Coyotes dominate Hillenbrand Invitational

Coyotes dominate Hillenbrand Invitational South Dakota men's and women's track and field teams captured 16 (women, 10, men, six) first place finishes at the Bill Hillenbrand Invitational in the DakotaDome on Friday, Jan. 12 and Saturday, Jan. 13.

The meet included 14 teams and 573 total athletes. Competing teams included Lewis University (Romeoville, IL), the University of Mary (Bismarck, ND), Midland Lutheran (Fremont, NE), Morningside College, Mount Marty, Northern State, University of Sioux Falls, Dana College (Blair, NE), Dakota State, Dakota Wesleyan, Chadron State, Briar Cliff, Augustana, and USD.

South Dakota women's team received several strong performances at the meet.

Sara Deckert won three-individual events and also ran on the winning 4×400-meter relay. Deckert won the 55-meter dash (7.19), 200-meter dash (25.20), and the 400-meter dash (56.84).

Other Coyote winners included:

Patricia Goertz, 800-meter run (2:21.77); Tonya Kneifl, high jump, 5'7.25"; and Sarah Hoffman, indoor penthathlon, 3,206 points.

South Dakota won the 4×400 (4:02.06), 4×800 (9:38.59) and women's distance medley (13:04.12). Mandy Muller finished second in the weight throw (51'07") and she was third in the shot put (41'05").

Sarah Menghini was third in the 200-meter dash (26.30) and Tammy Christensen was second in the 800-meter run (2:21.77). Jen Feely was second in the one-mile run (5:16.81). Kneifl was third in the triple jump (36'00.75") and fifth in the long jump (17'08"). Cara Hamilton was fourth in the 1,000 meter run (3:26.75).

Missy Verharghe of Lewis was a double winner. She won the 1,000-meter run (3:06.69) and the one-mile run (5:14.00).

For the men, South Dakota's Ryan Finley was first in the 400-meter dash (49.43). Scott Ellwanger won the 800-meter run (1:56.21) while Adam Lindahl won the one-mile run (4:25.25).

The men's relay squad won the 4×400 relay (3:18.96), 4×800 relay (8:54.13) and the men's distance medley (10:34.40). Jacob Christensen finished second in the 3,000 meter run (8:47.60) while Pat Belling was second (22.19) and Ronnie McDougle, fourth (22.45) in the 200-meter dash.

Victor Tolstov of Lewis (3,651 points) won the men's indoor pentathlon while the Coyotes' Paul Brozik was third (3,398 points) and Josh Hofer (3,174) was fifth.

Steve Gordon, who won a triple jump national title for South Dakota in 1997, competed unattached and won in the men's triple jump (51'03") and long jump (22'09").

Derek Miles, the USD assistant coach and U.S. Olympic alternate, competed in the men's pole vault, going 18'02" to win the event but failed to break his own DakotaDome record of 18'04".

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