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Photo by: South Dakota State University

Three league champions on Day 1...

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 02/24/2012 23:04:47

The South Dakota State men's and women's track teams competed at the Summit League Indoor Championships in Fort Wayne, Ind., on Friday...

Numerous season and personal bests were set in the first day of competition.

The women's team secured two individual league titles, as senior Lora Shearer opened the day by winning the pentathlon, followed by junior Brooke Garner who took the weight throw.

The distance medley relay team was the men's league champion, as Dominic Thielen, Jared Foote, Jake Schneller and Michael Krsnak won the crown with a time of 9:56.53, a Summit League best, in one of the final events of the day.

"The men's distance medley relay team executed the plan and did exactly what we wanted to do," head coach Rod DeHaven said. "That was a nice way to cap off the day."

(Video interviews with Shearer, Garner and the men's distance medley relay team available at the beginning of this article)

Shearer won three of the five events; 60-meter hurdles, long jump, high jump; to take the title. In the 800 meter run, Shearer finished in a season-best 2:29.24 to hold off the heptathlon runner-up by two points.

Shearer posted a season best in the shot put with a toss of 31 feet. Shearer also tied season-bests in the long jump and the high jump. The long jump of 18 feet, five and one-fourth inches tied a personal best, as well.

"Lora's performance was heroic," said DeHaven. "She decided to go for a championship as opposed to saving herself for a little bit later in the day. It was great to see her rewarded, because it was not a guarantee."

Shearer also advanced to the finals in the 60-meter hurdles tomorrow.

Garner threw the weight 61 feet, three and one-half inches to break the school indoor record and claim the title. The throw was a season best by over one foot, as well as a personal best, and broke the school indoor record by six inches.

"Brooke came through with a big throw at the right time," DeHaven said. "It was nice to have three women score in the weight throw; McKenzie Johnson and Amy Paulzine did a nice job there."

The distance medley relay team of Krista Creager, Jessica McDonald, Laura Lawton and Danielle McCann placed fifth with a time of 12:10.55.

McDonald also qualified for the finals in the 400 meter run after entering outside the needed position to gain.

"Jessica's 400 meter run, advancing to the final when she was maybe ranked 12th coming in, was exceptional," said DeHaven.

Tera Potts posted a season best in the 3000 meter run by nearly six seconds to finish in sixth place with a time of 10:03.29.

"Tera had a nice finish to get herself into scoring position in the 3000 meter."

Ashley Odegaard closed out the scoring for the women with an eighth-place finish in the long jump with a leap of 17 feet, eight and one-fourth inches.

On the men's side, Jared Vlastuin came in second place in the long jump. Vlastuin matched his second-best performance of the season with a jump of 24 feet, five inches.

"Jared had a very nice effort and essentially lost by a hair," DeHaven said. "He was very consistent, but had a few fouls. It is difficult to lose a championship by that few of points."

In addition to being a member of the distance medley relay team, Krsnak finished third in the 3000 meter run with a time of 8:22.11, his second-best performance of the season.

Two men also competed in the heptathlon during Friday's morning session. Bennett Mercil is tied for fifth place after the first four events, while Mike Bredeson is 10th. The event continues tomorrow morning.

Both athletes posted season bests in the high jump. Mercil's leap of five feet, 10 and one-half inches was also a personal best. Bredeson posted a season best in the long jump with a leap of 19 feet, one and one-fourth inches, as well.

Calvin Cammack finished in a tie for sixth place in the pole vault with a height of 15 feet, six and one-fourth inches.

In the weight throw, Jake Brinkmann finished in seventh after a toss of 55 feet, one and one-half inches.

Complete results from the first day of the Summit League Indoor Track & Field Championships are available at the beginning of this article.

After one day of competition, the SDSU women are in second place, while the men sit in fourth.

"Another day tomorrow and our kids are competing very well," said DeHaven. "That is important when you come to a championship; you do not want to lay an egg. The team got out and was competitive. We had a lot of personal bests, even if it is not necessarily reflective in team points. We have some good things to look forward to tomorrow. We are going to score a lot. We still have work to do."

Many other SDSU athletes competed in preliminary races today, as many finals take place on Saturday. Check the results to see which Jackrabbit athletes qualified for their respective finals.

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