Coyote track and field starts strong in home invitational
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Coyote track and field starts strong in home invitational

The Coyote mens and womens track and field won the team competitions of the USD Invitational Saturday inside the DakotaDome.

USD hosted South Dakota State, Drake and Omaha in the invitational. The Coyote men tallied 136 points, with South Dakota State (80) and Drake (46) following. On the womens side, USD tallied 188.5 points. SDSU took second with 134 points, Drake (60) and Omaha (58.5) followed. 

The Coyotes also had multiple personal best and nationally ranked results Saturday. Gennifer Hirata got the day started in the women’s pole vault with a collegiate season lead 13-8.5 vault. Landon Kemp, Deidra Marrison and Makiah Hunt all vaulted at 13-2.5. Helen Falda competed unattached due to no eligibility left for the indoor season and also vaulted at 13-2.5.

Carly Haring, who holds the best high jump mark in the nation, won the high jump at 5-9.75. Callie Henrich won the womens shot put (47-1.75) and weight throw (61-2.25) for USD. 

On the track, the USD women won the 400, 800, mile and 3000-meter runs. Sara Reifenrath, a freshman runner, won the 400 with a time of 56.64. Alli Wroblewski (800), Haley Arens (one mile) and Jonna Bart (3000) all brought home victories. Holly Gerberding added a win in the 60-meter hurdles.

On the men’s side, Ethan Bray tied his career best of 18-1 in the mens pole vault. The vault ranks second in the nation currently, and was his best mark last season. Bray qualified for the NCAA Championship last year with that mark.

Jack Durst climbs to fourth in the nation after clearing a 7-0.5 bar in the high jump. He won the men’s title with that mark. Hugo Morvan won the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.05 seconds. 

Freshman Jacob Jenkins joined the top ten list in USD history in the triple jump. He jumped 48-0.5 in the triple jump and 22-1.25 in the long jump, good for second place in the meet. 

The Coyote men had a very successful day on the track as well, winning five of the six individual races. Ardell Inlay (60-meter), Damar Francis (400), Dylan Blake (800) and Merga Gemeda (3000) each won races with Morvan. 

Falda, along with three other Coyotes competed unattached due to not having any indoor eligibility left. Falda, Zack Anderson, Kamberlyn Lamar and Blake Vande Hoef all competed in practice for outdoor season later this spring. 

Anderson jumped 7-1.75 in the high jump, which would have won the event. Lamar posted a 9.01 second 60-meter hurdles and a 36-8.25 in the triple jump. Vande Hoef cleared 6-8.75 in the high jump.

Morvan, Reifenrath and Hirata were all named Summit League Athletes of the Week for their performances over the weekend.

The Coyotes host another meet this weekend. The Dakota Realty Invitational takes place Saturday inside the DakotaDome. The meet starts at 10 a.m. Parents and USD students are allowed to attend, with masks and social distancing measures in place.