Rory and Dawn Beil
Track & Field

Stories from the Rivalry: Falling for the Enemy

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Rory and Dawn Beil were flirting with fire when they first met.

Rory, who graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1992, was on the track team, and Dawn was a superstar at the Division II level for North Dakota State’s women’s track team.


An NDSU student-athlete and a UND student-athlete dating, did the two of them actually think love would work its magic and the two of them would last forever? Rory sure did.

“January of 1992, I called her, made her an acquaintance, but we had yet to (be) introduced face-to- face,” the UND hurdler/sprinter said. “Then there was an indoor meet at NDSU that following weekend or two, and then we actually got a chance to meet each other face-to-face.”

The two of them were meeting each other right in the middle of a bloodbath between NDSU and UND.

Not only were the two football teams beating up on each other, there was even a track and field rivalry. Running, sprinting, jumping, you name it, NDSU was dominant on the track. Bison individuals were competing for conference championships, and the team was trying to capture conference titles. But UND, even though they still had a solid track and field squad, Rory said, they weren’t contending for conference titles like their rival was.

But as a fan, Rory loved to attend the NDSU-UND basketball and football games, and Dawn and he would attend them together once they started dating. And then a secret came out about the Bison track star.[/text_output]

[image type=”none” float=”none” link=”true” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” src=”3952″ alt=”Dawn Rory Beil”]

[text_output]At the women’s basketball games that the two would go to, Dawn would sit on the UND side of the bleachers while her boyfriend at the time would have his face painted with UND green.

“When Prairie Public did a show called ‘When They Were Kings’ they show a picture of a UND fan at the Bison game with his face all painted, and it was me,” Rory Beil said.

Rory was into the rivalry, but Dawn not so much.

“After we got married, I tried to like bait her when there would be a big football game or basketball game,” Rory said. “And if she didn’t know people personally, she didn’t get into it as much she wanted the Bison to win.”

But when the rivalry ended in 2003, “it was disappointing,” they both said at the same time.

And later this month UND will travel to Fargo and take on the Bison and maybe, just maybe, it’ll feel like the rivalry is restored.

Dawn said she’s been hearing that the public is excited about the game because the environment between the two teams is a step above any other.

Rory and Dawn are both track coaches at Fargo Davies High School and own a flag that is split diagonally with NDSU on one side and UND on the other.

And Rory said the 2015 game feels like the games when he was back in college.

“You know UND, right now has nothing to lose,” Rory said. “They are kind of back to where it was when I was in college. NDSU had won a bunch of national championships, (and) UND is trying to show that they are in that same league and respectable.”[/text_output]

Stories from the Rivalry: Falling for the Enemy
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