DSU women's track and field on the hunt for sixth consecutive conference title

Despite snowy weather conditions, the Blue Hawks' aim to defend their NSAA conference title, dominating the indoor and outdoor conference titles the past five years.

Dickinson State University's track and field spring season is set to begin.
Josiah C. Cuellar / The Dickinson Press

DICKINSON — Dickinson State University (DSU) are coming off a successful indoor track and field season and are hoping to continue that push into the outdoors. Preparing to face tough competition from programs and athletes inside the North Star Athletics association (NSAA), they must first jump the hurdles of the persistent snowy climate still going strong in Southwest North Dakota.

With the women’s team eager to repeat an NSAA conference title It will be a challenge that will take detailed work inside the coaches office.

“First thing we are trying to do is figure out how we are going to navigate all this snow,” Shayne Wittkopp, DSU head track and field coach, said. “Record snowfall in the month of March definitely throws a wrench in our training.”

DSU’s women team have dominated NSAA track and field, winning the past five indoor and outdoor conference titles and capped off the 2022-23 indoor season by setting a conference record with a team score of 296.5. The previous record of 216.5, also set by DSU the year prior, was absolutely demolished.

“Obviously we would like to repeat as conference champions,” Wittkopp said. “We do have some events that I am excited to see how our girls throw on the javelin and in the hammer throw. Our throwing group on the women’s side really took some big steps forward with the addition of [Tanner Gust] our new throws coach.”


The indoor season was a record breaking for the DSU women’s team, showing a hunger for the sport of competition.

Wrenzi Wrzesinski in the 60-meter hurdles (8.61); Madison Wahl set a pole vault record at 3.72 meters; Kori Nagel made great strides for the throwing team breaking the shot put record with a throw of 14.91 meters; Kaitlyn McColly, NSAA Women's Indoor Field Athlete of the Meet, set a record in the pentathlon with a score of 3,632; their 4x800 relay team (Jewel Olson, Natalie Lile, Lauren Taylor, and Piper Perez) time of 10:18.01 broke the previous record by five second.

They also finished the national meet with two All-American athletes in Kori Nagel and Kaitlyn McColly.

Viterbo is the biggest competitor that DSU women will have to face. The challenge for them to overcome will be the depth of talent Viterbo contains in runners.

“We won the 60-meter dash, we won the 200-meter dash, but [Viterbo] outscored us just because they are deeper,” Wittkopp said. “In the middle distance we are solid, our women's cross country team is good and they have an axe to grind with [Viterbo] because they lost to them at the conference cross country meet. They are putting an exclamation mark behind all our performance in the indoor and I expect them to be able to do that in the outdoor too."

Josiah C. Cuellar was born in San Angelo, Texas, a small rural community in the western part of the state known for its farming, ranching and beautiful Concho River. A Texas A&M San Antonio graduate specializing in multi-media reporting, Cuellar is an award winning photographer and reporter whose work focuses on community news and sports.
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