Kamberlyn Lamer is not quite done with track and field.
After capturing a national championship in the heptathlon at the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in May, Lamer thought her college career had come to an end, despite having another outdoor season of eligibility remaining at Dakota Wesleyan University.
Lamer was prepared to accept a job offer from Avera in Sioux Falls upon graduation, but when DWU offered her a year of graduate school, she decided to re-evaluate her options. One of those options for the two-time national champion was the University of South Dakota, and on Thursday, Lamer signed to compete as a graduate transfer next spring.
“I was offered a free master’s at Dakota Wesleyan and I was kind of interested in getting a master’s,” Lamer said. “... I told USD about my eligibility for an outdoor season and coach (Lucky) Huber contacted me. They offered me a scholarship for one year.”
DWU made its offer while Lamer and the school were fighting for her eligibility at nationals after then-coach Zach Lurz missed the registration deadline, prompting Lamer into the spotlight. However, DWU only offers master’s programs in business and education and Lamer is seeking a master’s in kinesiology.
Lamer did not want to compete against DWU and South Dakota was able to fulfill her academic needs. She will also serve as a graduate assistant -- which will cover a third of tuition costs -- in the athletic marketing and fan engagement department, working under Mitchell native Kelsey Bathke. Lamer’s track scholarship will then cover the remainder of her tuition.
“I was offered a job at Avera, and once I got there, I was talking to a few employees that I work with and everybody had their master’s,” Lamer said. “They were getting paid more, and I was like, ‘I have an opportunity to get a master’s,’ but Dakota Wesleyan didn’t offer the master’s in my field. It wouldn’t have been very beneficial for me.”
Once Lamer began talking with USD, DWU was willing to permit her transfer, giving the Hartford native a chance to compete at the Division I level.
Lamer set the DWU heptathlon record with 5,065 points en route to winning the outdoor national championship
That point total would have placed third at the Summit League this season, allowing Lamer an opportunity to see how she compares to Division I heptathletes.
“I feel like I’ll have a really good coaching staff at USD to provide me some stuff that I wasn’t provided before,” Lamer said. “It’s going to be a lot harder, but I think it’s something I can do. If my numbers get up and I’m doing better, maybe the Olympics could be a possibility in my future. Maybe not. I have no idea.”