THIS WEEK: Dakota State heads to western South Dakota to compete in their final regular-season meet Thursday afternoon. The Trojans participate in the Independent Open. The final regular-season meet is their last chance to make a national qualifying mark for NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships in early March.
INDEPENDENT OPEN: The Independent Open is hosted by Black Hills State University. The meet will be held at the Donald E. Young Gymnasium in Spearfish, S.D. Four former Dakota Athletic Conference teams are expected to attend to the meet along with two other schools. The schools that are planning on competing in the Independent Open are: Black Hills State, Chadron State, Dakota State, Dickinson State, Gillette Community College and South Dakota Mines. The field events start at 1:30 p.m. (Central Time)/12:30 p.m. (Mountain Time) with the weight throw and shot put. The running events are slated to start at 2:30 p.m. (CT)/1:30 p.m. (MT) with the distance medley relays.
LAST TIME OUT: Dakota State participated in the Buena Vista Open on Feb. 11 in Storm Lake, Iowa. DSU had two runners placed in the top two in the men's 3000-meter run. Matt Fideler won the event and improved his national qualifying time of eight minutes and 43.92 seconds. Michael Hoffman was second with his personal best time of 9:06.95. Andy Coy claimed the men's 1000-meter run by improving his national qualifying mark of 2:29.54. Nic Penning was second in the men's one-mile run in 4:39.35. Stephanie Uher clocked a time of 1:00.63 in the women's 400-meter dash, which improved her personal best time in the 400-meters. Summer Bronson recorded her personal best of 9.12 seconds in the women's 55-meter hurdles finals. Ryan Gimbel was seventh in the men's weight throw and improved his personal best and DSU school record measurement of 44 feet and 11.75 inches.
NAIA INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD NATIONALS: Three Dakota State athletes had qualified for NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships meet. The national meet will be held on March 1-3 in Geneva, Ohio. Andy Coy and Matt Fideler had qualified in three different men's events for nationals. Stephanie Uher had qualified for the women's 600-meter run after tying a DSU school record of one minute and 38.60 seconds in the Frank Sevigne/Husker Invitational on Feb. 4.
COACHES' CORNER: Dakota State University track and field head coach Buzz Stevenson has been involved in sports since his high school days in Ipswich, S.D. and has been a coach and teacher for 45 years. While at DSU, Stevenson has garnered 14 South Dakota-Iowa Conference Coach of the Year titles and two NAIA Great Plains regional cross-country coach of the year awards. He has accumulated 14 SDIC championships and his athletes have produced 57 All-American honors. Anthony Drealan is in his first year as an assistant coach in track and field. Al Weisbecker joins the coaching staff as an assistant coach as a thrower's coach. Cody Foreman is a student assistant track and field coach.
UP NEXT: The NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships will be held at the Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio on March 1-3.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director