Aberdeen American News
1:06 AM EDT, May 7, 2013
Northern State will return to a familiar venue for the conference track and field meet.
The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference outdoor meet is this Friday and Saturday in Sioux Falls. Augustana College is the host school and the meet will be held at Howard Wood Field.
The Wolves competed at the venue last weekend during the Howard Wood Dakota Relays. Northern State also competed at Howard Wood during the first meet of the season.
“Our kids should feel really comfortable with everything they have to work with and really feel at ease going into the competition,” Northern State track and field coach Kevin Bjerke said.
Both of the NSU men’s and women’s teams have already scored points for the conference meet. The NSIC multi-events was recently held at Aberdeen. NSU’s Monte Meyerink finished seventh in the decathlon to score two points for the Wolves, while Leandra Schlecht placed eighth in the heptathlon to earn one point for NSU. Bjerke is optimistic that both NSU teams could finish in the middle of the pack in the team standings.
NSU senior hurdler Luke Hauert is projected to score major points for the Wolves. Hauert has the top time in both the 110-meter and the 400-meter hurdles in the conference. His time of :14.17 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles is the 14th best time in Division II.
Hauert could also be a member of a relay team. The men’s and women’s 400-meter and 1,600-meter relay teams are both ranked in the top eight in the conference.
“Our women really put together a good (400-meter relay) last weekend and now are sitting second in the conference,” Bjerke said. “Those girls are pretty excited. They should do really well. Our (1,600-meter relays) have always kind of consistently finished in the middle of the pack and score us some decent points. We are looking forward to hopefully maybe doing that again.”
Sprinter Andrew Johnson could possibly get into the finals of the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash. Bjerke also expects Johnson to be in the two relay races. This is Johnson’s first season competing in college track and field after previously being just a student at NSU.
“I’m really impressed with how far he has come this season with it being his first year,” Bjerke said.
The Wolves figure to score some points in the throwing events again this year. Alexandra Webster has the top mark in the conference in the javelin throw, while teammate Kaitlyn Sturlaugson has the 10th best mark in the event. NSU’s Devin Olson has the seventh best throw in the men’s field coming into the meet. Returning All-American, Yvonne Freese, has the fourth best discus throw in the NSIC and could possibly score in the shot put, said Bjerke.
“Those throws certainly help us out,” Bjerke said.
Jill Schaefer and Hannah Treinen are ranked fifth and seventh respectively in the women’s 400-meter hurdles. Mark Gilkerson and Sami Smith could both net some points in the 800-meter run as both are ranked 10th in their respective fields. Leandra Schlecht, Gena Burley and Lindsey Fluharty could possibly score some points for the NSU women in the jumping events.
Sports writer Ryan Deal
NSIC tournament pairings
The eight teams participating in the Northern Sun Intercolleigate Conference baseball tournament have been announced and St. Cloud State, the NSIC Regular Season Champions, earned the top seed.
The Huskies were a predetermined host of the tournament, which will begin on Wednesday with games being played on both Dick Putz Field and Faber Field in St. Cloud, Minn. Games continue through Saturday in the double-elimination tournament.
The pairings for the first round include: St. Cloud State vs. Bemidji State, Winona State vs. Concordia-St. Paul, Minnesota State, Mankato vs. Minnesota-Duluth and Augustana College vs. Wayne State College.
The winner of the tournament will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Central Region Tournament. The NSIC, the Great American Conference and the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association make up the NCAA Central Region this year. The top six teams in the region will advance to the NCAA region tournament on May 16-19. Automatic bids are granted to the winners of the NSIC and MIAA postseason tournaments, with the remaining four spots are awarded on an at-large basis. The GAC does not have an automatic bid this season.
Saints add guard
Kellan Herman has signed a national letter of intent to play for the Presentation College men’s basketball team this upcoming season.
Herman is a 6-foot-1, 185-pound guard from Todd County High in Mission. This past season, he averaged 10.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.7 assists per game on his way to First Team All-Big Dakota Conference honors.
His junior season he averaged 11.9 points, four rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. He was named to the West River Conference First Team, as well as being named First Team All-Big Dakota Conference.
Wood Relays tidbits
Aberdeen Central graduate and South Dakota State sophomore Courtney Neubert was fifth in the 5,000 meters in 18:04.85 at this past weekend’s Howard Wood Relays in Sioux Falls.
In the men’s feature 800 meters, it was a field full (seven of eight) of South Dakota connections: 1, Travis Fritzke (Pierre), NDSU, 1:54.51; 2, Henrik Hansson, Augustana, 1:55.54; 3, Mark Gilkerson, Northern State, 1:56.31; 4, Casey Shade (Sioux Falls Washington), Unattached, 1:56.32; 5, Blake Stevenson (Aberdeen Central), USF, 1:56.35; 6, Ben Schultz (Brandon Valley), NDSU, 1:56.49; 7, Stephen Bruha, Unattached, 1:56.72; 8, Jeff Mettler (Eureka), USD, 1:56.93.
South Dakota native and SDSU senior thrower Brooke Garner of Rapid City Stevens won her 30th career track event at a Jackrabbit at the Howard Wood Relays.
In the men’s 200 meters, Mitchell identical twins Jason (22.06 seconds) and Justin (22.17) finished fourth and fifth for Augustana. They also played in the Augie spring football game on Saturday.
Counting the cancellation of the Saturday night session, the Howard Wood Dakota Relays have now been cut short or canceled due to weather five times in the last 25 years. Saturday’s high temperature of 38 with rainy conditions was the coldest for May 4 in Sioux Falls since 1893.
Argus Leader sports editor Stu Whitney talked to 84-year-old track legend Rich Greeno about the weather at the relays, the Amherst native and former Langford High School and Northern State multi-sport standout who still works with the University of Sioux Falls team.
Greeno recalled watching former Olympic champion Carl Lewis run at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1994. In what many consider to be that meet’s most memorable moment, the former world-record holder helped shovel snow off the track before winning the 100-meter dash.
Sports editor John Papendick
University of Oklahoma junior Hilary Krein of Eureka finished fifth in the 1,500 meters to help the Sooners finish fifth at the Big 12 Track and Field Championships. She also was named to the Big 12 all-academic first team.
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