Sara Wells improves on own school record

Caitlin Fehringer, Staff Writer

Wayne State women throwers with top notch performances on Saturday at the South Dakota State Indoor Track and Field Classic led the Wildcats with one new school record, one NCAA automatic qualifying mark and two NCAA provisional marks.

Three of the top five finishes in the shot put were captured by the Wildcats. Senior Sara Wells improved on her school record by 3 ½” and NCAA automatic qualifying mark by taking first place with a throw of 52’ 8 ¼”.

“Sara had a big throw in the shot put, which is nice because it shows that she has the consistency to throw at that level week after week and not just be a one-time big thrower,” coach Marlon Brink said.

Sophomore Michaela Dendinger took third at 46’ 6 ¾,” while freshman Shandan Platt came in fifth place with a top throw of 44’ 0”.

The Wildcats also had four of the top seven finishes in the women’s weight throw. Wells, with an NCAA provisional mark, took third place with a mark of 57’ 4 ¾”. Right behind in fourth place was junior Kyndra Sturm with an NCAA provisional mark of 56’ 8 ¾”.

“Kyndra reached a new level for her throwing. It was nice to see her hitting a provisional mark as well as the other girls who have already reached that level,” Brink said.

Dendinger was sixth (56’ 5 ¼”) and Platt came in seventh at 55’ 1”.

For the third straight meet, redshirt freshman Braxton Adams hit an NCAA provisional mark in the 60 meter dash. Adams captured his season-best of 6.85 seconds in prelims, but finished fifth in finals with a time of 6.87 seconds.

“Braxton keeps shaving off a few hundredths of a second each week as he hit a provisional mark for the third meet in a row,” Brink said. “He is tied for 26th in the nation right now at 6.85 seconds, but just two one-hundredths (.02) of a second would move him up into the top 20 and a very good shot at going to Nationals.”

Junior Bryan Dunn recorded a solid third place finish (56’ 11 ½”), and an NCAA provisional qualifying mark in the weight throw to help lead the Wayne State men this weekend.

Senior Zach Thomsen also led the ‘Cats with a fourth place finish in the 600 meter run with a time of 1:21.34.

Nick Schmit finished 13th in the 1,000 meter run (2:35.90) and Jared Balady came in 18th in the 600 meter run (1:23.95).

Senior Megan Svitak and sophomore Derek Lahm were sent to compete in the NSIC Pentathlon and Heptathlon in Mankato, Minn. over the weekend.

Svitak finished with an NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 3,260 points to finish sixth. Out of the five events she competed in, her 60 meter hurdles was her top event, finishing third with the time of 9.08 seconds.

She had a personal best in the high jump of 5’ 3 1/4” and 2:43.33 in the 800 meter run. Svitak also tossed a mark of 29’ 10 1/4” in the shot put and jumped 17’ 3/4” in the long jump.

“Megan has done a great job of preparing herself for the pentathlon,” Brink said. “She has really improved her hurdle times, high jump height, and 800 meter run time, and it is great to see a senior like her who has worked really hard and overcome injuries have the kind of success she has had this season.”

Lahm placed fourth at the NSIC Indoor Heptathlon Sunday and Monday with an NCAA provisional mark of 4,658 points. He took first in two of the seven-event competition. He jumped and ran his way to first in the long jump (22’ 3”) and the 1,000 meter run (2:41.69). He also took third in the 60 meter dash in 7.29 seconds.

“It was fantastic. I was really trying for a third place finish for All-Conference. At the end of the first day I knew I was going to have to have a good shot,” Lahm said. “I was just 38 points shy of third. In the heptathlon, that’s like four centimeters in high jump.”

The rest of the Wayne State College women’s and men’s indoor track and field team competed Thursday night at the Concordia Invitational held in Seward at the Concordia Fieldhouse.

Mary Alderson earned a ninth place finish in the 200 meter dash, (27.27) and the 4 x 400 meter relay team of Alderson, Kelsey Dietrich, Elizabeth Pille and Rebecca Davenport took fifth with a time of 4:06.80 to lead the ‘Cats.

For the men, freshman Brady Metz led them with a second place finish in the triple jump with a top jump of 44’ 4 ¾”.

Adams, who traveled to both meets throughout the week, recorded second in the 60 meter dash with a time of 6.88 seconds at Concordia.

Wayne State will compete on Friday and Saturday at the South Dakota Invitational in the Dakota Dome in Vermillion.