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.