Dunn and Spenner earn national ranks

Two NCAA Provisional marks boost hopes for next week’s home meet


Photo by Siera Zach

Senior thrower Bryan Dunn recorded a personal record as well as a NCAA provisional mark in the weight throw this past weekend at the Minnesota State Open in Mankato, Minn. The first-place winner threw a mark of 62’ 4 ½” and is now ranked 10th in the nation in weight throw.

Cody Kralicek, Staff Writer

MANKATO, Minn.–When you are a student-athlete in college and you finally get to your senior year, you become a leader, veteran and mentor to the underclassman. Most importantly, you want to leave your mark.

Seniors Bryan Dunn and Justin Brueggemann did just that.

The WSC track and field team traveled to Mankato, Minn. on Saturday to compete in the 2016 Minnesota State Open held in the Myers Fieldhouse on the MSU campus.

The Wildcats faced off against NSIC teams, including Minnesota State, Bemidji State, Minnesota Duluth, Sioux Falls, St. Cloud, Upper Iowa and Winona State. Other non-conference teams competing were Bethany Lutheran, Dickinson State, Graceland, Minnesota Morris, North Iowa, Northwestern and Waldorf.

Both seniors recorded first place finishes in their respected events.

Dunn threw the winning mark and personal best of 62’4 ½”, an NCAA provisional mark in the weight throw. The throw marks the second all-time weight throw at WSC, and Dunn is now ranked 10th in the nation for men’s weight throw in DII schools.

“Bryan had an extremely good weekend, five of his six throws were NCAA Provisional marks,” throwing coach Brett Suckstorf said. “I am extremely proud of the progress he has made as a thrower and has definitely earned his success.”

Dunn is proud of his progress as well.

“Hitting the mark last weekend was one of the most satisfying feelings I’ve had in my throwing career,” Dunn said. “All the incredible hard work coach Suckstorf and myself have put in is showing.”

Although Dunn is now ranked in the top 10 of the nation, he still focused on improving his skills.

“Getting better is all about sticking to the process and staying focused,” Dunn said. “There is no ceiling, and I will continue to work my butt off.”

Brueggemann was the first to break the yellow tape in the 5,000m run and take the first-place finish. His time was a swift 15:39.36 and personal best.

Sophomore Josh Spenner also hit an NCAA Provisional mark with his second place in the men’s heptathlon with a total score of 4,707 points. The provisional mark led Spenner to take the 16th spot on NCAA’s national team ranking list for men’s heptathlon.

Other top finishers for the men’s team were Clay Kramper, finishing fifth in the 200m dash (22.99), Braxton Adams in sixth place in the 60m dash (6.96). Nick Fly also placed sixth in the one mile (4:33.11).

The men’s 4x400m relay team of Kramper, Trenton Zink, Lechtenburg and Schmit placed third with a time of 3:28.84. Also, the Wildcat’s distance medley relay team of Schmit, Brandon Marker, Joey Black and Fly finished fourth at 10:56.92.

“Overall, I thought we made some good progress with our performances this week. Some highlights I thought were Bryan Dunn hitting a new personal best to win the weight throw,” head coach Marlon Brink said. “Also, Josh Spenner had a great heptathlon to hit an NCAA provisional mark and almost broke the school record. Finally, Justin Brueggeman had probably the best race of his career in winning the 5,000m run in a personal best time.”

For the women’s track and field team, veterans Ellen Wolf and Melissa Kroll led the Wildcats with second place finishes.

Senior Wulf took second place in the long jump with a leap of 17’10 ¼”, while junior Kroll also recorded a second-place finish in the 600m run with a swift time of 1:41.56 to lead the Lady ‘Cats.

Other top finishes for the women’s team were Molly Kingsley, who took third in the 5,000m run (19:15.88).

Kendra Strum was fourth in the weight throw (54’ ½”). Shelby Roth tied for fourth in the high jump (5’1), and Andrea DeSimone had a sixth place finish in the 5,000m run (19:36.78).

The WSC 4x400m relay team of Kelsey Dietrich, Kroll, Rachel Rauner and Wulf took sixth place with a time of 4:08.22.

“Ellen Wulf jumped well after sitting out last week due to an injury, as she placed second in the long jump and just missed breaking 18 feet. Melissa Kroll ran a good race and picked up a second place finish in the 600m run,” head Coach Marlon Brink said. “Finally, Molly Kingsley had a big break-out race in the 5,000m run to place third, improving her personal best time by over 1:30.”

Wayne State will host the Wildcat open on Saturday in the WSC Recreational Center with field events beginning at 11 a.m. and running events starting at 1 p.m.

“The home meet is another great chance for all of us to improve and to have friends and family watch,” Dunn said. “We definitely take pride in our home meet, and it’s a great incentive to perform at a higher level in front of a home crowd.”