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South Dakota School of Mines men’s and women’s track team rose to the challenge Friday at the Dakota Athletic Conference track meet in Dickinson, N.D., competing hard and improving personal and season best marks in the process
By Brad Blume
Sports Information Director
South Dakota School of Mines
RAPID CITY --- The South Dakota School of Mines men’s and women’s track team rose to the challenge Friday at the Dakota Athletic Conference track meet in Dickinson, N.D., competing hard and improving personal and season best marks in the process.
“I was very excited about the way the kids stepped up and competed,” said Hardrocker head track coach Jerry Schafer. “They outscored what we thought they would do on paper.”
As a team, the Hardrocker men took fourth place with 81 points, while the Lady Hardrockers scored 35.5 points for sixth place. The men’s division was won by Dickinson State with 309 points while Black Hills State was the women’s champions with 227 points.
Much like the conference indoor meet, SDM sophomore Shannon Hellman was quite the point getter for the DAC outdoor meet, placing in four events. The Rapid City native ran a season best time in the 100-meter hurdles, winning the event in a time of 14 seconds. She also earned third place in the 100 dash (12.46), which was also a season best mark, and secured third in the 400 hurdles (1 minute 7.28 seconds).
“Shannon Hellman ran very well in the hurdle events,” Schafer said. “Breaking down her times, she is back to where she was last year at this time.”
Hardrocker senior Jake Donnelly also won a conference title, placing first in the 200 dash, setting a new SDM school record, as well as a personal best mark in a time of 21.47. Donnelly also ran a season-best time in the 100 dash prelims at 10.68. He came back and clocked a 10.78 in the finals, which netted him second place.
SDM junior Chandler Caldwell was the other DAC title winner, taking first place in the pole vault after clearing 14-feet-11-inches.
“I was very pleased with the way both Jake and Chandler competed,” Schafer added. “In fact I was impressed with how the whole men’s team got after the meet. I think everybody (on the men’s team) contributed points for us.”
‘Rocker sophomore Colton Reid, who was very close to a provisional qualification in the 800 heading into Friday’s meet, came up short again --- less than a tenth of a second short. The Colstrip Mont., native settled for second place in Friday’s event, clocking a time of 1:54.88. To earn a provisional qualification to the NAIA National Meet, Reid would need to match or beat a time of 1:54.32.
The 4x400 SDM men’s relay team, made up of Colin Royer, Donnelly, Reid and Mark Wager earned an automatic qualification in the event after getting second Friday with a mark of 3:16.40. The team already had a provisional qualification. They improved their time by about two seconds as each leg ran impressive split times which also earned them a new SDM school record.
In other Hardrocker highlights, Samantha Diede broke her own school record in the 3,000 steeplechase. The freshman from Huron, S.D. placed sixth in a time of 13:29.58. She also ran the 800, where she clocked a time of 2:43.81 for 11th place. Senior Shane Hague ran the 800 on the men’s side, where he secured fourth place with a time of 1:57.96.
Jenny Strong placed in two events, setting a personal-best mark in the triple jump with a leap of 34-2.75 for fifth place and then settled for a tie for fifth in the high jump after clearing 5-0.
--- continued --- “Jenny was excited about the way she competed,��� Schafer said. “She had a personal best in the triple jump and she scored more points then we thought she would.”
Katrina Donovan also picked up some points for the Hardrockers as she placed eighth in both the javelin (92-3) and the discus (114-07).
“She got us points that we weren’t expecting her to get,” the head coach said.
On the men��s side, Colin Royer stepped up in both the 100 and 200, earning seventh in both events. He had an 11.41 in the 100 and a 22.81 in the 200.
“He too got us important points on the men’s side,” Schafer said.
Senior Eric Voorhees continued his consistency in the shot put, taking third place Friday with a matching season’s best throw at 50-4.
The Hardrockers earned four sixth-place finishes for the men’s team – Mark Wager in the 400 (49.90), which was a season best, Rob Hahn in the 1,500 (4:07.93), which was a personal best, Tyler Flattum in the 110 hurdles (15.63) and Matt Deardoff in the shot put (46-0.25). Deardoff also scored points in the discus for South Dakota Mines. The sophomore finished eighth after a throw of 130-9.
With the DAC meet in the books, the Hardrockers will take their automatic and provisional qualifiers to a meet in Madison at Dakota State on May 13 in hopes of improving their times for the NAIA Meet which will be May 24-26 in Fresno, Calif.
South Dakota School of Mines sophomore Shannon Hellman powers her way through the 100-meter hurdle event finals this past Friday at the Dakota Athletic Conference Meet in Dickinson, N.D. The Rapid City native ran a season-best time in the race, clocking 14 seconds and earning the DAC title. Courtesy photo
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