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With the recent wave of warm weather one would think that the South Dakota School of Mines men’s and women’s track teams were preparing to compete outside rather than gearing up for the indoor portion of the Hardrockers schedule
By Brad Blume
Sports Information Director
RAPID CITY --- With the recent wave of warm weather one would think that the South Dakota School of
Mines men’s and women’s track teams were preparing to compete outside rather than gearing up for
the indoor portion of the Hardrockers schedule.
Never-the-less, the SDM track schedule dictates that the Hardrocker thinclads will be indoors for a
couple months starting Friday at the Dave Little Invitational in Spearfish.
The Hardrocker men’s teams will roster 17 men for the indoor season. SD Mines has two significant
losses in two-time All-American pole vaulter Chandler Caldwell and three-time NAIA National qualifier
(hurdles) Tyler Flattum.
The Hardrockers do have a number of athletes returning this year that are poised to have a good
season. Topping that list is senior throws specialist Matt Deardoff. Deardoff will compete in the shot put
during the indoor season and shot put and discus once the outdoors season starts.
“Matt is a real steady competitor. We are looking for him to have a banner year,” said Hardrocker head
track coach Jerry Schafer. “He was on the verge of going to Nationals last season and is hoping he can
reach that goal in his final year.”
Junior Colton Reid is another that coach Schafer is expecting good things from. After spending a year as
a red shirt after an injury during the 2007 cross country season, the middle distance runner should be
that much stronger and faster in reaching the next level in his athletic career.
Reid has been to the National Championships before as part of the 4x400 relay team and is hoping to
punch a ticket back to the big dance by himself.
“We want to get Colton back to Nationals as an individual.” Schafer said. “He’s as healthy as he’s been in
a long time. The injury is healed, he’s taken care of some other (running) problems and I am expecting
him to take off and do some good things this season.”
Other upperclassmen returning to the men’s roster are Scott Anderson, a junior middle distance runner;
Jason Simmons, a senior sprinter; Marcus Moor, a junior distance runner; and Aaron DeCurtins, a senior
Schafer feels each one of his remaining upperclassmen have the skills needed to be competitive in the
Dakota Athletic Conference. Anderson and Moor have been training hard and looking to take that next
step, Simmons seems to be free of nagging hamstring issues that have hampered him in the past; and
DeCurtins (a long sprinter) is back to the team after serving his country in Iraq.
“He was deployed for National Guard duty,” Schafer said of DeCurtins. “This is his last semester to
compete and I hope we can give him a good sendoff.”
The ‘Rocker men’s squad also contains some very talented underclassmen.
Schafer had good things to say about sophomore Lucas Fried, a distance runner that is coming off a
fairly successful cross country season. Add freshman Matt Pike to the mix and the Hardrockers have a
pair that are running at that next level.
“Lucas is a good team leader for those distance runners,” Schafer said. “I think they will both have pretty
good indoor seasons and that should transition to great outdoor seasons.”
The Hardrockers also have a pair of young sprinters in Jamie Dale and Rod McRae that should bode well
for the track team. Both have exceptional speed and both will be featured as sprinters as well as long
and triple jumpers.
Some other notable underclassmen are freshmen Eb Nordahl and Thomas Everett. They are currently
nursing some injuries, but after promising cross country seasons, once healthy, they should be
competing at a high level.
Also look for sophomores Nate Snyder and Everett Brill to have breakout seasons this year in the
throwing events. Schafer is impressed with how Brill is progressing in the shot put and weight throw and
feels he is on the rise. The coach added that Snyder has shown improvements in the weight throw event
Looking at the conference, Schafer feels there won’t be a whole lot of surprises this year and said a
focus on individual improvement will be the main goal of the indoor season.
“We will be fighting to be in the top half of the conference as a team,” Schafer said. “We struggled last
year but I think we will rebound with the people we have this season.”
On the women’s side, the Lady Hardrockers have nine on the roster with a number of turnover at
The top returners though do have all the proper skills to make a run at a national qualification.
Junior Ashley Stewart has a decent shot to qualify for Nationals in the high jump event. She has spent
the last two seasons honing her skills and has shown steady improvement. She will also compete in the
javelin and discus once the outdoor season begins.
Sophomore distance runners Brittney Hovdenes and Kendra Crisman are coming off stellar cross country
seasons. Even though both are underclassmen, they too are running like veterans thinclads.
“We are very excited to see how much they’ve improved at track,” Schafer said. “We’ve got some lofty
goals set for them. Hopefully they can reach them early in the season, then we can set new goals for the
Junior Kendall Donegan is a bit new to the running scene. After spending two years playing collegian
soccer, she transferred to SD Mines and wanted to give running a whirl. She ran cross country this past
fall for the Hardrockers and will now transition to track running.
Freshmen on the Hardrocker women’s team are Ashley Kemnitz, Madisen Lane, Kelsey Feist, Christy
Quiett and Laurette Beal. Kemnitz and Lane cross over to track from the volleyball team, Feist and
Quiett ran cross country and Beal seems to be a gem of an athlete that will be groomed to be a multi-event
Lane’s main focus will be high jumping. Schafer also plans to put her in the triple jump, but her main
focus will be what she’s more familiar with.
“Madi is a talented high jumper coming out of high school,” Schafer said. “She has an outside shot of
qualifying for Nationals.”
Kemnitz will be featured in the hurdles and sprinting events for the indoor season. Schafer feels she has
the ability to be a high caliber hurdler as well as a fierce competitor in the conference.
Schafer said Feist is a hard worker and feels that Quiett is starting to show some solid improvement and
thinks both cross country runners have a huge upside for the track season.
Beal will spend the indoor season of track as a Hardrocker on the redshirt list. Schafer said she excels at
pole vaulting, high jumping, hurdling and sprinting and after a season of learning the ropes, she’ll be a
solid athlete in the multiple events such as the pentathlon and decathlon.
Much like the men’s team, the Lady Hardrockers just don’t have the numbers to make a solid run as a
team or be in the running for the Dakota Athletic Conference title. SD Mines will again focus all their
efforts on individual improvement.
Helping with the cause this season are two assistant coaches that are all too familiar with the
Hardrocker track program. Mitch Rudebusch, a former distance running standout will assist the current
distance runners and Kent Jacobs a sprinter and former holder of the school record in the 400-meter
dash will help coach the sprinters on the SD Mines team.
The indoor season officially starts Friday in Spearfish and will go full circle with the DAC Championships
back in Spearfish on Feb. 20-21. The Indoor National Championships will be held March 5-7 in Johnson
City Tennessee. The first outdoor meet is slated for March 21 in Colorado. The DAC Meet will be held in
Madison this year May 8-10 and the National Outdoor Meet is set for May22-24 in Edwardsville, Ill.
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Devereaux Library. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.
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