When it comes to his choices in athletics, Valley City Junior High School’s John Halgrimson is quick to point fingers. But not in a bad way.
In many cases, he’s just following the example set by his older brother, VCHS senior Joey Halgrimson.
“Most sports that I do are because my brother was in them,” Halgrimson said. “I like doing what my brother does.”
Thursday at Lokken Field, Halgrimson was among the top athletes at the Valley City Junior High Track Meet at Lokken Field.
The Valley City boys finished in 4th place in both the seventh and eighth grade meets and the girls finished third in the 8th grade meet, 6th in seventh grade.
Halgrimson started his day off right, setting a personal best of 40 feet, 6 inches (good for second place) in the eighth grade shot put. He also contributed to his team with a finished it with a third place finish in the discus and 4x100 meter relay and a second place finish in the 200 meter dash.
“He’s pretty much our multipurpose athlete for us,” said junior high coach Brad Sufficool. “We can put him in any event and he’ll do well for us there.”
Halgrimson tends to favor the discus, largely because of his brother’s influence in elementary school, combined with track days at St. Catherine School growing up.
This year, John’s spent time competing on the high school team, which allowed him to compete in events with Joey. The brothers were even set to team up in the 4x100 relay.
It worked out well until a recent surgery ended Joey’s senior season.
“It was disappointing,” Halgrimson said.
Despite the disappointment, Halgrimson is still pushing for everything he can out of the current season.
There’s even the distant hope of qualifying for state in the 200 meter dash.
“It’s kind of a long shot, but I’m hoping,” he said.
The meet also highlighted several of the junior high team’s other athletes.
The 7th grade 4x200 meter relay team won its race with a time of 1:54.81 and was one of the team’s three wins at the event, which included competition from Aberdeen (S.D.) Central and Jamestown. Those schools each took first and second, respectively, in all four meets.
The other winners for Valley City were Mikaylah Ross, who won the eighth grade 1,600 meter run with a time of 5:55.36, and Heather Knutson, who won the eighth grade 400 meter dash.
The Hi-Liners had several second place finishes, including Quinn Bjornson in the seventh grade boys discus, Cody Halvorson in the eighth grade 400 meter dash, and Eli Allen in the seventh grade 200 meter dash.
On the girls side, Eden Crump had the best finish for the seventh grade team, taking second place in the high jump. Ross led the eighth grade team with her win in the 1,600, a second place finish in the 800 meter run, and a third place finish in the high jump.
Eighth grade sprinter Brienne Roehrich took third in the 200 meter dash and fourth in the 100 meter dash. Jessica Ronning took third in the 1,600 meter and 800 meter runs.