With the Summit League Outdoor Championships looming ahead, the University of South Dakota men’s and women’s track teams are looking to take advantage of the few meets left to reach peak performance level.
The Coyotes will be in Kansas and California to participate in two different meets from April 18-20.
They’ll be traveling to the Mount SAC Relays in California as well as the Kansas Relays in Lawrence, Kansas. Members of the team will be separated and set apart from one another as they will be traveling to the meet of their choice.
The Kansas Relays have been run since 1923 in Lawrence. It’s a prestigious event which also holds competitions for high schools and professionals.
The Mount SAC Relays were started in 1959 at Mount San Antonio College and eventually became the world’s largest track event in the mid-1980s. Over 5,000 athletes at one point participated in the games, and Division-I universities will be at the event.
Men’s track and field head coach Dave Gottsleben said a variety of events go on during this time of the year.
“This time of the year for track athletes is kind of called the relay circuit,” Gottsleben said.
Gottsleben said that the upcoming weekend will bring a majority of the program’s athletes to the Kansas Relays, with vaulters and other team members in certain events heading off to Mount SAC.
“We can’t split the vaulters up,” Gottsleben said. “They all have to go where our vault coach and the poles are at…That’s a very pragmatic type of thing.”
The split during the same weekend isn’t something new for the group. Earlier in the year, the men’s and women’s track teams participated in meets in Arkansas and Texas.
“We always get concerned that not everybody’s at the same meet,” Gottsleben said. “But really if you look at Division I schools the athletes just go to different meets that best suit (a) particular group of people and their opportunity to qualify for the (NCAA) regional meet.”
Standout performances from USD athletes highlighted the trip. At the Texas Relays, junior high jumper Megan Glisar tied her own school record for the high jump at six feet while tying for second at the meet.
“We’ve kind of had a lot of meets so far, that you have to break and go where you need to go,” Glisar said.
Glisar’s jump of six feet puts her in a tie for the fifth-highest jump in the country. She’s going to be in California and anticipates potentially facing off against the best high jumper in the nation.
“That’s kind of why we’re going to these bigger meets,” Glisar said.
Once the team comes home they will prepare for some meets closer to home, traveling to cities such as Yankton, Des Moines and Sioux Falls.