By Brad Blume
Sports Information Director
South Dakota School of Mines
CHADRON, Neb. --- The South Dakota School of Mines men’s and women’s indoor track team traveled to Nebraska this past Friday to compete in the Chadron Eagle Twilight. The Hardrockers put forth some competitive time and it showed as several thinclads earned Top 6 finishes.
“We showed some improvement this week but still have a long way to go,” said Hardrocker head track coach Jerry Schafer.
The biggest highlight came from the first-place finish of Chandler Caldwell (junior for Thornton, Colo.) in the pole vault event. Caldwell cleared 15-feet to take top honors and provisionally qualified for the NAIA National Meet in March. In the process heset a new SDM school record. The old record Caldwell shared with Gabe Laber (2002) with a mark of 14-6.
“Chandler Caldwell had great vaults (Friday) and didn’t miss until 15-5 – which is the automatic qualifier for the national meet,” Schafer said.
Sophomore Shannon Hellman also did well, taking first in the 400-meter dash, an event she had never competed in before. The Rapid City native finished in a time of 1 minute 1.76 seconds.
“Hellman won the 400 running from the slowest heat,” Schafer added.
Other top performances included: Eric Voorhes (senior from Gillette, Wyo.) took third in the shot put with a toss of 50-1.5 and fourth in the weight throw with a distance of 45-1.25; Kyle Kattke (junior from Black Hawk) finished third in the 3,000, clocking a 9:28.96 while Nate Hicks (freshman from Yankton) was a spot back in fourth in a time of 9:30.89; Colton Reid (sophomore from Colstrip, MT.) earned fourth place in the mile run in a time of 4:40.82; Tyler Flattum (junior from Bristol) had a personal best in the 55 high hurdles, grabbing fourth place with a mark of 8.08 seconds; Jake Donnelly raced to a fifth-place finish in the 200 dash, with a mark of 23.44; Scott Anderson (sophomore from Huron) settled for sixth place in the 800 run, clocking a time of 23:03.93; and Jenny Strong earned sixth in the high jump, clearing a height of 4-11.
Ashley Stewart (sophomore from Scotland, S.D.) also competed in the high jump. Stewart finished just out of the Top 6, clearing 4-9, and did so with a pretty nagging injury. “Ashley Stewart showed a lot of courage jumping with a sprained right ankle,” Schafer said. “Her technique over the bar really carried her (Friday).”
The Hardrockers currently have two auto qualifiers in Hellman (60 hurdles) and Voorhees (shot put) along with two provisionals in Hellman (200) and Caldwell’s in the pole vault.
The SDM team will be a little closer to home this weekend, traveling to the Dave Little Indoor Invitational, hosted by Black Hills State in Spearfish.
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