Track and field NSIC champs once more

After an impressive performance over the weekend, your Minnesota State Mavericks are now able to call themselves conference champions.

The MNSU track program has been extremely solid over the past couple of years. For the men, this is the 11th-consecutive NSIC conference title and for the women this is their third-consecutive conference title.

On the men’s side, the team started off strong in the sprints. In the men’s 200 meter dash, sophomore Tanner Ogren took first place with a time of 21.99. Shortly thereafter, the impressive trio of John Schuster (48.51), Isaiah Pitchford (49.02) and Dalton Bialke (49.08) took first, second and third, respectively, in the 400-meter dash.

For the relay teams, MNSU earned a couple top-two finishes. The 4×400 got things going as MNSU finished first with a time of 3:18.29. The men’s distance medley also competed well, finishing second (10:24.94).

In the field events, junior Jeff DeCock took home first place in the high jump. Jeff had an impressive leap of 6’11.75”. In the men’s shot put, senior Bryan Caffin took first with a throw of 53’4.25”. Michael Sandle also had a great day in the field events. Assistant coach Chris Parno explained why this day was so memorable for Michael.

“Michael Sandle had a historic day while taking down the ‘top point scorer’ at the Championships,” Parno said. “He bettered his national leading and school record triple jump at 53’10”. His mark ranks #3 across all NCAA divisions. He then came back with a pair of second place finishes in the long jump (24’3.5”) and the high jump (6’10.75”). His 26 points was the most scored by any other male at the meet.”

The women’s team found a lot of success in the middle distance events. In the 600-meter run, senior Taylor Glover finished second with a time of 1:35.83. To spite a slip up in the preliminaries of the 800 meter run, junior Megan Allen came back during the finals with a strong performance, finishing second (2:12.69) only behind her teammate Haley Kruger who finished first (2:12.27).

For the Lady Mavs, a sprinter stood out to Parno.

“Afure Adah had the most impressive overall performance. She broke an impressive conference record in the 200 meter with a time of 24.53 and also took down the title in the women’s 60 meter with a new personal best of 7.59. Her 200 meter time is currently fourth in division II.”

Looking ahead to the final and possibly most important indoor meet of the season, the team is now focused on the national championships which will be held in Birmingham, Alabama March 10-11.

“We should have 18 individuals going to the national championships, which is one of the highest combined numbers in program history. With both teams ranked top 10 nationally, it’s an exciting time as we prepare for the championships,” Parno said. “We are in position to bring back some national champions and many All-Americans so it’s just trusting where we are at and representing the Mavericks!”

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