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Johnson won the shot put with a personal-record throw of 16.43 meters.
Johnson, Fenstermacher have big days at opener
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Updated: Sunday 12/11/2012 13:06:35 (ET)
by Jayson Hajdu, UND Athletic Media Relations
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FARGO, N.D. -- Juniors Jesse Fenstermacher and Shawn Johnson helped North Dakota open the 2012-13 track season in memorable fashion today at North Dakota State's Dakota Duals.

Fenstermacher, a native of Hibbing, Minn., set a school record in the 600-meters with his first-place time of 1 minute, 21.02 seconds. He nudged the previous record of 1:21.16 set by Aaron Berndt in 2000.

Johnson won the shot put with a throw of 16.43 meters (53, 11 inches) that was significant for three reasons: it was a personal record and a meet record, and also enabled the Eveleth, Minn., native to become the program's first-ever Big Sky Conference automatic qualifier. Johnson's throw easily surpassed the Big Sky indoor standard of 15.80 meters.

UND was defeated by the host Bison 67.00-38.00.

Johnson, though, headlined a strong team effort by UND's throwers in the shot put. Freshman Conrad Schwarzkopf (Bismarck, N.D.) placed third in the event despite having only four practices under his belt. A dual-sport student-athlete -- he is an offensive lineman for UND's football team -- Schwarzkopf recorded a throw of 15.63 meters (51 feet, 3 ½ inches).

Freshman Zach Olson (Owatonna, Minn.), making his collegiate debut, placed seventh in the shot put with a mark of 14.23 meters (46 feet, 8 ½ inches). Meanwhile, teammate Tate Messmer (So., Ortonville, Minn.) established a personal-record toss of 14.22 meters (46 feet, 8 inches).

Other notable performances included freshman Quinton Coleman's (Duluth, Minn.) runner-up effort in the 60-meters (7.05 seconds), and freshman Jimmy Evers' (Grand Forks, N.D.) third-place showing in the 60-meter hurdles (8.39 seconds). Both Coleman and Evers also helped UND to a fourth-place finish in the 4x400 relay.

UND is now idle until after Christmas and will return to action Jan. 12 at the Northwest Open in Minneapolis.

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