Track and Field teams have successful weekend

Freshman Molli Vasa laced third overall in the women’s 600-meter run Saturday in Crete.

Rachel Vogt, Sports Editor

The Wayne State Wildcat men’s and women’s track teams competed against 14 other teams in Crete, Nebraska at the Ward Haylett Invitational hosted by Doane University. There were originally 26 teams in total signed up for the meet, however nearly half of the teams did not make the trip due to a snowstorm that affected Kansas, Missouri, southern Nebraska and Iowa.

Top men’s placers included Cade Kalkowski, who scored a first-place finish in the weight throw with a top mark of 62’ 3 ¼” to take first place, with teammates Dylan Kaup taking fourth with a mark of 57’ 5 ¾” and Cole Christoffersen taking ninth place with a throw of 49’ ¾”.

Other top field event performances included Ben Allen taking fifth place in the shot put with a mark of 50’ 8” and Mikhail Sands taking eighth place in the long jump at 21’ 6 ¼”.
Brock Hegarty took the top WSC finish in running events with a third-place finish in the mile run with a time of 4:33.90.

Sophomore Kyle Lowe said the first couple meets help coaches and athletes realize what needs to be prioritized during training sessions, whether it be form, strength, etc.
“I think the Doane meet was a great way to gauge how we are standing compared to other teams and individuals,” Lowe said.

Nathan Hiemer was eighth in the 1,000-meter run with a time of 2:52.18 while three additional Wildcats placed in the 3,000-meter run as Jack Doughty was eighth with a time of 9:28.29, Dylan Kessler took ninth with a time of 9:28.31 and Bailey Peckham finished with a time of 9:33.40 earning him the tenth-place spot.

“Having a break, away from the whole squad training with each other has an impact,” Lowe said. “It gives us a short window to ‘fine tune’ the little things getting into the season, but I believe we have been making great strides so far this season.”

The Wildcat men 4×800 relay team also took home second-place with the combined time of 8:21.70.

“I believe that keeping our form and being mentally prepared will be a good focus for us this upcoming meet,” Lowe said. “Overall, I believe we are where we should be so far in the season. We’ve had some athletes run good times, have good throws, and post good marks in jumps as well. I believe that we are in for another good season this year, judging on the intensity and enthusiasm we brought to practice and to the recent meet.”

The WSC women were just as successful. Sophomore Jadin Wagner and Molli Vasa each posted third-place finishes in shot put and the 600-meter run respectively.

Wagner earned her third-place finish with a top throw of 45’ 4 ¼” while Vasa earned her third-place finish with a time of 1:43.50.

Vasa has always been a competitive person who loves to win.

“It was my first time running the 600 so I wanted to start off well and see where I’m at so I can improve from there,” Vasa said.

Competing at this meet helped Vasa by getting a 600-meter run under her belt so she could feel what it’s like actually running that race.

“It was a nice meet to go to coming off of Christmas break and getting back into the groove of things before we go to more competitive meets,” Vasa said. “For the team’s first meet being back and only having a week and a half to train, I thought we competed well with all the other teams.”

In field events, there were quite a few successful ‘Cats for the women’s team. Tia Jones took seventh in the shot put with a mark of 44’ 5 ¼”. Freshman Nicole Heeren was fourth in the weight throw with a mark of 53’ 7”, followed by Brooklynn Chipps with a mark of 52’ 9 ½” earning her seventh place, Wagner took eighth with a mark of 52’ 2” and Mckenzie Scheil placing tenth with a throw of 49’ 8 1/4”.

Senior Joan Jelimo was the fourth-place competitor in the mile run with a time of 5:44.86 while Kim Lowman took sixth in the mile run with 5:49.05 and Andrea Torres was eighth in the 3,000-meter run at 12:08.66. Hana Lazure and Morgan Shearer each tied for tenth place in the high jump clearing 4’ 11 ¾”.

“There’s obviously a lot both my teammates and I can work on and there is a lot of room for improvement,” Vasa said. “But with more training and going to different meets and competing against different athletes we will improve greatly. If we have the right mentality, we could be a really good track team.”

The men and women will each be continuing their 2019 indoor track season Friday afternoon at the South Dakota State Open in Brookings, South Dakota.

Kori Siebert
Bailey Peckham and Jack Doughty run at the Ward Haylett Invitational that was held last Saturday. The teams will be competing again this Friday at the South Dakota State Open.