Haugeberg looks for three-peat at State
By Zach Stenberg
As McKayla Haugeberg is getting ready to graduate from Watford City High School this weekend, she is also preparing herself for competing in the State Track Meet and the State Fast Pitch Softball Tournament.
“She can do whatever she wants,” says Greg Brown, girls’ track head coach. “She is an extremely hard worker and a true student of the sport. We’ve watched a lot of film and figured out ways to improve on her technique.”
This spring, Haugeberg has missed about every other track meet to play softball. Yet in her first track meet of the year and in her first throw of the javelin, she qualified for State.
And Haugeberg has a full plate when she heads to the State Track Meet in Bismarck this Friday and Saturday. As a two-time defending State Pole Vault Champion, Haugeberg is hoping for a three-peat in the event. She currently leads the state qualifiers with a vault of 11’0” from this last Saturday at the Northwest Region Meet, which is also a new school record. Plus she has the best long jump in the state with a leap of 16’7”, and has the third best qualifying throw in the javelin with a toss of 130’9”.
When asked if she has given much thought about going for her third State title in the pole vault, she replies, “Yes. I keep working to improve each year and each meet. There is some good competition and I keep watching film and improving.”
After setting the school record last Saturday in the pole vault, she said, “It was nice to finally get 11’0”, but I’m never satisfied. I want 11’3” at State and 11’6” would be nice.”
And Haugeberg’s belief in her ability to continually improve is what keeps her competitive spirit alive.
“I also have a goal of throwing 134’ in the javelin,” says McKayla.
“What I think most about with McKayla is giving her enough rest. She’s dialed in to where I put her in the events and she knows what to do,” says Brown.
With Haugeberg playing two sports and being an Honor student, it makes for long days.
“I pretty much have the same day, every day,” says Haugeberg. “Long days, but a lot of fun. I’m always busy, so I make sure to eat well, sleep when I can, and then do homework.”
Not only is Haugeberg preparing herself for State, but she’s been helping out her younger sister, Mikka, a 7th grader.
“Mikka qualified for State this year in the Pole Vault, and on the 400 and 800 meter relay teams,” says Brown. “And she’s getting some help from McKayla.”
“It’s been fun helping out Mikka, and she already knows more than I did at that age,” states Haugeberg.
“She’s eager to learn and is a hard worker. She’s going to be a good vaulter,” states Haugeberg.
McKayla will be taking her talents with her to Williston next year, where she will be playing basketball and softball. She will be going into exercise science as a major.
For now, Haugeberg is thinking about State for both track and softball.
“I think we have a good chance to win State Track if Ricki, Asha, and I do what we are supposed to do. We have some girls who I think are going to surprise some people. I’m not worried about the big two (Smith and Lindley) at all, it’s nice to have them on the team,” says Haugeberg.
“I’m feeling pretty comfortable after Region,” says Coach Brown.
“As long as I put the girls in the right spots, they perform.”