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Photo by: South Dakota State University

Jackrabbits ready for conference

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 05/13/2014 16:21:18

The South Dakota State track & field teams are heading to Fargo, N.D., for the 2014 Summit League Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The conference meet is held May 15-17, on the campus of North Dakota State at the Ellig Sports Complex.

Summit League Championships
On the men’s side there are five teams (IUPUI, North Dakota State, South Dakota, South Dakota State & Western Illinois) and there are seven teams on the women’s side (Fort Wayne, IUPUI, Nebraska-Omaha, North Dakota State, South Dakota, South Dakota State & Western Illinois).

The action starts Thursday at 11 a.m., as the women’s hammer throw starts the field events. Also at 11 a.m., the men’s decathlon begins with the running of the 100-meter dash. The running of the women’s 10,000-meter run kicks off the running events (7 p.m.) Thursday night.

The decathlon and heptathlon concludes Friday starting at 11 a.m., and noon, respectively. The field events start Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. (men’s long jump, women’s high jump & men’s shot put). The prelims of the women’s 100-meter hurdles begin the running events Friday afternoon (4:30 p.m.).

The final field events start at 11 a.m., Saturday (women’s discus throw & women’s triple jump). The women’s 4x100-meter relay starts the running events Saturday (12:20 p.m.). The final event of the conference meet is the men’s 4x400-meter relay (3:25 p.m.).

Last Time Out
The Jackrabbits traveled north to Fargo, N.D., to compete in the NDSU Tune-Up.

Mary Wirth won her third high jump event of the 2014 outdoor season with her height of 5 feet, 9 3/4 inches. Also in the high jump, Kali Olson cleared a personal-best height of 5-8 1/2 en route to her second-place finish. Olson's mark today moves her into a tie for third all-time (Tina Baum, 1993) in the SDSU record book.

On the men’s side, Ryan Schaefer posted a pair of top-10 finishes. He took fourth in the pole vault (15-7) and sixth in the long jump (21-0). Also in the pole vault, Nathaniel Schaefer placed fifth with his personal-best height of 15-7.

Ryan Swenson ran to a personal-best time of 1 minute, 55.94 seconds in the 800-meter run. He placed sixth overall.

In the discus throw, Austin Benson (143-3) and Ryan Ackman (141-9) placed eighth and ninth, respectively. Ackman (172-10) also took seventh in the hammer throw.

Last Year at the Conference Meet

Overall, the men placed third and the women took fourth at the 2013 Summit League Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

The Jackrabbits claimed three out of the top four spots in the men’s 10,000-meter run, including Trent Lusignan winning with his time of 30:10.47. Michael Krsnak finished third when he clocked in at 30:37.48 and right behind him in fourth place was Anthony Bongard with a time of 30:39.08.

Lusignan added to his 10,000-meter run win with a 5,000-meter run victory. Lusignan ran a time of 14:29.42. Bongard finished the race in 14:42.88 to claim fourth. Krsnak was the third Jackrabbit to finish in the top-ten. He finished seventh with his time of 14:56.99.

Jeremiah Ary and Connor Berg were both named All-Summit League with their third-place finishes. Ary placed third in the long jump with his personal-best distance of 23-7.50, while Berg took third in the high jump with his height of 6-5 1/2.

Luke Leischner won the 400-meter dash with a time of 47.80 and was a member of the winning 4x400-meter relay team. Justin Carson, Levi Winkels, Jared Foote and Leischner posted a final time of 3:14.63 to claim the 4x400-meter relay title.

Foote also placed third in the 400-meter dash (48.83).

Leischner, Dom Wright, Foote and LeAndre Kennedy ran to a third-place in the 4x100-meter relay (42.03).

Brooke Garner won both the discus and hammer throw events. She claimed the discus throw with her mark of 168-8 and she won the hammer throw with her toss of 196-3, which is also a new conference meet record. Her hammer throw title is her second in three years.

Shelby Assmus, Carly Carper, Amy Paulzine, Olson all tallied third-place finishes. Assmus posted a distance of 48-0 in the shot put, Carper posted a time of 11.92 in the 100-meter dash, Paulzine recorded a mark of 145-9 in the javelin throw, and Olson cleared a height of 5-8 in the high jump.

The 4x100-meter relay team of Gina Fritz, Ashley Odegaard, Megan Bren and posted Carper posted a second-place finish with their time of 46.51

Movin’ On Up
SDSU has set 37 top-10 school record book performances during the 2014 outdoor track & field season.

School Records Fall
Jazzelena Black and Wirth opened up their 2014 outdoor season with record-breaking performances. Black set the school record in the triple jump with her mark of 40-3 1/2 and Wirth re-set her school record in the high jump (5-10 3/4). Her old school record was set at the 2011 Howard Wood Dakota Relays (5-9 3/4). Wirth also holds the indoor high jump school record mark (5-10).

Wirth In The Nation
Wirth’s high jump mark of 5-10 3/4 is tied for 21st in the nation.

Summit League Honors
Wirth was named The Summit League’s Outdoor Track and Field Female Athlete of the Week (April 1) for her record-setting performance at the Arizona State University Invitational.

Feelin’ 22
Twenty-two Jackrabbits garnered All-Summit League honors at the 2013-14 Summit League Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Smart Rabbit
Andrew Thies was named to the Men’s Indoor Track and Field Academic All-League Team. Thies, a junior, currently holds a grade-point average (GPA) of 3.926 as a Pharmacy major. He was also named Academic All-League during the 2013 outdoor season.

Preseason Polls
The Jackrabbit men were picked to finish third in The Summit League Preseason Poll and the women were selected fourth.

Up Next
The NCAA West Regional is up next for the Jackrabbits. The West Regional is held on the campus of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark. (May 29-31). The top-48 individuals and top-24 relay teams qualify for the NCAA West Regional.

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