ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Indoor debut: DWU to showcase facility with track meet for first time

Today is the day. For the first time in school history, Dakota Wesleyan will host an indoor track and field meet at its new DWU/Avera Sports and Wellness Complex and the Corrigan Fieldhouse today. The facility, which was finished last February, i...

Dakota Wesleyan senior Gabe Dirksen practices on the pole vault during practice on Thursday afternoon in the DWU/Avera Sports and Wellness Complex. (Matt Gade / Republic)
Dakota Wesleyan senior Gabe Dirksen practices on the pole vault during practice on Thursday afternoon in the DWU/Avera Sports and Wellness Complex. (Matt Gade / Republic)

Today is the day.

For the first time in school history, Dakota Wesleyan will host an indoor track and field meet at its new DWU/Avera Sports and Wellness Complex and the Corrigan Fieldhouse today.

The facility, which was finished last February, is 85,000 square feet and fully equipped with everything needed for an indoor meet, a moment long-awaited for the Tigers.

“Hopefully the first of many,” DWU track and field coach Derik Fossum said. “I think it is a good venue to host a meet. It will be really spectator friendly. There will be lots of space for the athletes to warm up and I think that it will be a good event for people.”

Field events start at 10:30 a.m., with the track events scheduled to start at noon. The meet will also host an alumni mile, which is open to all alumni and community members.

ADVERTISEMENT

The meet will bring plenty of positives for DWU, starting with its student-athletes not having to travel a long distance to compete. It’s believed to be the first home track meet of any kind for the Tigers in 10 years.  

“It is exciting not to have to travel four hours, which we usually do,” DWU senior multi-event athlete Gabe Dirksen said. “We can stay right at home and show off our new facility that hopefully everyone will like.”

The Tigers will get to show off that new facility in front of a home crowd. Fossum said they will have seating for 500-600 spectators.

“I just hope people come out and support our athletes,” former DWU athlete and current coach Skylar Forgey said. “They work very hard. So it will be nice for everybody to come support them locally.”

The meet will also allow former DWU athletes a chance to see an indoor meet in Mitchell, something they never experienced.

“It is nice to be able to engage alumni and have them come back,” Fossum said. “A lot of them were my teammates and we never had the opportunity to compete in something like this, or practice in a facility like this. It is nice to be able to engage them. They can come and see the students that are here now and they can just kind of enjoy the facility because they are part of this family, too.”

The meet and the facility will give a jolt to recruiting as well.

“When they walk in and they see this, they know they are going to have a home,” Fossum said. “A place they can call home for practice. A place where they will know have sufficient space to do workouts and be able to improve the way that they want to improve. It has been really huge for us in that way.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The field events include the weight throw, shot put, long jump, high jump, pole vault and triple jump. A number of indoor-specific running events will take place, as well, including the 60-meter dash, 60-meter hurdle and the 600- and 1,000-meter runs on the 200-meter indoor track.

DWU will be among nine schools will participate in the meet. The other schools include: Dordt College, Northwestern College, Mount Marty College, Dakota State University, Briar Cliff University, Morningside University, University of Jamestown and Buena Vista University.

Fossum feels that is a good number of teams for the meet, but could add more if teams are interested in the future.

“People tend to have their schedules set and know kind of what meets they like to go to,” Fossum said. “I hope that this is a place that people like to come and compete at.”

What To Read Next
Lieber poured in a game-high 29 points, including 17 in the first half in the win.
Prep basketball action from around the state for Monday, Feb. 6.
Members Only
Sizing up the GPAC playoff picture with four games to go in the season
Three classes maintained identical top fives compared to last week, as only one new team entered the rankings across all six classes.