Four Track and Field Athletes to Compete at NCAA
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Four Track and Field Athletes to Compete at NCAA

On Feb. 25-26, the men’s and women’s track and field teams cemented their first Summit League Championship win since joining the conference. 

This was the second straight women’s win and the first for the men since 2015. Both teams haven’t won the conference tournament since 2011 when they were previously in the Great West Conference. 

Twenty-five Coyotes placed on the podium throughout the two-day tournament, as well as both a men’s and women’s relay team. 

Sophomore Erin Kinney broke a Summit League Championship record in the 60 meter dash with a 7.27 second gold medal finish. This was the first gold place finish in this event since 2016 by a Coyote. Kinney also placed first in the 200 meter dash. 

Alongside Kinney, sophomore Jacy Pulse came in third in the 200 meter dash to round out the podium. She also competed in the 400 meter dash where she placed first. 

Sophomore Abrielle Jirele ran a 4:55.02 1 mile run to secure second place. She also got second in the 5000 meter run. Both of these finishes helped her receive the title of Summit League Track Championship MVP. 

Junior Ella Byers had two third place finishes on the weekend in the 800 meter run and the 1 mile run. 

Two Coyotes secured the top spots in the women’s high jump. Sophomore Danii Anglin jumped a 1.80 meters to get the gold. This height was only one centimeter off the Summit League Championship record. Anglin also qualified to compete in the NCAA championships for high jump based off her performance during the indoor season. Junior Carly Haring 

Sophomore Marleen Mülla broke the Summit League Championship record and school record in the women’s pole vault which secured her not only a first-place finish in the event but also made her the leader of the NCAA. Mülla was joined by teammates junior Gen Hirata and sophomore Cassidy Mooneyhan on the podium. Hirata finished second and Mooneyhan finished third. All three women will be heading to Albuquerque, New Mexico to compete in the NCAA Championships. 

In the women’s shot put, junior Meredith Clark finished first with a distance of 14.96 meters. Clark’s gold medal finish combined with junior Lydia Knapp’s first place in the women’s weight throw marked the first time that USD has swept the women’s throwing events at the Summit League Championships. Knapp was joined by sophomore Delaney Smith who got second place in the weight throw. 

The women’s 4×400 meter relay team consisting of Pulse, sophomore Anna Robinson and juniors Madison Jochum and Hannah Young finished first in their event with a time of 3:46.59. 

On the men’s side, junior Dylan Kautz began the weekend with two first place wins in the 60 meter dash and the 200 meter dash. Junior Ardell Inlay joined Kautz on the podium for these two events with his third place finishes as well as sophomore Ken-Mark Minkovski who placed second in the 200 meter dash. 

Sophomore Luke Olson got second place in the 800 meter run with a time of 1:52.15. 

Senior Merga Gemeda stood on the podium in two events. He placed second in the 5000 meter run with a time of 14:28.20 and he placed third in the 1 mile run with a time of 4:10.71. 

In the 60 meter hurdles, junior Hugo Morvan came out with a second place finish with a time of 7.93. 

The Coyote men swept the high jump event with senior Jack Durst in first, sophomore Joe Lynch in second and sophomore Ethan Heitman in third. 

Junior Marshall Faurot got the gold in the men’s pole vault alongside sophomore Eerik Haamer who came in second. 

Freshman Bennett Schwenn placed second in both the long jump and the triple jump events. 

The final individual event podium finishes came from sophomore Wyatt Lubarski who placed third in the long jump heptathlon and second in the shot put heptathlon. 

The men’s 4×400 meter relay team consisting of Minkovski, Olson, freshman Mark Daley and sophomore Thomas Nikkel came in third with a time of 3:18.76. 

Kautz and Kinney were voted Summit League Most Outstanding Performers of the Championship and were honored alongside many of their teammates who received All-Summit Performer honors. These honorees include Anglin, Byers, Clark, Haring, Hirata, Jirele, Jochum, Kinney, Knapp, Mooneyhan, Mülla, Pulse, Robinson, Smith, Young, Daley, Durst, Faurot, Gemeda, Haamer, Heitman, Inlay, Kautz, Lynch, Minkovski, Morvan, Nikkel, Olson and Schwenn. 

Mülla, Hirata, Mooneyhan and Anglin will be heading to compete in the NCAA Championships on March 10-11 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. USD is the only school in the Summit League who had student athletes qualify to compete in the NCAA Championships. 

For the first time since USD’s transition to Division I, the Coyotes will be sending three women pole vaulters to the NCAA Championships. Currently Mülla is first in the nation, Hirata is ninth and Mooneyhan is 15th. Anglin is currently 12th in the nation for high jump. 

Overall, the USD women’s track and field team is No. 23 nationally and has the No. 1 women’s pole vault team in the nation. 

The three pole vaulters will compete in the NCAA Championships on Friday, March 10 at 3 p.m. and Anglin will compete on Saturday, March 11 at 2 p.m.