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The Drill: Sprinter Sandbulte plans his moves expertly

Luverne 100-meter dash whiz Ashton Sandbulte has achieved unusual success, and he's aiming even higher

Luverne High School track and field athlete Ashton Sandbulte pushes forward in a sprint during a recent practice session.
Luverne High School track and field athlete Ashton Sandbulte pushes forward in a sprint during a recent practice session.
Tim Middagh / The Globe
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LUVERNE -- When he’s not setting sprinting records on the track or helping his Luverne High School football team achieve success, Ashton Sandbulte likes to study the stock market. He most enjoys commodities, like corn and soybeans.

This makes him an unusual teen-ager. But he’s also unusual for the simple reason that he is uncommonly fast.

No doubt, it takes a lot of hard work to be good at any track and field activity. But you’ve got to have some innate talent for running much faster over short distances than your average teammate. Sandbulte has that, and he’s proven it when it really counts.

As a junior at the 2021 state track and field meet, Sandbulte placed third in the Class A 100-meter dash while also helping his team’s 4x200-meter relay team to fifth place and the 4x400-meter relay team to eighth.

Like the way he picks his stocks, he picked a good time to set a new school record in the 100 -- at state. And this year?

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“The goal (this year) is to win it all for the 100-meter. I’m going to have some good competition. Most of the competition that I raced against last year will be back again this year,” he said recently. “I kind of figured that if I got some good weather I’d beat the (school) record (last year), and I did. I re-set it 10.95 seconds in the 100-meter. My goal is to keep re-breaking that record with every meet.”

Sandbulte is equally well-known around these parts as an outstanding football player. He rushed for 825 yards last fall on the offensive side of the ball, but was chosen for The Globe All-Area team on defense as a linebacker.

After he graduates high school, he plans to attend Valley State University in Valley City, N.D., and he’ll participate there in both sports.

Getting back to track and field, however -- the sport he participates in now -- Sandbulte is quick to point out that it’s not just God-given speed that makes the champion sprinter. There are a lot of parts to any moving clock, and all of them have to be in prime working order.

“I would say that to be a successful sprinter you have to have really good starts. You have to be explosive out of the blocks, practice hard. Practice getting your stride length, getting that down. Your steps, getting top speed as fast as you can. During practice, just remembering to have fun,” Sandbulte suggests.

As this week’s Globe Drill subject, we asked Ashton a bunch of questions and followed him around at a practice. You can see video online at www.dglobe.com . Here’s a sample of the interview:

QUESTION: What kind of advantages do you think you have as a sprinter?

ANSWER: “The thing that gives me the advantage over other people is I have a pretty fast top speed. The thing that I have to improve on the most is definitely getting out of the blocks faster.”

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QUESTION: What’s the best advice you’ve received in your athletic career?

ANSWER: “I would say that some of the best advice I’ve received just in sports in general is, no matter what anybody else thinks, you gotta just do what’s best for you and make sure you’re having fun doing it.”

QUESTION: Describe a favorite memory -- one that you probably won’t forget.

ANSWER: Winning football’s Battle Axe trophy in his junior year. “The Battle Axe Trophy is a long-standing rivalry game between Pipestone and Luverne, and so winning that is just a special moment. Some people rival it to the state tournament.”

Related Topics: TRACK AND FIELDTHE DRILL
Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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