Track & Field Begin 2014 Season

Kim Watkins, Editor-In-Chief

The newly reinstated Southwest Minnesota State University men’s and women’s track and field teams got off to a very good start at the turn of the New Year at the Minnesota State Alumni Open in Mankato, where both teams faced off against several schools.

The Mustangs fared well at the Jan. 11 meet, with the men’s team taking first place in the 4×400 meter relay with a final time of 3:26.33. Relay competitors included Alejandro Sanchez, Jay Schneider, OJ Ojullu and Austin LaFollette.

Schneider also placed sixth in the men’s 200 meter dash, final time – 22.69, followed by teammates Michael Rivera, LaFollette and Joseph Lilleberg. Kelly Fitzsimmons placed ninth in the men’s 3000 meter run while Sanchez took the first place prize in the men’s 800 meter run with a final time of 2:00.98.

The men’s team also saw Brock Schultz place fifth in the men’s 400 meter dash, Schneider place again with second in the men’s 60 meter dash, Paul Demings place tenth in the 1-mile run and Ojullu placing second in the men’s 600 meter run.

Ryne Myhrberg, Alex Weis and Shawn Jensen all competed in men’s weight throw with Weis also placing tenth in men’s shot put.

For the women’s team, Danielle Crowell competed for SMSU in women’s weight throw, throwing 10.25 meters. Samantha McNeel placed eleventh in women’s long jump, followed by Rylee Armstrong and Alycia Hohenstein. Crowell and Armstrong also competed in women’s shot put. Armstrong also tied for fourth place in the women’s high jump with 1.54m.

Michaela Nordby, Hohenstein, Victoria Bensel and Katie Grebinoski all competed in the women’s 60 meter dash while Paige Yi took tenth place in the 600 meter run. McNeel, Bensel and Hohenstein also competed in the 200 meter dash.

Amanda Grengs placed high with third in the women’s 800 meter run with a final time of 2:33.01.

Both teams continued their season at the Dordt Open, held on Jan. 18 in Sioux Center, Iowa. Armstrong placed high at the meet for the women’s team, placing third in both the high jump and long jump. Yi and Grengs both placed eighth in the women’s 1000 meter run and the one mile run, respectively.

The men’s team saw Schneider place second in the 55 meter dash with a final time of 6.42. Meanwhile, Ojullu placed third in the men’s 800 meter run and both Sanchez and Weis placed seventh in the men’s 1000 meter run and shot put, respectively. Sanchez, Ojullu, Schneider and LaFollette placed second overall in the men’s 4×400 relay.

The Mustangs went on to compete in the Jan. 24 St. Thomas Invite in St. Paul. Nya Buom placed eleventh in the women’s 400 meter dash while Julia Sauder placed eighth in the 800 meter run. Grengs placed tenth in the one mile run and took the third place slot in the 3000 meter run. Armstrong placed fifth in the women’s long jump, followed by McNeel in thirteenth. The women’s 4×200 meter relay team took third place, behind St. Thomas and Jamestown.

The men’s team saw Schneider place first in both the men’s 60 meter dash and 200 meter dash while the 4×400 meter relay team (Schneider, Ojullu, Sanchez and Chris Kveseth) took the first place prize as well.

Both teams will go on to compete in the Minnesota State Open and Pentathlon in Mankato on Jan. 31-Feb. 1.