New face for Jacks track

Michael Pecha

Michael Pecha

The South Dakota State University track and field team strives every season for a high finish at the conference meet.

This season, the team hopes to achieve this high finish with the help of new assistant coach Marcus Scheid. Scheid grew up in Kansas, and was a track standout in high school. Scheid decided to keep his talent in state when he went to the University of Kansas, where he majored in education. At Kansas, Scheid never finished lower than sixth place in conference competition in his specialty, the long jump.

His freshman season, Scheid finished second in the Big Eight outdoor meet. It was at Kansas that Scheid met current SDSU head track and field coach, Paul Danger.

Danger was an assistant at Kansas at the time. After college Scheid took an assistant coach position at Emporia State where he coached sprints and jumps. Scheid coached at Emporia State for one year before moving on to the University of Nebraska-Kearney. Scheid again coached sprints and jumps, as an assistant coach his first year, then as the head coach last year.

Last year Scheid received the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference coach of the year honors after leading UNK to the indoor RMAC title, and a second place finish in the outdoor conference meet.

That wasn’t enough to keep him at Kearney though.

“I knew Danger did a good job of turning the program around up here, and I wanted to be a part of that”, said Scheid.

In his few years coaching, Scheid has already coached 12 All-Americans, 21 national qualifiers, and 16 conference champs. He hopes to continue his success at SDSU. Scheid said that there are a lot of freshman on the team that are learning what it takes to run collegiate track, but there is also a lot of leadership from the upperclassmen. He said that even though practices have been demanding this year, the athletes have stepped up well.

This hard work could pay dividends for the Jackrabbits. Scheid hopes to see the men’s team contend for second place at conference, and the women’s team be in the position to take third.

Scheid said that he likes the one on one relationship on and off the field that coaching provides. He said being a coach, educator and friend to his athletes is important.

“I like to feel that I’m making an impact on peoples’ lives,” said Scheid.

This season, Scheid’s impact just might be seen on the track, as the Jacks make a run at a high conference finish.

The track and field team competes for the first time this season at The University of South Dakota on Dec. 6.