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Photo by: South Dakota State University

For what itís Wirth: Exclusive look at NCAA meet

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 06/15/2014 18:56:43
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Sunday, June 15th, 2014

A Day of Honor

Phew—I made opening height! :) Nerves got the best of me on my first jump yesterday, but then the butterflies realized their excessive fluttering was a little too much. As a student-athlete the goal is always to end the year with their best performance, and, although I was not able to clear a personal best, a few other things did occur. First, the Lord brought me to the National meet for the first time. Second, He helped me to jump the highest I ever have at Hayward Field. And third, that height of 5-9.75 allowed me to tie for 12th-place. 

I find it difficult to put into words the enormity of this experience. Right off the mat, I would like to give a big thanks to my parents for making the trip out to Eugene. Overall, everyone’s support has been beautifully overwhelming.  Plus, I have a feeling that even if I had not made it over a bar, people still would have said the most wonder things to me. With that being said, I am honored to have had all the loving texts, tweets, posts, comments, instagrams and snap chats.  

As we fly out today, I will carry no regrets or feelings of disappointment. Like all others, it was an honor to compete for the SDSU Jackrabbits this year. Representing South Dakota State in athletics is the least I can do when it has provided me with so much. Additionally, it was an honor to compete under the regime of this man…

                                    ...and, most importantly, for the glory of my Heavenly Father.

Also, a special thanks to Sir William Rottler who made this blog look much more professional everyday than I could have in a year’s time, and for dealing with us technology-challenged folk.

Thanks for reading and peace out from Eugene!


Saturday, June 14th, 2014

A Day of Chillin’

Friday was all about relaxing. Breakfast was filled with tasty food and easy conversation. The rest of the morning followed suit as I watched a little Netflix and an uplifting sermon—suggested to me by my roommate Krista Creager. In contrast to my strategic laziness, I made a point to get up, stretch out, and move around regularly in order to keep those pressure ulcers at bay.

All in all, my movement meter was likely to have reached its daily high during practice. Comfortably secluded on my chosen stretch of track, I completed yet another warm-up. Managing a slight sweat, despite the overcast skies, I decided to cool things down with a pre-meet ice bath. Conveniently, outdoor cold tubs are ready and waiting for any student-athlete willing to make the plunge. So as you can see, I took advantage of the recovery and the scenery!

Other than that the day was pretty nonchalant, and…oh wait…coach is here. Looks like I have to shut down operation blog for the day—coach says it’s time to focus. Well, in all honesty, he said, “Mer, let me tell ya something. Ya just gotta to get out there and blow over this sucker! Time to have some fun!”

It’s a great day to be a Jackrabbit!


Friday, June 13th, 2014

Tents & Rents

Day three here in Oregon was just as adventurous as day one! Fortunately for me this means no lack of happenings to share. 

Morning came much too soon for my liking yesterday. In order to compensate for all of the events and athletes at this meet, the meet officials have designated practice times in which field competitors are able to access their specific area of competition. Naturally this resulted in a 7:30 a.m. departure from the hotel for coach and me, because the high jump apron was available to women from 8:30-9:30 a.m. Coach informed me that he would be surprised if I could have made it over 4-8 on my first practice jump, but by the end I had an easy clearance of 5-5. This taught me that my body is getting older/more stubborn and yet, no matter how old I get, I am still not a morning person.

With it still being early in the day, coach and I took advantage of access to the field and a low number of people milling around. We visited the t-shirt stand, made a few purchases, and snatched a picture by the start line! As seen in the photo below, I picked out a couple of shirts, but the medallion and two bags are NCAA gifts for simply making it to Nationals. Additionally, I took a picture of the team tent area. SDSU does not have one, but why not next year? I am not sure how many athletes need to qualify in order to rent a tent, but let’s just aim for 20 or so! 

Later in the day Gordon and Sandy—aka Papa and Mama Wirth—arrived! While coach headed back for the track, my parents and I cruised off in their blazing red rental car. Staying true to the slogan we let hot wheels lead the way and sped off to dinner and the movie Maleficent. Disney princess movies have always been solid, but add real actors as well as fantasy graphics and I’m a true fan. :)

Tired from a long day of travel, the rents brought me back to the hotel where we caught up with coach. Here are a few of the impressive stats one encounters at this meet: 

1. After 24 laps the winner of the men’s 10K ran the last 400 with a split of 53 seconds.
2. In the men’s 100 prelims the current leader clocked a 9.92.
3. One of the 4x400 meter relay teams has run a combined time of 2:59, meaning each is running around a 45 second split. 

Off the top of my head it seems I have only received updates on men events, but to find a wider array of statistics be sure to investigate http://www.ncaa.com/sports/trackfield-outdoor-men/d1/2014-national-championship.

Wishing for wings,


Thursday, June 12th, 2014

A Day to Remember

Yesterday started off much like any other day at a hotel—with a continental breakfast! Unfortunately not every moment of the day can be quite that exciting, so coach and I decided to spend the morning relaxing and prepping for the day with coffee in hand.

Once adequately prepared, we ventured downtown for lunch and then went directly to Hayward Field. On our way to the track, coach and I truly became aware of this community’s support of their campus. O, the one letter emblem for the University of Oregon, is donned upon the majority of cars in traffic, every dorm room window on campus, and countless shirts throughout the stadium. Support here reminded me of how support in Brookings means a great deal to our student body and student-athletes alike. Day after day our campus expands and the community’s investment grows right alongside it. Stickers on bumpers and windows would be a great way to cheer for the Jacks. Usually I would say my car is not the best rep, but I think even good ol’ Granny would notice all these O’s and want to get a few more SDSU’s out there—feel free to join!

The general love of track & field is obvious here in Eugene as well. Crazy as it seems, the hotels even have special keycards decorated with the NCAA Championships logo. Still coach and I have both managed to lock ourselves out of our rooms despite the cool keys. Conveniently we can get replacements right down the hall, but one thing we cannot risk misplacing are our fancy credentials. As pictured below, the meet’s logo adorns the front of the pass while the list of events spans the back. Luckily, as long as we do not lose our heads the attached lanyard will keep us from losing these passes. 

As we arrived at the track yesterday afternoon, I used my pass three times to get to my cozy little warm-up area. Halfway through my form-running drills I met and chatted with a triple jumper from Jamaica who is competing for Princeton. Following our conversation I recollected that I had also met a hurdler from Milwaukee, sat behind some student-athletes from Harvard, and even ran into SDSU alumni Alex Lohr who is announcing the meet throughout the weekend. All of these interactions helped me to realize that, although the focus and main concern is track & field, a trip like this includes a whole lot more. Traveling, exploration, relationships, and faith can be experienced at a whole new level. 

So to wrap up this blog I would just like to say a special thanks to all of you. Without my friends and family, the SDSU fans and staff, and everyone in between I would not have grown into the person I am today. I feel blessed to be surrounded by such love and support, and I will make sure never to forget it. Enough of the mushy stuff for today though! Make sure to check in tomorrow again for more updates. :)

Appreciatively yours,


Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Travel & Error

Welcome and greetings from Eugene, Oregon! 

As a formality, I want to make sure and introduce myself. My name is Mary Wirth, but you can call me "Mer" as some of my teammates do! I am originally from Sioux Falls, S.D., but I now call Brookings my home for a majority of the year as I am studying biology and competing for the SDSU track & field team. Currently, however, I have taken up residence in a hotel room patiently waiting for June 14th at 2:45 p.m. CT when the NCAA Women’s High Jump competition will commence.

Early yesterday morning coach David St. John and I braved the airport security in Sioux Falls, and by early afternoon we found ourselves at Hayward Field. While coach attended what I am sure was an exhilarating meeting, I was able to shake the travel out of my legs by completing a routine warm-up. On the map to the right I marked my favorite warm-up area with a blue X. Sitting in the southwest corner of these facilities and behind a few tennis courts I am still surrounded by other athletes, yet there is no direct view of the main track. As a result, I am able to warm-up with a competitive spirit in mind while keeping less-helpful nerves at bay.

Upon completion of my shake-out, I began to wander and snap a few photos. With coach still preoccupied at the meeting, I had plenty of time for this panorama! Below you can see the beautiful track as it is adorned with potted flowers, and decorated with NCAA banners of all shapes and sizes (mainly gi-normous!).

To test our wits once the meeting had finished, coach and I made the goal of getting back to our hotel without the help of modern technology—AKA no iPhone Maps App. After a couple unwise lane changes, and a few extra interstates later, we arrived safely at our destination. For dinner we chose to stroll on over to a local restaurant called Shirlys and the food was great!

From that point in time it was just back to the hotel and off to bed! As for today we only have practice on the schedule, but the meet does start so hopefully I can watch a race or two. I will let you know tomorrow!

Thanks for your support,


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