Dakota Wesleyan men take seventh, women 10th at GPAC track and field championships

The DWU men placed seventh out of 11 teams, while the women took 10th of 12 teams.


SIOUX CENTER, Iowa — The Dakota Wesleyan men and women both saw a handful of top placements at the Great Plains Athletic Conference championships on Friday and Saturday.

The DWU men placed seventh out of 11 teams, while the women took 10th of 12 teams. Dordt won the men’s team title with 210 points, while Concordia’s 244.5 was good enough for first place on the women’s side.

Cole Holden had DWU's best individual finish on Friday with a fourth-place mark in the men's javelin with a throw of 165 feet, 10.5 inches. Teammate Max Raab was eighth in the event (158-5.25). In the men's pole vault, Cale Strong scored an eighth-place finish with a jump of 13 feet, 5.5 inches.

In the men's 4x800 relay, DWU finished second to the host Tigers from Doane. DWU crossed the line in 7:50.66 with the foursome of Wyatt Baldauf, Caleb Sayler, Hunter Shanks and Justin Sorensen. Doane won in 7:47.13.

Darby Deffenbaugh scored for the Tigers in the women's hammer throw with a throw of 155 feet, 2.25 inches to finish eighth Friday. She also took seventh in the discus throw on Saturday with a toss of 135 feet, 8 1/2 inches, while Abby Magnuson finished behind her in eighth (135-01). (Deffenbaugh hit the NAIA B standard in the hammer throw earlier this season.) On Day 2, Magnuson took sixth in the shot put with a heave of 42 feet, 11 inches, while Lila Gronseth placed fifth at 43-1. Magnuson reached the NAIA B standard with the throw, while Gronseth already had reached the NAIA B mark this season, giving both throwers a shot at nationals.


DWU's Nate Rupprecht made himself a contender in the men's decathlon. On Day 1 on Friday, he was first in the shot put (39-7.75), second in the 400 dash (52.13), fourth in the 100-meter dash (11.60) and the high jump (5-11) and fifth in the long jump (19-11.5), entering Saturday in third place behind behind leader Mason Scheis, of Mount Marty's 3,537 total.

Rupprecht finished the decathlon in third after a Saturday performance that saw him take first in the discus (97-06.25), third in the pole vault (12-09.5), fourth in the 1500 (5:08.32) and the javelin throw (134-08.25) and seventh in the 110-meter hurdle (17.12), ending with 5,924 points. Mount Marty’s Seth Wiebelhaus won with 6,370 points, while Schleis came in second with 6,250.

Other highlights from Saturday for DWU included a fourth-place effort from Hunter Shanks in the 800-meter run, as he ran it in 1:56.33. Wyatt Baldauf claimed fifth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:27.59, another NAIA B standard time. (Baldauf is already an NAIA automatic qualifier.) Ryan Kienzle also nabbed a fifth-place finish for the Tigers with his discus throw of 153-07.5.

In the women’s triple jump, DWU had a pair of point scorers, as Taliyah Hayes (35-01.75) took sixth and Ashtyn Evans (34-11.75) was eighth. Hayes and Evans joined Erynn Gerlach and Adaya Plastow to take eighth in the 4x100 at 51.36. In the 4x400, it was Avany Long, Plastow, Gerlach and Emilia Cuppy who ran it in 4:21.41 to finish eighth.

Justin Sorensen also scored for DWU on Saturday with his eighth-place finish in the 1500 at 4:07.74, while the squad of Cobey Carr, Chase Cermak, Gavin Haselhorst and Barrett Nielsen came in eighth in the 4x100 at 44.79 seconds. Carr and Strong finished sixth and seventh, respectively, in the triple jumps with leaps of 43-9.25 and 43-8.

The NAIA outdoor nationals for track and field will be held May 24-26 at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana.

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