Competing in their first-ever Summit League Championships, the University of South Dakota women’s track and field team placed second overall on Feb. 24 in Fort Wayne, Ind.
Women’s track and field head coach Lucky Huber said the teams second place performance is something the team will continue to build off.
“I was proud that our girls competed the best they could,” Huber said. “We don’t like not winning but we worked really hard and came out with a strong performance.”
The indoor meet showcased nine Summit League teams in the women’s events and eight teams on the men’s side. USD finished with a total of 115 points shy of front-runner North Dakota State University’s 206 points. The Coyote men finished with 89 points taking fourth place, falling to Southern Utah, Oral Roberts and NDSU respectively. Four Coyotes took home individual awards in the meet with each team claiming two titles.
Huber said both teams have more of a feel for the Summit League competition after the indoor meet.
“We now understand what the Summit League is about,” Huber said. “We can carry the momentum of the indoor meet into our outdoor season.”
Seniors Kenna Wolter and Emma Ladwig both took individual titles home for the Coyotes, as Wolter broke the school record yet again for the triple jump, topping her performance in the John Dalton Invitational by four inches. Ladwig took first place in the women’s 800-meter race with a time of 2:09.96, winning the event by less than a second.
On the men’s side the 4×400-meter relay team took home first place with a time of 3:17.77 which was 1.13 seconds better than South Dakota State University. Running in the relay for the Coyotes were freshmen Erik Hill, Jeff O’Connel and Lukas Bernard as well as junior Casey Shade.
Freshman Kyle McKelvey won the championship in the shot put throw with a toss of 54-4 taking home his first ever conference championship.
The teams now have a three-week break until the outdoor season starts up at the Aztec Invitational in San Diego, Calif. On Mar. 16 and 17.
Huber said the women’s team will add about five or six more athletes for the outdoor season which should help the team.
“A lot of our kids will being staying here in Vermillion and training while everyone else is gone over spring break,” Huber said. “We’re excited to compete in San Diego and we hope to see more success in our outdoor season.”