Tracksters revel in fair weather

By: 
Sonja Karp, Sports Editor

It was a rare and beautiful April day in the Northern Hills Friday, and the Dogie track team took full advantage of the lovely, nearly wind-free conditions to put up a number of personal bests at the Queen City Classic track meet in Spearfish.

“It was a huge meet with about 30 teams and it was the first nice day we’ve had where the wind didn’t blow that much, so that was fun,” said head coach Chad Ostenson. “The results don’t necessarily show it, but as a team I thought we did really well, and almost everyone had a PR.”

One Lady Dogie also jumped at the chance to partake in an event not offered in Wyoming. Junior Elizabeth Rushton, who competed in the javelin throw when she lived in Utah, was pleased to get to try her hand at it again on Friday. Not only did she show that she remembered how to toss the javelin, but she won the event with a throw of 109 feet, 1 inch. 

“I was really excited to get to throw again,” Rushton said, smiling. “I didn’t expect to go over 90 feet, so when I heard that I went 105 feet in the first round I screamed because I was so excited. And then when I beat the leader by an inch, she was not very happy with me — but I sure was!”

In order to semi get ready for the event, Rushton worked out in the weight room using a program she had in Utah as well as threw PVC pipe out in the throwing field one day to try to get her steps and her approach down prior to the meet.

“She threw in Utah so this wasn’t her first rodeo. She asked if she could, and she borrowed a javelin from Sturgis,” Ostenson began. “I just about missed the whole thing, but I got up there for the one she threw the farthest, and that was pretty cool.”

Prior to her final throw, the leader had marked a toss of 109 feet. Rushton stepped up and did what she needed to by besting that mark by just one inch to take the title. 

Due to her performance, Rushton has received invitations to compete in Sturgis on April 30 and also at BYU Invitational on May 6. 

Jumpers and distance runners really took advantage of the fair weather conditions to put up some good numbers with nearly every one of them posting a personal best.

Senior Duncan Cox recorded PRs in the 400 and 800 Meter races, Logan Olson did so as well in the 800 and 1600 Meter runs and Sam Scribner had personal bests in both his 1600 Meter distance race and in the Long Jump, where he cleared 16 feet for the first time in his varsity career.

“It was Duncan’s first 400 and he did a pretty nice job with it,” Ostenson said. “I don’t know if it’s one he’ll go back to, but he did well.”

Elijah Morrill put up a PR in the 100 Meter Hurdle and in the Triple Jump, Cage Hardy also had a personal best in the 100 Meter Hurdle, while Thatcher Troftgruben had his best time of the year in the mile, and Jayden Corley hit his best mark in the Long Jump.

“Everyone took advantage of the day,” Ostenson said. “I was proud of our kids who went out and did what they do.” 

The throwers also used the lack of wind to their advantage. Braden Jenkins and Aidan Gorman each tossed personal bests in the Shot Put, while Jacob Prell and Nate Strickland did so in the Discus Throw. 

Not to be outdone, the Lady Dogies also had a good showing on the day. In addition to her javelin win, Rushton PR’d in the Long Jump leaping nearly 13 feet. 

Taylor Conklin put up personal best times in the 800 and 1600 Meter runs and had a personal best leap in the Long Jump, while Tara Carter also had PRs in the 800 Meter Run and the Long Jump. 

Finally, Sara Huey had her best throw of the year in the discus.

“Fighting the weather we’ve had has made it hard to work on our specific events, so the kids really responded to finally having a nice day,” Ostenson said. “We’ve definitely been challenged with fighting wind which makes us stronger and faster — especially when we run with no wind — but doing those speed drills and getting in the weight room is also starting to show because the kids are definitely going in the right direction.”

This week, the team was scheduled to travel to Belle Fourche for a meet on Thursday, however it was postponed until next Tuesday due to inclement weather, and the venue has changed to Rapid City.

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