Individual performances pace Mavericks

The Minnesota State men’s and women’s track teams took their talents to Brookings, South Dakota this past weekend to participate in the SDSU Indoor Classic.

For the ninth-ranked Lady Mavs, the distance runners ran extremely well. Senior Haley Kruger took third in the women’s 600-meter run with a time of 1:34.56, as well as fourth in the 800-meter run (2:12.09). Joining Kruger in the top 5 of the 800-meter run was junior Megan Allen, who took fifth (2:12.37). Allen also finished second in the women’s 1000-meter run with a time of 2:54.43.

Head track and field coach Jim Dilling spoke highly of the two runners.

“Two of our women’s middle distance runners, Haley Kruger and Megan Allen, had very good weekends,” Dilling said.

The Lady Mavs weren’t done, however as they had a couple of standouts in the field events. In the women’s long jump, Brieanna Puckett jumped her way to first place with a leap of 19’4 – good enough for the eleventh best mark in the country at the Division II level. In the women’s triple jump, senior Ariel Thomas took third place with a jump of 38’8.25.

The fifth-ranked Mavericks men also had a strong showing up in Brookings this weekend. In sprints, sophomore John Schuster took third in the men’s 400-meter dash with a time of 48.13. In middle distance, Morris Dennis finished third in the 600-meter (1:20.77). Junior Austin Pasch led the way in long distance, finishing third in the 3000-meter (8:32.16). Finishing second in the men’s high jump was Michael Sandle with a mark of 6’9.5.

Stealing the show perhaps was the men’s triple jumpers. Responsible for three of the top four finishes, Minnesota State was very well represented in this particular event. Finishing fourth was sophomore Elijah Calderon-Pitchford with a jump of 48’, finishing third was senior Alex Campbell (48’4.75) and winning the men’s triple jump was senior London Thurman (49’3). Dilling had some encouraging words about the group’s concerted effort at SDSU.

“Our men’s triple jumpers probably had the best collective effort as we had three finish in the top four highlighted by London Thurman’s winning jump of 49’3” which is currently good for fifteenth in the country,” Dilling said.

The indoor track season is winding down which means the team may have had some goals in mind for the weekend.

“The goals we had for the weekend were to continue improving our performances and rankings at the conference and national levels. Many of our athletes did have those types of performances,” Dilling said.

The Mavericks have one more meet at home before ramping up competition at the end of the season with the NSIC Indoor Championships and the NCAA Indoor Championships.

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