another tremendous athlete for BCN is Jordyn Everson. With a High Jump personal record of 5'1”, her and Tanner share the same issues in terms of application of speed and angles when approaching the bar. The Bison are not the only school with this issue, as a lot of sports teams have to make due with inadequate resources, which is why Tanner Soupir keeps his head up and his feet firmly underneath his shoulders.
“Athletes can qualify from the Region meet. Top three will make States regardless of if they hit the State's Qualifications.” spoke Soupir with confidence. With the last meet acting as a strong representation of what is to come at the SouthEast Region meet, he believes a 40' jump will be close to placing.
“We have a fairly small team” said Soupier. His mother, Anita added “and young!” Being that Tanner Soupir is only a Sophomore in itself is impressive. This Bison is truly wise beyond his years. He went on to explain why its important for younger athletes to sign up for Track and to stick with it.
“It's a great sport to get better at. You can focus on yourself individually and get good at it without relying on others. There is a lot that goes on behind closed doors that the public never sees. Everyone can only see what your marks/ times were but not the effort behind it.” He also notes how easy it is for the younger athletes to become hyper-focused on placing and scoring points as opposed to growing, learning, and achieving their own personal records.
Anita Soupir embraced the individualism behind track. “Yes, you're on a team. There is a team mentality but, it is an individual sport. These kids are really putting themselves out there every single meet. If you succeed, it's your doing. If you fail, it's also on you. They go out there every single meet and lay it all on the line knowing there are no excuses. I don't think people realize how courageous these kids are to do something like that.”
When asked about his favorite and least favorite things about Track Meets, Tanner immediately responded with “The people who are there.” He explained how laid back the competition is and how those people have gone on to be some of his best friends.
“You are there to compete and want to win but, you also meet a lot of people who will help you out.” Even during the Basketball season, where it isn't uncommon to hear trash talking, Tanner speaks casually and jokes around with the athletes that he met through the Track season. When asked about his least favorite part, he took a very long pause. Deep in thought, there were no immediate negative connotations to the laid back sport of track.
“I just want to keep a good attitude through it all. I understand that a lot of meets won't have the most impressive results but I want to leave the legacy of optimism.”
He wanted to shout out Hope Wilson, who qualified for States last year in the Discus. He noted how she has thrown a few marks that were close and continues to improve. Soupir also talked about how Jordyn Everson is another potential qualifier in the High Jump, but also battles a recurring injury in her foot. “She could qualify by height but she really has a good shot at jumping to States through Regions.”
Tanner is now in a position where he is not only an athlete anymore. He is very introspective and observant. It is refreshing to see an athlete who understands the different points of views in a sport. Alongside his coach, Stacy Schaffer, Soupir looks to continuing improving on his marks but also assisting in the improvement of other's marks. He offered words of wisdom to the young students thinking about joining, “There is a lot about Track and Field is of competitive nature but it's a great place to meet people. Theres a lot of time in between events that allows you to strike up conversation. It gets you out of your comfort zone and allows you to grow beyond athleticism.” Tanner Soupir and the Barnes County Bison Track and Field team will compete at the Central Cass Invitational on Friday, May 10th, the Bill Jansen Last Chance Meet on Monday, May 13th, and the Region Meet on Friday, May 17th. The 24th – 25th will be States and the Valley City Times Record wishes BCN all the best of luck in their attempt to compete and succeed at that venue!

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