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October 09, 2008 3:32 am

Solberg earns spot in Jamestown College's hall of fame

Written by Tribune Staff

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Judee Solberg, a 1987 graduate of Powell High School, is now a member of the hall of fame at Jamestown College in North Dakota. Solberg, along with her teammates on the Jimmies' 1991 track and field team, were inducted into the school's hall of fame last weekend. Tribune photo by David Dickey

Crowning achievement

Seventeen years after her collegiate athletic career came to a close, Powell's Judee Solberg had a chance to jog down memory lane when she returned to Jamestown College in North Dakota to take her spot in the Jimmies' hall of fame.

Solberg, formerly Judee Trevino and a 1987 graduate of Powell High School, entered the school's hall of fame along with her teammates from the Jimmies' 1991 women's track and field team. The squad was inducted last Saturday and recognized on the field during halftime of the Jimmies' football game with Minot State.

Solberg said the return trip conjured up many memories of a time that was pivotal in her life. She thought of the many trails she navigated during practices directed by longtime Jimmie coach Jim Clark. And she said it didn't take long for memories of running in harsh winter conditions to race into her thoughts.

“(Coach Clark) wouldn't let us train inside unless it was 70 below or worse with the wind chill,” said Solberg, who competed for the Jimmies' cross country squad and the indoor and outdoor track and field teams. “That's the only way we could get out of training outside when the weather got bad.”

Solberg said those training sessions pushed her and her teammates to the limits of what they thought they could take. But in the long run, it made them all tougher, stronger and more disciplined. That, she said, translated into a great deal of success, particularly for her and her fellow seniors.

The list of accomplishments for the Jimmies' senior class from 1991 is filled with impressive feats. They were members of teams that won every NDCAC indoor and outdoor conference title for four years and every NAIA District 12 indoor and outdoor title for four years.

The Jimmies also won all four NDCAC cross country team championships during that time. Today, the 1991 track squad holds six school records.

As for Solberg's individual accomplishments, her personal-best in the 400-meter event was a 58.75, and she held the school record for seven years. That time is still No. 2 in the Jamestown College record book. Her best split time in the 4x400-meter relay was a 57.20, and she also held the school record in the indoor 500- and 600-meter events until 1997. Solberg also qualified for national meets in cross country and indoor and outdoor track, and she was a seven-time NDCAC champion and a seven-time NAIA District 12 champion.

Solberg was the only senior who ran cross country and competed for the indoor and outdoor track and field squads.

Solberg said the support of family and friends played a major role in her accomplishments. She also said her college coach was instrumental in helping her reach her potential as an athlete and student.

“He started following my career during high school, and he was the only coach who told me I could make it in college,” Solberg said. “He gave me a chance, and I owe him more than I could ever repay him.”

Solberg's athletic career wasn't without adversity. Before her stint at Jamestown College began, she was diagnosed with phlebitis, a condition that can cause life-threatening blood clots. Bouts with two large clots in her legs led to her being sidelined from competition as a freshman, but she adapted and worked her way back into shape for the remainder of her career.

She still battles that condition today, and when her child, Trevion, was born, there were fears that Solberg might not make it through the delivery.

Solberg's life was left hanging in the balance during Trevion's delivery, but like she did during those cold, windy training sessions at Jamestown College, she fought and made it through.

Trevion is now 21 months old, and judging from the energy level he displays, he's likely to have a chance at achieving athletic success just like his mom and father, Derek Solberg, a former baseball standout at Jamestown College.

“I did everything I could to stay strong,” she said of her pregnancy. “I worked out every morning, and I think that's what helped me survive it.”

Solberg now works as a counselor at Riverside High School. As part of her job, she encounters many students with dreams, and she encourages and does all she can to help those students attain them.

“There were a lot of people who thought I wouldn't make it at the collegiate level,” she said. “But there were people who believed in me, and I made it. So when I'm working with kids who have dreams, I do everything I can to encourage them no matter what.”