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DSU track hoping for help from its reinforcements

While the Dickinson State men's track team, fresh off a convincing indoor conference title, will spend this upcoming outdoor season fending off would-be upheavals, the women's team will be approaching the season from a slightly different perspective.

While the Dickinson State men's track team, fresh off a convincing indoor conference title, will spend this upcoming outdoor season fending off would-be upheavals, the women's team will be approaching the season from a slightly different perspective.

The men beat out the next closest at the North Star Athletic Association Indoor Championship meet, held Feb. 18, by 65 points. The women finished second, 49 points behind Jamestown.

But for the outdoor season, they'll have some reinforcements.

Two are joining the team coming off of basketball season (Lorna Shepherd and Paitton Herbst) and one, Abby Honeyman, an all-American from last year, is coming back full strength from an indoor season injury.

Perhaps the new faces could assist in getting the Blue Hawks over the top-that's the hope, at least.

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"You always want to win your conference meet," head coach Nick Walker said. "Both men and women, but yes, certainly on the women's side with the expanded roster and the quality that we're bringing in. That'll be priority No. 1, to maximize our point totals at the conference meet."

The Blue Hawks, in action today in Spearfish, S.D. at the Black Hills Open, begin their march towards such a goal.

The meet was originally scheduled as a two-day meet, but was changed to one day because of a shortage of multi-event athletes.

"We really want that first place title, we didn't get it last outdoor, but that's what we're shooting for, always," said sophomore distance runner Amanda Wolff. "We had to settle for second place earlier but now we've got a couple more girls. They'll really help. Paitton does a lot of events, so does Lorna. They'll help just with getting points."

After Spearfish, DSU enters the meat of its schedule, with four meets in four April weekends; a dual against University of Mary, and two invites to Fargo and Jamestown. They wrap in May 12 with the NSAA Outdoor Championship Meet in Jamestown.

Sandwiched in the middle of those is a home meet-the Blue Hawk Games on April 14. That should be extra special, said sophomore sprinter Chase Anderson, both because it's the lone home meet of the season, and because he was injured for last year's.

"It's one thing to be able to travel a short distance, not have to be on a bus too much, but when you get to compete where you've been practicing, sleep in your own bed, it's a really nice feeling," Anderson said. "But to be on that track that you've been on for months, it's nice to throw the spikes on and have a full race go on with people you know in the stands."

Minot State, University of Mary and Black Hills State, all NCAA DIvision II teams, are all expected at the meet.

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The men's team returns a near-identical team from it's indoor campaign, including long jumper Jay Liggins and hurdler Jose Chorro, who both earned all-American status during indoor season.

So the plan, Walker said, is simple. Just keep the arc going in the right direction.

"We can get better in the mid-distance area. We can run better. We can throw better. We can jump better, and we're going to, that's the idea for this time of year," Walker said. "We have to stay with the process here and keep moving forward."

Related Topics: BLUE HAWKS
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