Everyone was pleased.
In front of a record-tying stadium crowd of 14,504 fans, Hauert ran in the finals of the 110-meter hurdles at the 104th Drake Relays Saturday in Des Moines. He was the only Division II athlete in the Division I-filled eight-man finals.
He is only the third known NSU athlete to ever make the finals of an individual event in the Drake Relays. The last time it happened was 1993.
“Right before our race was the (London Games Rematch for the) women’s 100-meter hurdles,” Hauert said. “So we were in the tunnel with all these Olympic hurdlers. And right as we were coming out for our race, they announced the record crowd of 14,000-some people. It was exciting. I tried to soak in the moment a little bit, but I really had to work at calming myself down. But it was a pretty cool moment.”
Hauert finished eighth in :14.47 seconds. Vanier Joseph of Illinois won the race in :13.59. Pierre graduate and North Dakota State senior Matt Tetzlaff finished sixth in :14.38 seconds.
The women’s 100-meter hurdles produced the four fastest times in the world so far this year. Queen Harrison won the race in :12.71 seconds and was followed by Olympic silver medalist Dawn Harper in :12.74, bronze medalist Kellie Wells in :12.78 and Olympic finalist Lolo Jones in :12.79.
NSU track coach Kevin Bjerke said that Hauert was in about fifth or sixth place halfway through his race. “My hamstrings have been giving me trouble,” said Hauert, a Stickney graduate. “And it seemed like the more I tried to warm up, the tighter they got. But still, I was happy to make the finals and it was an honor to run in such a race. I thank God for the blessing and opportunity he gave me this weekend. It was a great experience.”
The last Northern State athlete to make the final of an individual event at the Drake Relays was Wolves’ track legend and Hoven native Amy Von Wald. She finished sixth in the Women’s Special Invitational 400 meters in :55.58 seconds in 1993 in a race that featured three Olympians.
The other known NSU athlete to accomplish the feat was Sarge Grimes. He finished eighth in the triple jump with a leap of 49-1 at the Drake Relays in 1991.
Sports editor John Papendick
Nate Wolters has selected an agent, relocated from South Dakota to central Florida and spends a good chunk of each day training.
Yes, the next stage of his basketball career is off to a solid start.
“It’s a dream job, obviously,” the South Dakota State senior point guard told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. “If basketball’s the hardest thing I’ve got to do all day, that’s a pretty good life.”
Of course, this is a transitional situation for the leading scorer (2,363) and assist-maker (669) in Jackrabbits history.
Earlier this month, the Minnesota-born Wolters chose an agent: Jared Karnes of Allegiant Athletic Agency (also known as a3) in Knoxville, Tenn. The 35-year-old was a guard at Belmont University — a program SDSU faced this season — before becoming a lawyer. He’s the executive vice president and director of basketball operations at a3.
Karnes got Wolters set up in Bradenton, Fla., lining up an apartment and a training home — the renowned IMG Academy. Wolters is doing daily workouts, consisting of five segments ranging from agility to communications class and basketball. He’s part of a group of 5-6 NBA hopefuls, the most notable being Adonis Thomas of Memphis.
A basketball junkie, Wolters is in hoops heaven with the all-day training. He’s especially focused on getting stronger, tightening his handle and quickening his release in advance of private workouts for teams or the NBA Combine in Chicago in mid-May — should he be invited. The two-round draft is set for June 27.
That’s where Karnes comes in.
While Wolters declined an invitation to the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, a proving ground for borderline draft prospects, Karnes attended the event in order to meet with NBA general managers and team officials. It was part of the complicated process of putting together a schedule of the private workouts that are likely to begin in 3-4 weeks. Timing and geography have to be considered just like fit and draft order — and that won’t truly be set for some time. The draft lottery is May 21 and early entry prospects have until June 17 to take their names out of the pool.
Karnes has never before been through this process with a prospect as viable as the third-team All-American Wolters, although his agency does represent 22 NFL players. Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry is near the top of that list. His top NBA experience has been with Charlotte Bobcats guard Ramon Sessions.
“Ideally, we want to prioritize the teams and the possible situations for him, evaluate the schedule to make sure he’s getting sufficient rest so he can recover, as well,” Karnes said. “We want his performance to be at a peak when we have those high-priority teams.”
How did Wolters end up with the a3 team?
Karnes just started showing up to games — probably 6-7 during the season. He had no prior relationship with Wolters or anyone around him, but wound up being impressed by his talent and support system. The two got along well enough through the process that the SDSU staff wasn’t surprised that Wolters chose a3 from a group of four agencies that made presentations in Brookings.
The two attended a Tampa Bay Rays baseball game recently.
“I was just comfortable talking with him,” Wolters said. “He seemed like a really good guy with good morals.”
Karnes has an important job, too, given that there doesn’t seem to be a clear consensus among draft pundits about the 6-foot-4 Wolters, the only NCAA Division I player in the last 30 years to average at least 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in two different seasons. ESPN.com has him ranked 87th among available players, while DraftExpress.com places him 41st.
Every NBA team scouted Wolters at least once during the regular season; the first impression has been made. Now, it’s all about prepping for on-court interviews.
“Nobody has a crystal ball — nobody can tell what the next few weeks will bring,” Karnes said. “We expect him to continue to move up. He’s training and working hard. He has a great system around him with support and his family and his agency.
“Whether he’s drafted first or 60th, he’s going to contribute whatever the team needs.”
Argus Leader sports writer Terry Vandrovec
- Northern State’s Calley Worth and Allie Simons finished first and third respectively in the barrel racing at the 1st annual Bobby Gottsch Jr. Memorial Hastings College Rodeo this past weekend.
- Northern State’s Yvonne Freese has the 14th best mark in Division II in the discus throw.
- The Augustana women’s tennis team finished its fourth undefeated Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference season in a row and has 44 consecutive conference wins. The Vikings’ last NSIC lost was to Mankato on April 19, 2009.
- According to the Mankato Free Press, Minnesota State-Moorhead freshman men’s basketball player Brady Wohler will transfer to Minnesota State, Mankato. The 6-foot-4 guard will have to sit out this upcoming season because he is transferring within the conference.
- Former Wichita State forward Jake White will transfer to the Nebraska-Omaha men’s basketball team. White is a 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward who played two seasons at Wichita State after a decorated career at Chaska (Minn.) High. In compliance with NCAA transfer rules, he will sit out the 2013-14 season at Nebraska-Omaha and will be eligible to play again in 2014-15. Nebraska-Omaha is a member of the Summit League.
- University of Minnesota baseball player and Sioux Falls O’Gorman graduate Connor Schaefbauer has been named Big Ten Rookie of the Week.
- Bemidji State All-American tight end Brian Leonhardt has been invited to the Oakland Raiders rookie camp.
- White River boys’ basketball player Joe Cameron has signed a national letter of intent to play for the Black Hills State men’s basketball team. Cameron’s teammate Wyatt Krogman signed with the Yellow Jackets in the fall. The senior duo led White River to its fourth State B boys’ basketball title in six seasons this past March at Wachs Arena in Aberdeen.
- The Augustana spring football game will be at 10:45 a.m. Saturday at Kirkeby-Over Stadium on the campus of the Sioux Falls college.
- Dakota Wesleyan University senior archer Raeanne Klein of Gregory won the world indoor championship in the freestyle division Sunday in Yankton with a woman from Spain finishing second and a South American finishing third.
College Plus is a weekly feature on Tuesdays in the American News during the college sports season. If you have news tips or suggestions, email email@example.com or call 605-622-2323.