SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Opening the outdoor season, Sioux Falls Track and Field competed at the Vance Butler Memorial Invitational at Howard Wood Field. Crowning one champion, the Cougars recorded 25 top-eight finishes while reaching two provisional qualifying marks in the pole vault.
Chase Jensen hit a personal-best in the men’s pole vault, beating out two teammates for the victory. Jensen cleared 4.90 meters (16 feet-0.75 inches) on his third attempt to earn the first win of his career and record a provisional qualifying mark — Jensen’s mark is tied for 10th in Division II this season. Brandon Rogers and Jacob Zebedee both cleared 4.70 meters (15-5) with Rogers edging his teammate for third on previous misses.
Kimberly Peterson opened her outdoor season by clearing the provisional standard in the women’s pole vault. The freshman vaulter took fourth with a best clearance of 3.65 meters (11-7.75), tying the three vaulters ahead of her, but dropping to third on previous misses. Sophie Harano placed fifth with a best mark of 3.50 meters (11-5.75) and Katie Rutcosky hit a PR at the same height to finish seventh.
Jordon Bents turned in an impressive two-day performance in the men’s throwing events. The Worthington, Minn. native placed second, first among attached competitors, in the shot put with a 15.49-meter (50-9.75) heave. He also placed fifth in the men’s hammer throw on Friday afternoon, recording a best toss of 49.20 meters (161-5).
Matthew Horan opened his outdoor season with a runner-up finish in the men’s 5,000-meter run. Horan clocked a 14:58.48 to take second while Billy Brockmueller placed third in 15:33.03. Brockmueller also placed ninth in the men’s 1.500-meter run, recording a 4:11.11 metric mile.
Katlyn Sawtelle clocked a personal-best 25.19-second run in the women’s 200-meter dash, taking second in a 35-athlete field.
Bobby Brockmueller notched two fourth-place finishes in the distance races. Brockmeuller opened his day with a 4;05.91 in the 1,500-meter run then raced to a 1:59.39 in the 800-meter run.
Cassidy Wright set a new personal-best in the women’s discus throw by over five meters to take third. Wright earned her highest outdoor finish with a 41.20-meter (135-2) toss. Amanda Poppen took ninth in event with a 33.83-meter (111-0) mark.
USF’s contingent of women’s throwers had a successful meet, placing four in the top eight of the shot put and two more taking fourth in the hammer throw and javelin. Marissa Whipple led the charge in the shot put with a fourth-place finish at 12.46 meters (40-10.5). Hannah Steele was sixth in the shot put (12.43m, 40-9.5) and fourth in the hammer throw on Friday (44.50m, 146-0). Wright finished seventh in the shot put (11.91m, 39-1) and Poppen was eighth (11.78m, 38-7.75).
Ethan Tabbert opened Saturday for the Cougars with a fifth-place finish in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase, clocking a 10:13.20. Connor Bollweg was ninth in 11:05.60.
Rachel Huffman turned in a seventh-place finish in the women’s 1,500-meter run, finishing in 5:02.73.
The Cougars continue the outdoor season at the Red Raider Multi and Open in Orange City, Iowa on April 10 and 11.
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