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Carter wins 1,000 title at NAIA indoor

GENEVA, Ohio -- Dickinson State freshman Dante Carter's collegiate career is off to an incredible start.

The freshman from Las Vegas battled defending national champion Andy Coy, a senior from Dakota State, down the stretch of the 1,000-meter finals at the NAIA indoor track and field national championships before pulling away to win his first national title by seven-hundredths of a second.

"What a race he ran, and knocked off a defending national champion in the first (championship) race of his college career," DSU head coach Pete Stanton said. "He's just extremely talented and he's got a lot of national meets ahead of him. We're excited about Dante's future."

Carter had a time of 2 minutes, 27.93 seconds. Coy clocked in at 2:28.

Carter was the lone national champion for the Blue Hawks, who had some surprising finishes -- both good and bad.

While DSU sophomore Breyan Miller had his best race of the year in the 200 meters, finishing third with a time of 21.86, he didn't have teammate Frederick Agabje at his side.

Agabje finished eighth in the 60 meters with a time of 7.51 seconds on Saturday morning after pulling up late in the race with a hamstring injury.

Agabje, a junior from Nigeria, had the second-fastest 200 time in the preliminary races but did not run in the finals.

"That's track and field. That's the ups and downs of it," Stanton said. "Things really get exposed at the national meet, both for the good and the bad."

DSU's distance medley relay team set a school record in the preliminaries with a 9:59.08 and set the pace for the finals with the lone time below 10 minutes.

However, the Blue Hawks couldn't match or improve upon their time, finishing sixth with a time of 10:04.31. Carter and juniors Denis Patrick, Nathan Magstadt and Dustin Sandbak were on the relay.

Southern Oregon won the relay with an NAIA record time of 9:48.16.

"They were a little disappointed," Stanton said of the relay team members. "I told them, going into the week that if I told them they were going to be an all-American team, they would have been elated. That's about the time we were shooting for coming into the meet and that's what we ran."

Brady Sundheim finished 15th in the triple jump with a leap of 46 feet. He was eight inches away from an all-America finish.

The top eight finishers in each event earned NAIA all-America status.

The DSU men finished 11th as a team with 22 total points. Oklahoma Baptist won the national title.

Hailey Schaper, DSU's lone woman at the national meet, finished tied for 14th in the high jump with a leap of 5-3.

"We feel the best is yet to come for those two jumpers," Stanton said.

DSU's outdoor season is scheduled to begin March 30 in Spearfish, S.D., at the Black Hills State Open.