Wildcats qualify for conference

Brianna Crouch, Staff Writer

The Wildcats finished their regular indoor season at the South Dakota State Last Chance Invite in Brookings, South Dakota on Feb. 20 to qualify for the conference meet Saturday, Feb. 27.
Volunteer middle-distance coach James Bowlin said, “We are really excited for this meet. It’s our last meet before conference, so we’re here to tie up loose ends, go for times, and compete.”
Junior thrower Mckenzie Scheil took third in the weight throw (59’ 8 ½”) and fourth in the shot put at 45’ 3 ½”. Kenzie Sullivan took the fifth spot in shot put (44’ 6 ¼”) and Jadin Wagner took fifth in the weight throw at 58’ 1 ¾”.
Scheil said, “This was a good meet for our throws group. A lot of us got some good marks to better our ranking in conference. The conference meet is going to have some great competition this year.”
Scheil said the WSC throwers will compete for first place in the weight throw again this year. Scheil also said she’s ready to watch her other teammates compete and her main goal this year is to win the weight throw and place in the shot put as well.
Other WSC women’s top finisher came from the 4 x 400-meter relay team of Sarah Cotton, Brianna Crouch, Sophie Noecker, and Marin Jetensky which took second in 4:16.
Brock Hegarty and Cade Kalkowski had the top finishes for the men’s team. Hegarty ran a personal best and took second in the 1,000-meter run at 2:32. Bryce Holcomb took third in the 600-meter run (1:24) and Cade Kalkowski was third in the weight throw (67’ ¾”).
Freshman Gabe Peitz came in third place in the 1,000-meter run with the time of 2:42 and Dylan Kneifl tied for third place in the high jump clearing 6’6 ¾” while Mikhail Sands took fourth in the long jump (22’ 1 ¾”).
Following the South Dakota State Last Chance Invite, Kneifl said, “I jumped 6’6 ¾” which has been about average for me throughout the seasons, so it’s good to get back on track before conference.” Kneifl said he is feeling very well rested and ready to go out and try to beat his own personal record at the conference meet (Feb. 25-27).
Other WSC finishers were Ben Allen taking sixth in the shot put (51’ 10 ½”), Cole Christoffersen seventh in the weight throw (61’ 4 ¼”), Cody Crosley seventh in the long jump (21’ 4”), Noah Carr eighth in the 200-meter dash at 22.68 seconds, and Collin Kotz eighth in the 3,000-meter run with the time of 9:34.
Long jumper Sands said his season has been a whirlwind of emotions thus far, “I’m not 100% ready for conference, but who can be fully prepared?”
Both men’s and women’s teams will compete Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (February 25-27) to compete at the NSIC Indoor Track and Field Championships in Mankato, Minnesota.
Topeka, Kansas
The WSC track and field team traveled to Topeka, Kansas on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021 to compete at Washburn University in the Ichabod Invitational attracting over 800 competitors.
For the women’s team, after recording the top mark in NCAA DII in the weight throw, WSC junior thrower Mckenzie Scheil was announced Monday afternoon as the Northern Sun Conference Women’s Indoor Field Athlete of the Week. Scheil won the weight throw with an NCAA automatic qualifying mark of 65’ 2 ¼”, which is now the top mark in NCAA DII this season. Scheil also recorded a sixth-place finish with shot put with a top throw of 42’ 11 ¾”.
Schiel said this was a huge meet for her, “It was just one of those days where my throws were really popping off. My previous PR was 19.26, so I was just ready to hit a mark close to that. Hitting 19.87 was a perfect marking going into conference and the nationals meet.”
Jadin Wagner posted a NCAA provisional mark in the weight throw placing third at 58’ 8 ¾” while Nicole Heeren gathered an eighth-place finish with a mark of 59 ‘¼”. Junior sprinter Jordyn Pester finished third in the 400-meter dash with the time of 59.17 seconds.
For the men’s team, throwers Cade Kalkowski and Cole Christoffersen posted the top finishes for the Wildcats. Kalkowski was the top collegiate thrower and placed second overall in a field of 36 throwers with the mark of 65’ 11 ¾” while Christoffersen posted a fifth-place finish with the mark of 60’ 1 ¼”. Mikhail Sands was another top finisher in the long jump, placing sixth with the jump of 6 ½”.
Middle-distance runner Brock Hegarty ran the open 800-meter run and the one mile on Saturday and said “I think I am progressing through the season pretty well and peaking well. I PR’d and that’s the best I’ve ever felt compared to my other mile races and I was still able to come back and run a good 800.”
North Dakota State Bison Open
On Feb. 5 and 6, the Wildcat women’s and men’s track and field team traveled to the North Dakota State Bison Open in Fargo, South Dakota. The meet attracted teams from DI to DIII schools.
The women’s team posted a pair of top five finishes from freshman distance runner Brooke Solomon and sophomore thrower Kendra Paasch. Solomon placed second in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 19:26 and Paasch took third in the shot put with the mark of 40’ 1 ¼” and was fifth in the weight throw with a top mark of 48’ 7 ½”.
Solomon went out strong and led the pack through the beginning half of the race. Solomon said, “The race went well in my opinion. My original goal for the race was to get a new personal best in the 5K, but ultimately, I was a few seconds shy, however, I felt the race was a good way to test the waters for my race-leading capabilities. I wasn’t used to running up front, so the first half of the race was a good way to start getting used to that.”
Other WSC women’s finishes came from freshman Megan Hansen with fourth place in the 60-meter hurdle finals in 9.29 seconds. Thrower Sarah Stang placed sixth in the weight throw with the mark of 48’ 2 ¾”. High jumper Hanna Lazure placed 7th (5’ 1 ¾”) followed by Ali Dykman in eighth with a jump of 4’ 11 ¾”. Riana Noelle placed eighth in the triple jump with the mark of 33’ 5 ¾”.
The men’s team also had top finishes in the Bison Open. Freshman Dylan Kneifl recorded an NCAA provisional mark of 6’ 8 ¾” to win the high jump and senior Bailey Peckham won the 5,000-meter run. Kneifl’s jump puts him tied for 10th in NCAA DII.
“The last few meets for me have been kind of up and down, I hit a personal best of 6’8 ¾” which was quite the accomplishment for me” Kneifl said.
Other WSC men’s finishes came from high jumper Aaron English clearing 6’ ¾” placing him in fourth. Fifth place finishes came from Preston Davis in the 60-meter hurdle finals with the time of 8.86 seconds and Collin Kotz in the 5,000-meter run at 16:31. Sixth places finishes came from sprinter Justin Rohloff in the 60-meter dash finals in 7.18 seconds, middle-distance runner Jakob Kemper in the 800-meter run at 2:00.62, and thrower Grant Fritsch in the weight throw with the mark of 48’ 10 ¾” with Cody Crosley taking seventh in the long jump at 20’ 11 ¾”.