Wind no match for WSC track and field

Wayne State performs well in blustery conditions at UNK meet over the weekend


Photo courtesy Marlon Brink

Derek Lahm charges toward the pit in the triple jump event in last weekend’s UNK Invite. Lahm finished second in the event.

Caitlin Fehringer, Staff Writer

Sara Wells shined at the UNK track meet last weekend, collecting two automatic qualifying marks and one provisional qualifying mark, while breaking a school record in the process.

The senior from Boone Central/ Albion swept the shot put with an NCAA automatic mark of 52’ ¾”.  1 in. Along with her first place finish in the shot put, Wells finished second in discuss and broke the school record with a toss of 165’1″, which is also a NCAA automatic qualifying mark.

“It has been my goal since last year to hit over 50 meters for discus and it never happened, so it felt good to finally reach that goal,” Wells said.

Wells finished the weekend hitting the provisional mark in the hammer, throwing 171’10” (7th place).

Freshman throwers Shandan Platt and Kacie O’Conner joined Wells and hit provisional marks in their events.

Platt landed her provisional mark in the hammer while picking up a fifth-place finish (175’7″). She also took eighth in the shot put throwing 43’6 ½”.

O’Conner collected her NCAA provisional mark in the discus with a toss of 150’0″ (9th place).

Top runners for the Wildcat women included Megan Svitak and Mary Alderson.

Svitak, who has been a huge senior leader for the ‘Cats, took second in the 100 meter hurdles with the time of 14.95 seconds, which is a personal best for her.

In the 200 meter dash, Alderson placed second with 26.14 seconds, while also picking up a personal best on the weekend.

Freshman Kelsey Dietrich was fourth in the 100 meter hurdles at 15.65, while Ellen Wulf came in fifth (16.04) and Siera Zach sixth (16.29). Wulf also picked up a sixth-place finish in the high jump, topping 4’8 ½”.

Andrea DeSimone was fifth in the 5,000 meter run (20:07.56) while Molly Kingsley took ninth at 21:35.16.

For the Wildcat men, Derek Lahm, who is the NSIC preseason coaches’ poll WSC men’s field athlete to watch, led the team at UNK placing in three events.

Lahm paced the Wildcats with a second-place finish and a personal best in the triple jump (47’3″).

“The jump itself felt really smooth–all the little technical issues we’ve been working on in practice just clicked,” Lahm said. “After I heard the distance, I just jumped in the air and hugged coach Kamm. It just gives me more confidence knowing that I jumped that far, and knowing I can continue to improve as the season goes on.”

The sophomore also placed fourth in the high jump, clearing 6’ ½”, and eighth in the 200 meter dash in 22.58 seconds.

“My goals have stayed the same from indoor to out: top five in decathlon, long and triple jump, and all-conference in at least one of them,” Lahm said. “I fell a little short indoor, so hopefully I can get it done this outdoor season.”

Jared Balady, the senior from Murrieta, Calif., joins Lamb as the track athlete to watch for this year for the WSC men’s team. Balady finished fifth in the 400 meter dash.

Fifth-place finishes came all around for the ‘Cats this weekend: Brady Metz in the triple jump with the jump of 44’ 10 ¼”, Bryan Dunn in the hammer throw (167’ 9″), Tanner Konz in the high jump (5’ 10 ½”) and Justin Brueggemann in the 5,000 meter run (16:48.49).

Other top finishers that both collected seventh place finishes included Steven Varela in the 400 meter hurdles (1:00.27), and Nate Lechtenberg in the 110 meter high hurdles (16.15).

Nick Schmit ended ninth in the 800 meter run (2:00.33) and 10th in the 1,500 meter run (4:20.74) to end the day for the Wildcats.

Wayne State will compete next Saturday at the Concordia Invitational in Seward.