Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Indoor Champions is a title Minnesota State’s Men’s and Women’s Track teams have become all too familiar with. This past weekend, the Mavericks bested all teams in their conference, winning consecutive championships on both the men’s and women’s side.
The two-day event left the No. 14-ranked men with their 12th-straight NSIC Indoor championship, scoring 232 points, a program record. The Mavs also now own the longest winning streak in NSIC indoor history, having previously been tied with sister school, Minnesota State, Moorhead, with 11.
The men destroyed the competition, with Augustana being the runner-up, but only raking in 96 points. This was thanks to the Mavs’ dominating performances in a majority of the events, including sprinting, relay and throwing events.
The Mavs swept the top-three spots in the 400-meter dash finals. Freshman Qai Hussey led the herd with a winning time of 48.87 seconds. Senior Rashion Walker came in second place at 49.32, and following right behind in third was sophomore Pontes Da Veiga with 49.36.
MSU also saw themselves control the 60-meter dash, taking the top-two spots, along with the other three spots in the top-six. Sophomore Ezekiel Clark won the race, clocking in at 6.79 seconds, while Steven Marks took second with a time of 6.84.
The quartet of Da Veiga, Walker, Hussey and Marvin Dure set a conference record in the 4×400 relay. They won the race with a time of 3:17.49, the 10th best time in school history.
Entering his sixth and final throw, junior Carter Aguilera released a career-best throw. His throw reached 19.14 meters, just barely passing Concordia-St. Paul’s Eben Mundfrom who’s best was 19.13 meters.
On the women’s side of things, the championships brought them their third-straight win after scoring 216.5 points. Like the men, there was a wide gap between first and second place overall. Augustana was, again, the runner-up with a total of only 95 points.
The No. 1-ranked women’s team dominated the top spots in multiple events, as well. This includes the 2023 NSIC Championship High Point Scorer Award recipient, Denisha Cartwright, as she earned 30 of the total 216.5 points on her own. This would’ve put her in 10th place out of 15 if she competed as her own team.
Cartwright earned her third-consecutive conference title in the 200-meter, extending her school, facility and conference record with a time of 23.79. She also obtained her third-consecutive title in the 60-meter hurdles, as well as her first in the 60-meter dash.
Throwing was also held down by MSU, with senior Lexie Hurst setting an NSIC record in shot put on her final throw. She threw for a mark of 16.11 meters, topping the previous record holder’s 15.83 meters.
MSU’s women’s team seemed to be able to do it all, sweeping the top-three places in the triple jump. Junior Flore Gracia extended her school record with a mark of 12.80 meters to capture first. Freshman Lillian Washington took second with a mark of 12.41 meters, and sophomore Stella Neophytou claimed third at 12.31 meters.
What’s next for the Mavs is the NCAA Indoor Championships in Virginia Beach, Virginia, March 10 through March 11. While MSU’s men’s and women’s track teams have shown that they’re the best in the conference multiple times, taking on the best teams in the entire division will be their chance to show what they’re truly made of.
Write to Ali Reed at Alicia.Reed@mnsu.edu
Header photo: MSU Track & Field achieved the NSIC Championship titles for both men’s and women’s teams last weekend, with multiple individual champions from both Maverick teams. (Dylan Engel)