Mavs were the ‘Early Birds,’ secured the worm

The Minnesota State Men’s and Women’s Track teams come away from the weekend with plenty to write home about, regarding their efforts at the USD Early Bird Invitational. The Mavericks made fans proud with a number of outstanding performances in the two-day event.

The event took place April 7 and April 8 in Vermillion, South Dakota. 

The men had a fantastic start to the competition.The Mavs got things going with two fast finishes in the steeplechase event. Junior Carter Owen earned himself a sixth-place finish with a time of 9:54.50, while sophomore Adam Bohm was right on his tail with a time of 9:57.62, which earned him eighth. These were personal bests for both athletes. 

The 4×100 relay team of sophomores Prince Nti, Steven Marks and Ezekiel Clark along with junior Armondo Colome, set the event ablaze. The quartet finished with a time of 41.07, placing them second. Their tremendous outing ranks them top 30 in the nation, along with tying for 13th on the MSU all-time list in the 4×100 event.   

The finals of the 400m dash featured three Mavericks, each with an extremely impressive performance. Junior Rashion Walker took home first place with a time of 47.92, which became his personal best. Walker’s performance landed him eighth in the MSU all-time list, along with a top 25 ranking in the nation. With freshmen Qai Hussey timing a 48.70 and Kenry Atubel timing a 49.23, they saw themselves join Walker on the podium with fifth and seventh place finishes, respectively. 

The 110m hurdles saw the Mavs sprinters keep the pace. Senior Abel Christiansen placed second with a time of 14.28. This ties him for eighth on the MSU all-time list. Senior Ronald Pierre was just a whisker behind as he finished with a time of 14.29 to finish third. This was Pierre’s personal best and placed him tied for ninth on the MSU all-time list. 

The running events weren’t the only things that the Mavs were shining in. Junior James Gilbert placed first in the long jump with a personal best jump of 7.77 meters. Gilbert now finds himself first in the nation and second on the MSU all-time list. Sophomore Slade Heald joined Gilbert on the podium with a jump of 7.44 meters. This personal best jump for Heald earned him a fourth-place finish, as well as tying for eighth on the MSU all-time list. 

The women’s team saw senior Amanda Montplaisir start out the outdoor season with a bang in the 3000m steeplechase. She finished with a time of 10:26.77, which now ranks her fifth in the nation. Junior Makenna Thurston finished second in the 1500m race, with a time of 4:33.79. This was a personal best for Thurston, earning her the sixth spot on the MSU all-time list for the event and a top 30 ranking in the nation. 

Junior Eilika Lane and sophomore Emma Borowicz found the podium in the 400m hurdles. Lane earned herself a fourth-place finish with a time of 1:02.44, with Borowicz close behind finishing in sixth with a time of 1:03.68. The teammates stormed their way into 14th and 30th respectively in the national rankings. 

The 4×100 relay team of freshman Norah D’Almeida and juniors Denisha Cartwright, Rose Cramer and Makayla Jackson finished in second with a time of 45.66. This provisionally qualifies them for nationals and places them fourth in the nation. The squad also moved into fourth on the MSU all-time list of outdoor performances. 

The Mavs continued their dominance with Cartwright in the 100m hurdles. With a run of 13.11, she claimed top spot in the nation, along with breaking her personal best to increase her already top MSU all-time leader status. Junior Roxan Foster and senior Quanterra Harrison joined Cartwritght in the 100m hurdles with fourth and sixth-place finishes respectively. Foster holds the seventh-place ranking in the nation, while Harrison ranks within the top 50. 

The Mavs will have no time to rest on the laurels, as they head into the weekend with various invitationals and relays on the horizon April 13-15 in California, Iowa and Nebraska.

Write to Mohamed Warsame at

Header Photo: MSU Track and Field returns home after competing in Vermillion, South Dakota for the USD Early Bird event. (File Photo)

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