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Catching up with area athletes: Emily Duffek helps Morningside to NAIA dance team title

A weekly look at what area athletes are accomplishing in college sports

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Mitchell Republic

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Morningside University claimed the 2022 NAIA competitive dance national championship on Saturday, March 12, with the efforts of a Bon Homme High School graduate helping the Mustangs.

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Morningside won the competition with a score of 92.31 points, edging perennial power St. Ambrose (Iowa), which finished with 92.17 points at the national meet in Ypsilanti, Michigan. It was the highest point total scored by an NAIA team in the national championship, which was in its sixth year in 2022.

Emily Duffek, a junior from Tabor, was an honorable mention selection in the Great Plains Athletic Conference for competitive dance. She was also a participant on the Mustangs’ 2021 team, which was third nationally.

Teams are scored on, among other items, technique, difficulty of movement, uniformity, execution, staging, musicality, choreography, professional impression and Friday's preliminary performance accounted for 25% of their total, with the finals on Saturday comprising the other 75%.

Ostbye runs to All-American relay honors for NWC

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ORANGE CITY, Iowa — Mitchell High School graduate Caitlin Ostbye recently earned NAIA All-American honors in the women’s indoor 4x400 meter relay at the NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Brookings on March 3-5.

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Ostbye, a sophomore who ran the third leg with teammates Abigail Clarke, Savonne Sterk and Kennedy Kramer, had an eighth-place finish in the preliminaries in a time of 3:52.62, which was four seconds ahead of their seed time entering the meet. The Red Raider foursome followed it up with a time of 3:52.98 for eighth place and All-American honors.

The Red Raiders had hit the national automatic qualification mark in February while running on the same track in Brookings.

Ostbye also competed in the 60-meter dash (8.06 seconds), where she finished 10th and was 12th in the 200-meter dash (26.86 seconds).

Northwestern will pick up the outdoor track and field season at Storm Lake, Iowa on March 26 in the Buena Vista University outdoor meet.

Local trio scores for USD at Summit meet

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VERMILLION, S.D. — A handful of top area standouts helped the University of South Dakota women’s track and field team claim the Summit League championships on Feb. 25 in Grand Forks, N.D.

The Coyote women put an end to North Dakota State’s 14-year-streak of indoor titles in dominating fashion, scoring 200.5 points to the Bison’s 152.

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In the high jump, Mitchell graduate and third-year sophomore Carly Haring finished second with a top jump of 5 feet, 8 3/4 inches (1.75 meters). Freshman Danii Anglin cleared a personal best of 5-10 3/4 (1.80m) to win the women’s high jump title, USD’s first indoor title since 2017. She moves to second in USD history with the height.

In the 400 meter race, second-year freshman Jacy Pulse, a native of Salem, clocked a personal best of 55.50 seconds for third place and all-Summit honors. Pulse also finished seventh in the 200 meters.

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Third-year sophomore Ella Byers, of Chamberlain, placed fifth in the mile. Byers clocked a personal best 4:53.68 to move to eighth in USD program history. A week prior, at the Nebraska Tune-Up, Byers had a previous personal-best of 4:56.03 by winning the mile.

The Coyotes open the outdoor season on March 23-25 at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas.

Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at mtraxler@mitchellrepublic.com.
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