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Disappointing Day For SDSU, USD At NCAA West Prelims


It was a disappointing start for South Dakota State and the University of South Dakota at the NCAA West Preliminary Track and Field Meet.

None of the Jackrabbits or Coyotes competing on Thursday advanced to next month’s NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore.  The top-12 finishers in each event advance to the national meet.

USD’s defending national pole vault champion Bethany Firsick competed despite a broken hand and finished her Coyote career by placing 25th with a mark of 12-9. Hunter Wilkes cleared 12-3 1/4 for 33rd place and Madison Mills and Emily Brigham recorded no heights after missing on all three attempts at 12-3 1/4.

In the women’s shot put, the Coyotes’ Danielle Waldner finished 33rd with a mark of 48 feet, 6 3/4 inches.

SDSU senior Shelby Assmus placed 47th overall in the shot put with a mark of 43 feet, 11 1/4 inches on her final throw of the day. She fouled her first attempt and posted a distance of 42-5 1/2 on her second throw.


Shelby Assmus, South Dakota State Jackrabbits track and field
South Dakota State University

In other throwing events, USD’s Meghan Dennis finished 37th in the women’s javelin with a mark of 139-3.

Kyle McKelvey was the highest finisher of the day for the Coyotes, finishing 14th in the men’s shot put. His best mark was 58 feet, 10 inches, which he threw on his first attempt.  He missed 12th place by just over a foot as Nebraska’s Chad Wright took the final qualifying spot with a mark of 60-1.

In the men’s pole vault, Kyle Ballew of USD finished 28th. He cleared the opening bar of 16-3 1/4 on his first attempt before missing all three attempts at 16-9 1/4.

On the track, Amber Eichkorn had the Coyotes’ second-best finish of the day, finishing 18th in the women’s 10,000-meters with a time of 35:06.  Her time was a little under 33 seconds off the final championship qualifying time of 34:33.16 set by Cali Roper of Rice.

Four Coyotes will compete on Friday. In field events, Denton Stephens will compete in the men’s hammer throw at 10 a.m. and Ashley Thompson will compete in the women’s long jump at 5 p.m. On the track, Teivaskie Lewin races in the men’s 110 hurdles at 5 p.m. and Jeff Mettler competes in the men’s 3,000 steeplechase at 8:50 p.m.

Jackrabbit high jumpers Kali Olson and Mary Wirth are set to compete Saturday night at 6 p.m.

SDSU Claims Second South Dakota Showdown Series Trophy

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