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UND Track and Field


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GF had 5" to 7" of rain, varying through out the city over the past weekend.
The city is going down the streets/alleys with pay loaders and trucks and picking up water damaged property that home owners are throwing out. 
My nephew (high jumper) has teammates that had water in their cars.
HPC had some water damage due to sump pump failure, the tracksters were called in to help move stuff. 

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  • 2 years later...

I am sure some of you have received these periodic emails from Jim Vahrenkamp, UND's relatively new T & F coach.  It is nice to have proactive coaches leading some of our programs.  He sounds very positive about the program and living in GF (see last paragraph) despite the long winter.  T & F certainly isn't one of the UND's major sports but it would be great to have very competitive programs.

I am sure that Vahrenkamp would be happy to add your name to the list of recipients.  His email address is below.


Subject: UND Track and Field Update
Our outdoor season only has a few more week remaining. The year went fast, we have enjoyed the great challenge of  hosting our first indoor championships, which I have heard, were one of the best indoor championships ever. We endured some warm weather in Tulsa and came away with some great performances. Next up is the first round of the NCAA championships hosted by the University of Arkansas. We have three athletes competing in four events. Natalie Mohring will compete in the discus, Luke Labatte will compete in the 3000m Steeple Chase and Elise Ulseth will compete in both the Long Jump and in the Javelin. Both the first round and the final round will be broadcast on ESPN.

Elise Ulseth will compete at the NCAA championships in the Heptathlon in Eugene in June. Her group, the heptathletes finished the year as the 2nd ranked group of four females in the entire NCAA. That group has continued to improve and contributed quite a few of our points at the championships.


We continue to work hard to sign great local talent and were happy to announce the addition of two local North Dakota ladies yesterday. Elle Sondag and Anna Bernhardt will join us from Fargo this coming year. In total we have 12 women that have committed to the program and on the men’s side we have six men that have committed and many more that we continue to work through the process. We began the year late in the recruiting cycle and that has made things challenging,  specifically with the domestic athletes. I look forward to this coming year where we already have a great head start on recruiting.

Summit League Championships - Results

I want to point out, first and foremost, the improvement of the men’s team between the indoor championship and the outdoor meet. The men finished in 6th with 56 points. Had we raced Luke Labatte in the 5k to close out the meet I believe we would have finished with 66 points and finished 4th. We chose to preserve Luke for the first round of the NCAA championships where I hope he can continue his tremendous season and secure a bid to the final round in Eugene during the second week of June. On the women’s side we choose to red shirt five women that scored points during the indoor championships. In spite of that our women’s team finished one spot higher than indoor with 97 points in 4th just behind SDSU who finished with 136 points.

Elise Ulseth was named field athlete of the track meet and Jadyn Keeler was named freshman of the meet for the women. I would encourage you to take a look at the coverage of the meet on www.fightinghawks.com I was really excited about the improvement of the team in every event group. We have a great staff that I love working with. If you get the chance to say hello to any of us I would encourage you to do so.

Golf Outings

I will be at each of the golf outings this summer. I will not be playing primarily because I want the opportunity to meet and speak with as many of you as possible. Golf outings are a great opportunity to continue to connect with all of our alums. I believe that connection is fundamental to my job here at UND. Our history should always inform our future. It is my hope that we will be able to establish a golf outing in the twin cities that will be specifically for Track and Field & Cross Country alumni. Please let me know if you think that is something that you would like to participate in.

Cross Country Summit League Championships in Grand Forks

In less than 365 days we will have played host to two of the three annual Summit League Championships. We will host the conference championships at Ray Richards Golf Course south of the University in October. We will feature a preview of the conference course in early September at the Ron Pynn Classic. We are hoping to provide a high quality video stream of that championship for those of you to enjoy that will not be able to make the trip to Grand Forks.

Summer Camps

We will be hosting two summer camps this year that will cover every event group. I believe this is a great opportunity for us to interact with potential student athletes and it is also a great way for us to give back to the community with our knowledge. If you know of any one that is looking for some additional instruction this summer please pass along this information. Details are below.

Track & Field (2022)

Register online here! Registration will be required as no walk-up registrations will be allowed!

Fighting Hawks Day Camps | Download Brochure (.pdf)
June 29-30
9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Cost per camper: $110 for single day or $200 for both days

July 21-22
9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Cost per camper: $110 for single day or $200 for both days

9:30 a.m. - Check in
9:45 a.m. - Team Meeting
10 a.m. - Event group meeting
10:15 a.m. - Training/Video Session
12:30 p.m. - Lunch
1:30 p.m. - Training/Video Session
3 p.m. - Game/Final meeting and questions

  • Held on the beautiful campus of the University of North Dakota in the Frederick "Fritz" D. Pollard Jr. Athletic Center and adjoining practice area
  • For the beginner to advanced camper. All ability levels welcome!
  • Develop skills and receive training from UND coaches and athletes
  • Event specific camps include: sprints, long jump/triple jump, throws, hurdles, pole vault, high jump and distance
  • Camp is for boys and girls entering grades 6-12 in Fall 2022
  • Includes lunch

These camps are open to any and all entrants limited only by number, age, grade level and/or gender.

Contact Coach Jim Vahrenkamp at:
PHONE: 701-202-9316
EMAIL: james.vahrenkamp@und.edu


Don’t hesitate to contact me! I love hearing from you and appreciate every one that makes it to one of our meets, contributes to scholarships or helps out by working our home meets. Without you we are so much less. We are the sum of all of our parts and alumni and boosters make up so much of that total. My family and I love it here. The covey of Grouse in our back yard have paired up and now do their best to startle us when we are on our family walks enjoying the beautiful weather. I am not sure if I shared with you last time I wrote but earlier this winter I was lucky enough to preside over a wedding for Coach Elijah Talk and his now wife who now works in procurement here at UND in the Pollard. To my knowledge they are the first and only wedding ever to occur in the pollard. Lastly I will close with something that coach Scott shared with me the other day. He said that the last few months have been the happiest he has been in the past few years. I couldn’t agree with him more. I look forward to many more here.

Jim Vahrenkamp

Head Coach Track and Field & Cross Country

University of North Dakota


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GFC (UND Commit) Ethan Thomas was 2 inches shy of state meet record 63-11 and threw over 190 feet to win shot and disc. Today he could win javelin and be the first Thrower to win all 3 in class A since 1915. 

He has a lot of upside, not sure how long he will stay at UND, I can see Nebraska or other big schools try to land him. 

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