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Blue Hawks have successful outing in Billings

Both men's and women's Blue Hawks take first place at the Battlin’ Bears/Yellowjacket Track & Field meet.

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Before having a packed week of competition next week, the Blue Hawks got a good warm up by both teams placing first in the Billings competition. (File Image/The Dickinson Press)

Dickinson State University had a strong outing at the Battlin’ Bears/Yellowjacket open in Billings, MT on Thursday with both the men’s and women’s teams taking the first place spot.

In addition to competing on the hottest day ever recorded for April 1 in Billings, Montana, with the temperature over 70 degrees, the Blue Hawks also had to endure harsh winds that made competing difficult.

Nevertheless, the men’s team finished the day with a total of 184.5 points, MSU-Billings placed in second with 161 and Rocky Mountain placed third with 120.5. The women’s team matched the men’s in terms of top three placements with DSU placing in first 138 points, MSU-Billings in second with 135 and Rocky Mountain in third with 112.

“It was a good performance, it was a good day,” Blue Hawks’ Head Coach Shayne Wittkopp said. “It was a little bit smaller of a meet, but that was OK too. We had kids come out there do what they were supposed to do. Can’t complain about that.”

The men’s team finished with an overall of nine first place finishes, eight in second place and three in third place. The women’s team featured six first place finishes, three in second place and four in third place.

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On the men’s side, Martin Farver placed first in the 100-meter with a time of 11.07, Owen Voigt placed first in the 400-meters with a time of 52.34, followed by Daniel Ramirez with a time of 53.43. Despite coming in second, Dakota Mansfield had a strong performance in the 800-meters competition, pushing the difficult wind to obtain a time of 1.59.80, just falling short of Rocky Mountain’s Joseph Vanden Bos who finished with 1.56.97.

Blue Hawks’ Cleet Wrzesinski finished first in the 100-yard hurdles with a time of 15.10, followed by teammate Jessen Jacob who came in second with 17.33. The Blue Hawks would later place first the 4 x 100 relay and the 4 x 400 relay.

In pole vaulting, Hoyt Zander took the top spot with 15-feet-5-inches and Dane Allen took the top spot in long jump with 23-feet-4.5-inches. Miller Blade earned the top spot in the shot put with 46-feet-.5-inches.

In the women’s division, Illise Jennings placed first in the 100-meters with a time of 13.11, Jennings would also place first in the 200-meters with a time of 28.34.

Wrenzi Wrzesinski placed first in the 100-yard hurdles with a time of 16.52, and in the 400-yard hurdles with a time of 1.07.66.

In the high jump, Faith Brennan placed first with 4-feet-9-inches, followed by teammate Katya Baranko who also had 4-feet-9-inches. Lexee Craig led the team in pole vaulting with a first place with a notch of 11-feet-6.25-inches.

With the Blue Hawks giving their all and pushing through the harsh winds, Wittkopp was very impressed with his team’s efforts.

“I’m just proud of the kids,” he said. “They’re continuing to work hard and stuff and we just got to make sure that we keep having a good attitude and work ethic at the forefront. We’ve been able to do that and have had some really good performances because of that I believe.”

Matthew Curry is a sports reporter and photographer for the West Central Tribune.
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