Tracksters continue to show improvement

Wayne State to host Wildcat Open this weekend at the WSC Rec Center

Caitlin Fehringer, Staff Writer

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Senior Sara Wells led the Wayne State women’s track and field team Saturday at the Minnesota State Open held at Myers Fieldhouse in Mankato, Minn.

With no surprise, the throwers had a dominating performance in the shot put with a 1-3-4-5 place finish.

Wells was the top cat, swiping another first-place finish with the top throw of 51’3 ¾”.

“My best throw is a 51’ 9 ¼”. My goal for the rest of the season is to become an All American in the weight throw and a National Champion in the shot,” Wells said.

Michaela Dendinger picked up a third-place finish with a toss of 46’6 ¾”, Shandan Platt with an impressive fourth place finish of 46’00”, and Jessi Pongratz, with improvement from last week, lands a mark of 42’7” to capture fifth.

Coach Marlon Brink is impressed with how successful Platt was this weekend.

“Shandan Platt had a very successful weekend throwing, as she hit two new personal best marks, which were also improved NCAA Provisional National Qualifying Marks,” Brink said. “She is currently the top ranked freshman in the shot put and is No. 13 overall in the nation in that event.”

The Wildcats also picked up a 3-4-5 finish in the weight throw.

Dendinger took third at 56’9 ½”, Platt with a season-best throw of 56’2 ½”, came in behind Dendinger at fourth, and Wells adds more points with a throw of 56’2 ½”, walking away with a fifth place finish to end the weekend for the throwers.

Freshman Kelsey Dietrich from Laurel-Concord Coleridge high school got out to a good start with an eighth-place finish in the 60 meter hurdles with a time of 9.66 seconds.

“Kelsey Dietrich is making nice progress as a college hurdler,” Brink said. “Making the finals was a nice accomplishment as well as getting a personal best. She also had the fastest split on our 4 x 400 meter relay.”

Improvement by the women’s 4×4 relay team of Mary Alderson, Rebecca Davenport, Dietrich and Danielle Hart was shown this weekend.

Shaving off about three seconds, the 4×4 landed themselves a fourth-place finish with the time of 4:09.38.

Senior Zach Thomsen and Justin Brueggemann led the Wildcat men Saturday.
Both runners recorded second-place finishes.

Thomsen left the track with a second-place finish in the 800 at 1:56.18.

Brueggemann also earned second place with a strong finish in the 5,000 meter at 16:08.03.

“Getting second was a great feeling. It really was a solid and motivating start to the season,” Brueggemann said. “With a good first couple of races, I have high expectations for the rest of the season, hopefully beating my previous personal record. Increasing my work intensity and seeing my teammates succeed has kept me driven so far this season.”

Bryan Dunn tossed a season-best 55’4 ¾” in the weight throw and brought home a third-place finish for the Wildcats this weekend.

Another top finishers for the men were William Ernst in the 200 meter dash.

He took fifth with a little improvement from last week at 22.63 seconds.
Freshman Brady Metz recorded his first career top finish, jumping his way to a fifth place finish in the triple jump (42’ 9 ½”).

Nathan Boggess had a sixth-place finish in the 5,000 meter run at 16:22.39, while Corbin Lehn took 10th (16:55.72). Braxton Adams just missed an NCAA Provisional Qualifying mark by .01 in the 60 meter dash with a time of 6.91 seconds and was a new personal best.

“We had several athletes that hit new season best or lifetime best marks in the meet, so that is a good sign that we are making steady progress through the season,” said Brink.

The WSC Rec Center will be the site for the Wildcat Open this Saturday.

Teams participating will include, Augustana College, Southwest Minnesota State, University of Sioux Falls, Dakota State University, York College and a partial squad from the University of South Dakota. Field events will start at 12:00 pm and running events start at 1:30 pm.

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