Dakota Wesleyan University will be well represented at the NAIA outdoor national track and field meet.
The Tigers qualified six athletes for the national meet, which starts today and continues through Saturday in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Four throwers - Matthew Campbell, Tyson Jenkins, Mikaela Stofferahn and Caden Milmine - have all qualified. Jared Rabenberg is in the high jump, while Kamberlyn Lamer is competing in the 100-meter hurdles, long jump, triple jump and the javelin throw. She will also compete in the heptathlon.
The DWU throwers will look to continue a recent run of success at the national level. Campbell is competing in the shot put, discus and hammer throw. Jenkins is throwing in the shot put and hammer, while Stofferahn is competing in the shot put and discus. Milmine will compete in the shot put.
"This is the deepest throws crew they've had in quite a while, and getting four kids into nationals as far as in the throws is pretty unprecedented," DWU track and field coach Zachary Lurz said. "They are excited to be able to represent and we are looking for some big performances Thursday, Friday, Saturday."
Jenkins has the sixth best shot put mark at 56-10.75. Campbell's best of 54-1.75 is 13th in the nation and Milmine is 32nd at 50-8. In the hammer throw, Jenkins has the ninth best mark at 183-4 and Campbell is 15th at 177-1. Campbell has the 21st best throw in the discus (160-9).
Lurz said watching the three throwers compete and bring out the best in each other has been special.
"They fuel off each other for sure-Matt and Tyson especially-just being able to have that level of competition every day in practice definitely correlates into some strong performances at this level," Lurz said.
Stofferahn was an All-American during the indoor season and she enters the discus throw with the fifth best mark in the field at 151-2.
"We've seen some great things from her in practice and especially in discus the last couple of weeks," Lurz said.
She's also switched up her shot put technique and Lurz anticipates it will pay dividends at nationals. She has the 12th best shot put mark at 45-3.5.
"We've seen great things in practice, but hasn't quite shown it yet in meets," Lurz said. "This national meet is time out almost perfect for her."
Lamer is the nation's best heptathlete and enters with an NAIA-best 5,017 points. She's coming off an indoor pentathlon national title and is looking to cap her career with another championship.
"This is the first time she's done the hept at the national championship," Lurz said. "Obviously with her leading the country, we are looking for strong performances across the board."
Rabenberg has the 20th best high jump (6-8) in the field, but Lurz expects him to rise to the challenge.
"He's honestly probably one of the best championship performers we have," Lurz said. "His performance indoors is not indicative of what he can do, and between him, Kamber and these throwers, I think we are going to come home with quite a bit of hardware."