DWU 400 relay squad honored by GPACThe Dakota Wesleyan University women’s 400-meter relay team got used to one another in a hurry. The quartet of Kailey Hunhoff, Alyssa Christianson, Tamika Irvin and Natalie Wipf won the event at last week’s Vance Butler Invitational in their first race as a team.
By: Travis Mester, The Daily Republic
The Dakota Wesleyan University women’s 400-meter relay team got used to one another in a hurry.
The quartet of Kailey Hunhoff, Alyssa Christianson, Tamika Irvin and Natalie Wipf won the event at last week’s Vance Butler Invitational in their first race as a team.
And they did it in school-record fashion.
As a result, the foursome has been honored as the Hauff Mid-America Sports/GPAC athletes of the week.
The team posted a time of 47.93 seconds at the competition, which was hosted by Augustana College in Sioux Falls. That is the fastest time in the GPAC this season and eighth-fastest in the entire NAIA.
“I honestly didn’t think they were going to run that fast. I knew they were capable, but this early on I didn’t think they would post that time,” DWU track and field coach Pat Belling said. “It’s good though; now we can just work on fine-tuning our handoffs and other things.”
It is the first time the DWU track and field team has been honored with the GPAC athlete-of-the-week award since Frank Thompson earned the field-event honor during the 2007-08 season
Christianson and Irvin, both freshmen, and Wipf, a junior outdoor competitor, all competed in the indoor season for the Tigers. Hunhoff, a sophomore, was injured and the four just began competing together recently. And with the time they posted at the Vance Butler Invite, the team already has qualified for the NAIA outdoor track and field national championships in Marian, Ind.
“We have sat down and talked about some expectations of winning the conference with this group,” Belling said. “And hopefully we can get out of the first round of the national meet and get into the semifinals. Those are all realistic goals for these girls.”
The Tigers will be back in action Saturday when they compete in the Northwestern College Invitational in Orange City, Iowa.