SDSU track and field opens season with harsh conditions

Ariy-El Boynton

Ariy-El Boynton

The SDSU track and field kicked off the 2008 outdoor season with a cold and windy weekend at the Missouri Relays on March 28-29 in Columbia, Mo. SDSU went against schools such as Drake, Marquette and UMKC at the Audrey J. Walton Stadium on the campus of the University of Missouri; team scores were not recorded.

The SDSU coaching staff realized that the first track meet of the season was going to bring different results.

“I thought we had some strong performances, and some kids you wish could have performed better,” said head coach Rod DeHaven. “The weather made it difficult to have a great meet.”

SDSU got a first-place finish from sophomore Rapid City native Brittany Garner in the University Division 200 meter dash. She ran a time of 24.77, beating out 50 runners in her division, including Missouri’s Keyonna Smith who had a time of 25.20.

Fellow sophomore hammer thrower Jennifer Mack, from Watertown, contributed a second-place finish in the hammer throw, and Christa Landmark took home sixth place in the multi-school university competition. Mack earned her collegiate personal best with a toss of 150 feet, 10 inches while Landmark received a top-eight finish with a throw of 123-7.

Not to be outdone, the Jackrabbit vaulters got in the mix as two SDSU male pole-vaulters were recognized for placing in the University Division. Calvin Cammack, a freshman, posted a 14-7.25; Troy Beekman, a sophomore Huron native, earned sixth place with a vault of 13-1.50.

The SDSU jumpers were not shut out as Lora Shearer placed twice in the University Division competition. She had a seventh-place showing in the high jump with a mark of 4-11. Shearer’s long jump won fourth with a distance of 16-5. Ashley Lange and Andrea Cota placed sixth and seventh in the long jump, with Langeand’s best mark at 15-10.50 and Cota’s at 15-6.25. On the men’s side, Cameron Johnson contributed a leap of 20-8.50, which was good enough for sixth place in the University competition.

Claire Steinke-a Moorhead, Minn., native-ran the 5,000 meter race with a time of 18 minutes, 8.74 seconds, placing 10th for the Jackrabbits.

Mack earned fifth place in the Elite division of discus with a throw of 140-3. Landmark added to the top-eight showing with a fifth place win in the University Division of the discus competition with a 108-8 toss.

The women’s 1,500 saw several Jacks place in the top 20 of the elite division, among them were Ashley Storm with a time of 4:50.27, enough for ninth place. Nicole Davis secured 13th place with a 4:55.55 run. Caitlin Berry locked up 18th place with a time of 5:00.74.

DeHaven noted that the weather made it difficult to run the track events due to the possibility of injuries, which would knock out the athletes for the remainder of the season.

Next up for the Jackrabbits track and field is the Vance Butler Invitational in Sioux Falls.

The head coach is looking forward to the warmer weather so the athletes can have better workouts to prepare for the Summit League championships.