Running for nationals: Without a conference meet, Hawks host DSU OpenToday’s gathering of college track and field teams is not a conference meet. Though, it will have that feel.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
Today’s gathering of college track and field teams is not a conference meet. Though, it will have that feel.
The Dickinson State track and field hosts DSU Open, an invitational meet scheduled to replace the Dakota Athletic Conference championship, beginning at 10:30 a.m. at the Badlands Activities Center.
Blue Hawks head coach Pete Stanton said, for the most part, the Blue Hawks are coming into the meet as if it were the conference meet.
“One, we want to have our best performances of the year,” Stanton said. “That’s definitely what we’re looking for out of all of our athletes. Two, (we want) to be able to qualify as many of our athletes as we can.”
The Blue Hawks have nine athletes qualified for the NAIA national championship meet, which begins May 24 in Marion, Ind.
“This last meet, hopefully we can get some good times and get a few more guys going to Indiana,” said Blue Hawks sophomore Andrew Knebel, who has the sixth-best high jump in the NAIA at 6 feet, 9¾ inches.
Several Blue Hawks have been close to qualifying this season and have only this meet to do so.
Among them are past qualifiers Kim Schulz and Mandi Spoklie in the women’s javelin and Tyler Lalim in the men’s javelin. Dustin Sandbak, a sophomore middle distance runner, is another that has been close all season.
“There’s two or three athletes that are right on the edge that have the chance to do that,” Stanton said.
Others have already had outstanding seasons.
Sophomore Hailey Schaper has the third-best women’s high jump mark at 5-7¼.
Senior Jennifer Hartman is qualified in the triple jump (37-9½), high jump (5-5) and long jump (18-1¼). She needs a season-best performance in the long jump to reach the NAIA’s A-qualifying standard today.
“I’m close but I haven’t got it yet,” Hartman said. “Hopefully it’ll be good enough weather, we can do that.”
Hartman, who was a four-year standout on the volleyball court, is ending her collegiate career with an outstanding track and field season.
“It’s what I wanted to do for my last season, definitely go to nationals number one and it’s awesome I’m getting to go in all three,” Hartman said.
Sophomore Brittany Young broke an eight-year-old school record with a time of 2 minutes, 12.22 seconds in the 800 meters last Saturday in Moorhead, Minn. Young surpassed Tara McAvena’s old record of 2:12.6.
She plans to sit out the 800 today in favor of either improving her already qualified time in the 1,500 meters or making a run at the 400.
“These last few weeks, my training is getting really intense — this last week especially — just training for nationals,” Young said.
Sophomore Nathan Magstadt has the ninth-fastest 110 hurdles time in the NAIA at 14.52 seconds. He will look to improve on his 400 hurdles time of 54.14.
Sophomore Brady Sundheim is qualified in the triple jump, but could also have a shot at the national meet in the high jump and long jump.
“Our goal is to always be at our best at the end of the year,” Stanton said. “I think we’ve really ran well the last couple weeks. It’ll be a good way for most of our team to finish this off before we head into the Frontier Conference next year.”
Today at Badlands Activities Center
Men’s and women’s combined 10K, 10:30 a.m.
Track events, 11:30 a.m.
100- and 110-meter hurdles
Field events, 11 a.m.
Men’s hammer throw (women to follow)
Men’s pole vault (women to follow)
Women’s long jump (men to follow)
Women’s shot put (men to follow)
Men’s high jump (women to follow)
Women’s javelin (men to follow)
Women’s discus (men to follow)
Men’s and women’s triple jump (following long jump)
Scheduled teams: Dickinson State (full), Jamestown College (full), Valley City State (full), Black Hills State, Carroll College, University of Great Falls (Mont.) Minot State.