Dittel dazzles in NCAA Indoor Championships

The NCAA Indoor Championships took place last weekend in a two-day event  March 10 and March 11 in Virginia Beach. The Minnesota State Men’s Indoor Track and Field team made Maverick fans proud by producing two All-American performances. The No.18-ranked Mavs finished the competition in 16th place with a 16-point tally.

Along with coming away from the competition with multiple All-American performances, the Mavs were able to add another feather in their cap by extending their streak to 11 consecutive years of posting points in the indoor national championships. This current streak is tied for the ninth active streak in the country along with Missouri Southern State. 

Junior Carson Dittel made his mark on the competition with a tremendous outing during the finals of the pole vault. Dittel came in as ninth-ranked in the nation in the pole vault and he made sure to let everybody know that he meant business.

He started off with a bang by clearing the first two heights on his first attempt. He then went on to impress throughout the rest of his performance by missing on his first attempts and then clearing on his second attempt in each of his next four heights. 

With an excellent showing up to that point, Dittel’s best was yet to come, which came on his next height. Dittel staggeringly cleared his seventh height at 5.35 meters. This was a personal best for Dittel as he shattered his previous record of 5.19 meters. 

Dittel went on to finish as the National Runner Up to Vlad Malykhin of Harding after the next height of 5.40 meters proved to be a bridge too far for him. He dwarfed his performance from last year’s meet that saw him finish in 14th place. Dittel’s excellent showing puts him in a small but esteemed company as he becomes the eighth person in MSU history to earn All-American honors in the pole vault.  

Making his debut in the indoor national championships and ranked 16th in the nation was sophomore Onyekachi Ukaobasi in the men’s triple jump. He managed to finish in 14th after his best jump of 14.26 meters. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to see him go through to the championship flight. 

The MSU 4×400 relay team held it down during the final event of the meet. The team, consisting of freshman Qai Hussey, sophomore Marvin Dure, senior Rashion Walker and senior Kenry Atubel came into the indoor national championships off the back of winning the title in the 2023 NSIC Championships. The quartet also went into the meet as the 15th-ranked team in the nation with a qualifying time of 3:16.20. 

In the opening heat, the squad put on a phenomenal display as they posted a time of 3:11.57. This became the second-fastest time in MSU history to win the heat. Following MSU’s efforts, eight teams still had the opportunity to post times in two heats. The Mavericks finished in sixth and earned themselves first team All-American honors. They became the fifth team in MSU’s history to earn that status for the 4×400 relay.

Header Photo: The MSU Track and Field teams conclude their indoor season after competing at the NCAA Indoor Championships last weekend. The Women’s team brought home 2nd place by a mere one point difference and the Men’s team came home with 16th place. (Dylan Engel/The Reporter)

Write to Mohamed Warsame at

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