Wildcat tracksters shine bright at home indoor meet


Photo courtesy Michael Carnes

Michaela Dendinger recorded a toss of 52’ 2 ¾” to place second in the weight throw and record an NCAA Provisional Mark.

Caitlin Fehringer, Staff Writer

Sara Wells led Wayne State College at the 13th annual Wildcat Alumni Open Indoor Track and Field meet last Saturday with a new school record in the shot put. Sophomore Michaela Dendinger had an NCAA automatic qualifying mark.

Wells released a top mark of 52’ 4 ¾” to take first place and break her own school record of 51’ 9 ¼”. Her mark was also an NCAA automatic qualifying mark. Wells currently has the second-best mark in NCAA Division II this season.

Dendinger also achieved an automatic NCAA qualifying mark. Dendinger uncorked her best throw yet of 52’ 2 ¾” to place second in the event. Dendingers’ throw places her at third in the Nation right behind Wells.

“I’ve been having some pretty good throws in practice, but after hearing the mark I was honestly in shock. It makes me really excited to see what I can do the rest of the season,” Dendinger said.

Freshman Shandan Platt had a solid fifth place finish in the shot put at 46’ 8 ¼”.

Along with a successful weekend in the shot put for the throwers, they had three NCAA provisional marks in the weight throw. Dendinger with the toss of 59’ 2 ¼” finished in third. Platt followed in fourth (56’ 3”) and Kyndra Sturm fifth at 55’ 3 ½” while Wells ended sixth with a mark of 54’ 10”.

Megan Svitak took third in the 60 meter hurdles (9.35) and eighth in the long jump (16’ 8 ½”). Mary Alderson finished fourth in the 200 meter dash with a personal record (27.33), and sixth in the 60 meter dash at 8.26 seconds.

Senior Ellen Wulf recorded two sixth place finishes. One in the 60 meter hurdles (9.82), and a PR in the long jump (17’ ¾”). Rebecca Davenport finished fifth in the 400 meter dash (1:04.31). Andrea DeSimone ran a time of 11:36.30 in the 3,000 to finish second, and was followed by teammates Shelby Connett at third (12:14.34) and Makael Lanum fourth (12:27.23), which were all personal bests.

Siera Zach had two PR’s this weekend in the 60m (8.58), and 60m hurdles (9.83).

The Wildcat men were led by redshirt freshman sprinter Braxton Adams. Adams won the 60 meter dash (6.99) and was third in the 200 meter dash (23.48).

Senior William Ernst recorded a big finish in the 200 meter dash at 22.85 seconds, finishing first. He is looking to do some big things as the season progresses.

“A PR on our track, at a smaller meet, should bode really well for bigger meets on faster tracks later in the season,” Ernst said.

Head Coach Marlon Brink hopes to see some great things from Ernst this season.

“Will has been somewhat of a ‘late bloomer’ as it has taken him a few years to get to the level he is running at now, but that is a tribute to his determination to keep working hard, striving to get better, and a belief in himself to be able to reach a competitive level,” Brink said.

Other Wildcats that took first were Senior Zach Thomsen in the 600 (1:24.28), and sophomore Derek Lahm in the triple jump with a new personal best of 46’ 4 ¼”. Lahm jumping for the first time this year said, “Getting a PR the first time out is really encouraging. Also, it was awesome to be able to triple jump with my teammate, Brady Metz, for the first time. We both got PRs, and it was really exciting.

My goal for conference is to place in the top five in the long jump, triple jump, and heptathlon. There’s an outside chance for All-Conference and that would be extremely satisfying.”

Sophomore Nick Schmit also grabbed first in the 1,000 meter run with the time of 2:41.70.

Nate Lechtenberg had a second place finish in the 60 meter hurdles (8.99), junior Bryan Dunn was third in the weight throw (55’ 4 ¼”) and not too far from a personal best. Cody Kralicek finished fifth with a PR in the 400 meter dash at 56.95 seconds.

The 4 x 400 meter relay team of Thomsen, Lahm, Kole Heller and Schmit was first at 3:33.99.

Brink was very proud of the athletes and their performances this weekend.

“It was great to see so many of our athletes have personal best marks at our home meet. I think it shows that they have a lot of pride and wanted to have a great showing for many of their family and friends that were there to support them,” Brink said.

The Wildcats will have some athletes competing at the 40th Annual UNL Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational on Friday/Saturday, while the rest of the team will compete at the Fred Beile Invitational at Doane College on Saturday in Crete.