Track teams begin outdoor seasons

The South Dakota State Jackrabbits started the outdoor season track schedule in two different places this weekend.

Most of the track athletes competed at the Arkansas Spring Invitational on Saturday at John McDonnell Field, while the throwers and vaulters competed at the Wildcat Classic in Wayne, Neb.

The Jackrabbits had not competed in any meets since the Indoor Summit League Championships in February.

“Even though it seems like it should just be a continuation of the season, for us it always seems like there is kind of a restart, recharge phase that we go through,” said head coach Rod DeHaven.

The men’s team had multiple top-five finishes this weekend with many having top-ten performances in school history.

Junior Jeremiah Ary beat his personal best in the triple jump with a mark of 48-8.25 and placed second at the invitational. Ary is now second all-time in the triple jump for the Jacks.

“Hopefully he’s a NCAA qualifier and a 50-foot triple jumper by the time were done this season,” DeHaven said. “It could happen. He’s jumping well right now and he struggled on Saturday with a pesky wind.”

Sophomore Daniel Pettit came in third place in the 1,500-meter run with a 4:03.85 time. The 4×400 relay team of sophomore Marc Husman, freshman Sam Johnson, freshman Ayub Kassim and freshman Adam Belhaj also received third after a 3:18.82 time.

Junior Nate Schaefer won the pole vault with a height of 15-9 and senior Ryan Schaefer tied for second with a height of 14-7.25, while freshman J.J. Hejna received fourth place with a high jump of 6-4.75 in Nebraska.

Senior Austin Benson earned second place with a hammer throw of 181-7, while Blair Seymour received second place with a 166-7 javelin throw.

For the women, juniors Carly Carper and Karley Konol won their events at the invitational. Carper won the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.87, while Konkol ran a time of 4:43.87 in the 1,500-meter run.

Dehaven said that he hopes Carper can run somewhere around an 11.6 and be close to making it to the national meet.

In the 400-meter hurdles, junior Lori Foltz ran a 1:02.35 to place third and become the second-fastest all-time for SDSU.

“Lori’s focus level is very high and the big thing for her is she’s focused on what she does at practice but also off practice,” DeHaven said. “Diet and sleep–the little things tend to add up a lot.”

Junior Kristen Anderson, senior Alex Suhr and sophomore Megan West got second, third and fourth respectively in the steeplechase. Anderson ran 11:00.97, Suhr ran 11:03.28 and West finished with a 11:03.77 time.

Junior Jazzelena Black finished with a mark of 40-1.25 for a second place finish in triple jump. In the pole vault Amy Leiferman tied for first with a mark of 12-1.25. 

Overall the men and women had many good performances, but DeHaven is not quite ready to relax and be content with where the team stands.

 “You lose a little bit of your edge after the downtime after the conference meet and spring break,” DeHaven said. “I would anticipate this weekend or the following weekend we’ll have a better idea of where the group is at.”

The Jacks will again split this weekend as they send athletes to the Stanford Invitational in California and the Dakota Duals in Sioux Falls.