Jackrabbits impress in home track meets

Marshall Minihan, Reporter

The South Dakota State Jackrabbits hosted two track meets over the weekend: the D2 Invitational Friday and the Jim Emmerich Alumni Invitational Saturday at the Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex.

In Friday’s D2 Invitational, 24 Jackrabbits competed in a meet with over 1,000 athletes attending.

On the men’s side, Cormick Logue competed in his first-ever career mile run and grabbed fifth place with a time of 4:21.71.

Jackrabbits also claimed the top two spots in the men’s shotput, with Dominick Etherington finishing first and Dawson Schroeder claiming second.

On the women’s side, Grace Waage finished with a career-best time of 1:39.46, good for sixth in the event.

In the Jim Emmerch Alumni Invite, the Jackrabbits competed against the University of South Dakota, North Dakota State University, the University of North Dakota, Iowa Central Community College, Northern State, Minot State, Creighton, MSU-Moorhead, Nebraska-Omaha and Velaasa.

The Jack’s Men’s team took second place with 138.5 points behind North Dakota State, and the Women’s team got third place with 121.5 points behind NDSU and South Dakota.

Junior Leah Hanson took the mile by storm as she not only won the women’s mile event, but also set a career time for herself of 4:55.5. She hasn’t run the mile since her freshman year, so she was confident that she could beat her record.

“It felt very good to break five minutes since that is a big milestone time for the women’s mile,” Hansen said “It was a fun experience and I’m glad I did it.”

But Hansen wasn’t the only Jackrabbit to take first place. Senior Reid Pierzinski also took the crown in the men’s 400-meter dash. Pierzinski’s finish also put him in the top-three 400-meter finishes in Jackrabbit history.

The Jacks ran superior in the 3,000-meter run, taking up the top six podium spots. Ben Olson led the charge with an 8:12.32 finish, followed by Daniel Burkhalter, Gabe Peters, Tom Breukman, Joseph Minor-Williams and Josh Becker.

Francom won the pole vault event clearing 17-10.75. That showing put this Jackrabbit jumper on the top 10 NCAA performance list.

Along with Olson winning the men’s 3,000-meter run, Cailee Peterson also won the 3,000 meters for the SDSU women. She finished with a career-best of 9:48.19 and put herself in the 8th best time in school history.

For the men’s long jump, Daniel Clarke leaped into second place with a jump of 23-11.00, followed by Tre Manning with a 23-9.25 jump that put him in third place.

Another back-to-back finish for the Jackrabbits was in the women’s 60-meter hurdles. Brielle Dixon placed second, running an impressive 8.82-second race, followed by Savannah Risseeuw taking third in the race.

In the women’s 60-meter dash, Collette Wolfe finished as the runner-up with a time of 7.67 seconds.

Freshman Laura Bogue got runner-up in the 600-meter women’s race with the time of 1:40.17. Also in second place was Jessica Christoffer with a 2:15.68 time in the women’s 800-meter run.

In the women’s 4×400 meter, the squad of Elizabeth Gillingham, Oksana Johnson, Emily Rystrom and Cerington Jones took third with a time of 3:54.54.

Overall, there were 24 Jackrabbit top-three finishes this weekend counting the D2 Invitational they hosted Friday. 

“We had many outstanding performances on both the women’s and men’s side,” Rod DeHaven, the SDSU director of Track and Field, said.

DeHaven also credited his team’s talent to win events despite the team going through injuries and sickness this season.

“This team has a lot of talent in all event areas, and there is a lot of fight in this group as well,” DeHaven said.

Up next, the Jackrabbits will travel south to Lincoln, Nebraska for Adidas Classic for their next meet Saturday, Jan. 29.