Jacks host first track meet in over a decade

Zach Anderson

Zach Anderson

The SDSU track team will be hosting its first track meet since the late 1990s at Brookings High School for SDSU Twilight on April 22. They will compete against the likes of the University of South Dakota, University of North Dakota, Northern State University, North Dakota State University and Augustana College.

“I think being at home makes you want to run that much harder to win,” said senior sprinter Josh Sundall. “It’s kind of like defending your home turf. I mean you don’t want anybody to come in and beat you on your home track, so it really motivates you to do everything you can to run hard and run fast for the home crowd. It’s also going to be nice to have that home field advantage for once, which is something I haven’t had in the last four years.”

Many friends and families from around the area will finally get a chance to see the track team compete at home for the first time.

“It is exhilarating to finally have a track meet in Brookings,” senior distance runner Stacy Huss said. “Although our team always finds ways to amuse ourselves on the long bus rides, such as karaoke and obnoxious animal noises, it is nice not having to travel hours away to compete. I have raced a couple times in the SDSU home cross country meet, so this isn’t my first time competing at home, but it is nice for the others who haven’t gotten that chance.”

Many seniors have not had the opportunity to compete at home since they started at SDSU and are glad to finally get the chance.

“This being my last year, I am happy that I get to participate in our first home meet in many years,” senior sprinter Arielle Martin said. “I love that we finally have the opportunity to showcase our team in front of our own students. This home meet means a lot to the team. We have been unable to have a meet at SDSU for quite some time in front of our home audience, and it will be fun having a lot of student support at our meet.”

There is a lot of excitement from the track team to finally have a track meet here in Brookings, and the fans who have not had a chance to see the team in action will get that chance. The field events will start at 3:30 p.m. and track events at 4:30 p.m. The hammer throw will be at 6:30 p.m. at Sexauer Field on campus.

“It is great to finally have a track meet in Brookings. It’s always exciting to have support from friends and community at home,” junior pole vaulter Kristi Mortenson said.

With meets across the country against tough Division I teams, the Jacks finally have a chance to showcase their teams at home.

“This event here means to me that the track team can show what we do every weekend,” senior hurdler Nick Schanaman said. “Sometimes our sport gets forgot about, and having a track meet at home will help people notice the sport.”

At this meet, many of the athletes will be competing in their first-ever meet in Brookings.

“It’s a start to a better program, and hopefully a chance to help better our team with a nicer track and the possibility of home meets,” senior hurdler Andrew Duitsman said.

If this home meet is a success, it might open up the possibility of more home track meets in the future, and the track team will not have to go another ten years before hosting another meet.

“I’m not really sure to say what having a home meet meant to the track team except that, when I started here as a freshman, it struck me as very odd that we did not really have a track,” junior jumper Camden Helder said. “I kind of see the meet as one of many indicators that good things lie ahead for SDSU track and field. As far as the meet being at home goes, I’d say that I’m just looking forward to showing the community what we can do.”

The meet will start at 3:30 p.m. at Brookings High School. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students in kindergarten to 12th grade.