Coming off of a performance on Feb. 17 at the John Dalton Invitational, where four University of South Dakota track and field athletes set new school records, the USD men and women’s track and field team will compete for the Summit League Indoor Track Championships on Feb. 24-25 in Fort Wayne, Ind.
This marks the first time USD will compete in the Summit League Championship.
Men’s track head coach Dave Gottsleben also said one of the goals for the Summit League Indoor Championships is to show the league USD is ready to compete at a high level.
“The Summit League is good for USD Track and Field,” Gottsleben said. “We are hoping to win some respect this weekend. I think our training has been focused on competition against other teams.”
Women’s head coach Lucky Huber said the team dynamics played a role in the preparation for the Summit League Indoor Championships.
“You need that ‘team thing’ that you get with that conference championship,” Huber said.
Sophomore distance runner Jeffrey Mettler said training for the Summit League Championships has been a daily routine that includes a wide variety of exercises.
“It’s the little things that are key,” Mettle said. “Having a good diet, adequate sleep and stretching the body pays off in big events like this.”
Senior jumper Kenna Wolter, who was recently named the Summit League athlete of the week for the second time this indoor season, set the USD triple-jump record for a third time with a mark of 41-5 3/4. Wolters record is top in the Summit League and is ranked 25th overall in the nation.
“We just need to focus and get mentally prepared for this meet,” Wolter said.
Gottsleben said previous successes in the program, such as winning three consecutive Great West Indoor Track titles before this season, have helped in making the transition in Division I this year.
“It’s always been our goal to compete in the indoor and outdoor championships,” Gottsleben said. “We’ve had a pretty good string of success going.”