Catching up with former area athletes: Dakota State’s Jacob Joachim meets NAIA hammer throw standard

Inside: Hanson’s Megan Guericke part of South Dakota connection at West Texas A&M and Hanson’s Isabelle Riggs earns all-academic honor for SDSU equestrian

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Dakota State’s Jacob Joachim particpates in the hammer throw event during a track and field meet earlier this season.
Dakota State University Athletics

MADISON, S.D. — Corsica-Stickney product Jacob Joachim continued his strong senior track and field season at Dakota State by meeting the NAIA B standard in the hammer throw.

At the Sioux City Relays on April 14, Joachim launched a throw of 54.16 meters (177 feet, 8.25 inches), pushing him past the 54-meter threshold. He is one of 15 NAIA athletes to eclipse the provisional qualifying mark this season, placing him at 14th nationally.

Jacob Joachim
Dakota State University Athletics

Joachim’s 54.16-meter throw is a career-best, topping his previous best of 51.92 meters on March 24 by 2.24 meters (approximately 7 feet, 4 inches). It also ranks as the third-farthest in DSU men's outdoor track and field history.

Coming into the 2023 season, Joachim had broken the 50-meter threshold once in his career — a 50.31-meter heave last April — but he has surpassed that mark at all three outdoor meets this spring.

During the 2023 indoor season, Joachim qualified for the NAIA Indoor Track and Field Championships in the weight throw, finishing 14th.


Hanson’s Megan Guericke part of South Dakota connection at West Texas A&M

CANYON, Texas — Megan Guericke, an Alexandria native and Hanson High School product, is a prominent figure for West Texas A&M, one of the top NCAA Division II softball teams in the country.

Guericke, who primarily plays first base, has appeared in 39 of 48 games, starting 21, this season as of April 22. The junior is in her second season with the Buffaloes after starting her career at D-I Northern Illinois.

Megan Guericke
West Texas A&M University Athletics

This season, Guericke has the most chances in the field on the roster with 211 and owns a .986 fielding percentage. At the plate, she owns a .200 batting average and .232 on-base percentage.

Guericke is one of four South Dakotans on the WTAMU roster, alongside Harrisburgs’ Emilee Boyer and Gabie McConnell and Heidi Vortherms, both of Sioux Falls. All four are regular contributors, as WTAMU owns a 40-5 record and is ranked No. 12 in the most recent National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division II Top 25 coaches poll.

Hanson’s Isabelle Riggs earns all-academic honor for SDSU equestrian

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South Dakota State's Isabelle Riggs competes in an equestrian event.
Dave Eggen/Inertia Sports Media

BROOKINGS — Isabelle Riggs, of Alexandria, was a key member of the reigning crew on South Dakota State’s equestrian team.

At the Eastern College Athletic Conference Equestrian Championships in March, Riggs’ score of 142 led SDSU's reining crew, as she garnered Most Outstanding Performer honors and earned a point in the opening round of competition.

Isabelle Riggs
South Dakota State University Athletics

Riggs was named to the National Collegiate Equestrian Association's all-academic second team in April, the fourth time earning all-academic recognition in her career. She was a first-team honoree in 2020-21 and honorable mention in 2019-20 and 2021-22.

Award winners must have competed in a minimum of 60 percent of their school's meets, not including demo or exhibition rides, and earned a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.25 while maintaining full-time enrollment in the previous spring and fall semesters, respectively.

Dierks covers prep and collegiate athletics across the Mitchell Republic's coverage region area, focusing on Mitchell High School football and boys basketball and area high school football, volleyball and basketball, as well as Dakota Wesleyan women's basketball. He was also the lead on the Mitchell Republic Gridiron Spotlight, producing video and providing live play-by-play for the traveling weekly prep football broadcast during its first season in the fall of 2021. Dierks is a Mitchell native who graduated from South Dakota State University with his bachelor's degree in journalism in May 2020. He joined the Mitchell Republic sports staff in August 2021. He can be reached at and found on Twitter at @LDierksy.
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