Ryan Bieberdorf, Class of 2019 - Bemidji High School
What are all your personal records? What State Meet competitions have you been in, and what were your results?
My personal records are 22 feet 8 inches in the long jump and 43 feet 8 inches in the triple jump. I participated in the 2017 State Meet and placed 11th.
How did you first get involved with track? Do you do, or have you done, any other sports?
In 4th and 5th grade when it got to around the time of year for track, our gym teachers had all the kids try all the events during gym class. So for about two weeks we "trained" for the events we were going to run. My interest in track really blossomed thanks to Mrs. Hess who not only made me try track and field but also encouraged and believed in me. One day Mrs. Hess had me demonstrate the long jump for all the young kids in front of their whole gym class, and just from that Mrs. Hess showed me that this was something I was talented at and that I should consider pursuing this.
Before track I used to play baseball and I still play football and basketball.
What is your favorite or most memorable competition you've ever been in?
My most memorable competition I have ever been in was the last year´s section meet where my friend Otis Weah PR´d by over 6 feet in the triple jump that day. It was a cool experience to see everyone compete.
Who are some of your favorite athletes to compete against?
My favorite team to compete against is either Moorhead, Brainerd, or St. Michael-Albertville because all those schools have fast kids and good jumpers. They help push the rest of us to become better athletes.
What is a challenge, or challenges, you have had to face as an athlete? How did you overcome them (or how are you continuing to overcome it)?
A challenge I have always had to face as an athlete has been the fact I have never been the strongest or the fastest kid. But my dad always encouraged me to play with the older and better kids, which helped me obtain a competitive fire and it drove me to be better.
Who are some people that have been most helpful to you in your athletic career, and how have they helped you?
The most helpful people in my athletic career have been my coaches who push me to obtain my goals. My high school track career wouldn't be possible without my jump coach, Brian Berntsen ("Bernie"). From day one of freshman year he had always been more than a coach in terms of the way he truly cares about his athletes. We have been through a lot and through his experiences I've learned a lot from him. Beyond being a coach Bernie is a friend that I can joke around with and he makes practices fun. Over the years we have grown pretty close, so leaving next year will be pretty tough. But most importantly the most helpful has been my parents. Whether it was driving me to practice or supporting me at my events they have always been there for me.
Who might we find cheering for you at competitions?
My parents, my younger brother, and my grandparents are all of my biggest supporters. They either come to my events in person or they are for sure listening on the radio. It is nice to always know I have people cheering me on.
What are your main goals for this track season?
My main goal for this track season is to return to the state meet in both long and triple and for me and my teammates to set the school record in the 4x100.
Do you have any post-graduation plans?
My post graduation plans are to attend Minnesota State University-Moorhead to play football and go into Administration. As I got older my true passion to play football came out and I knew that I wanted to be a college football player. My journey with Moorhead State began shortly after my junior year and we kept in contact all the way through the rest of high school. After a couple of visits to the campus, and many talks with coaches I decided to go their not only to play more football but to be surrounded with guys that will help me become a better person. my favorite thing the coaches told me was "we are more concerned about making you a better man rather than only caring about your production on the field."
When not doing anything track-related, what might we find you doing?
When I'm not doing track, I'm either hanging out with friends or hunting/fishing.
What advice would you give to younger athletes, or athletes just starting out in track?
My advice for kids who are just starting track or still in it would be to continue to work hard because track is a sport that helps all other sports. Weather you have a passion for it or not the workouts and the technique you learn will make you a faster and more explosive athlete.