South Dakota sends 16 athletes to national meet Four-time all-American senior Sandy Pelkofer, Rapid City, and six-time all-American senior Tom Green, Hornick, IA, close their outstanding careers for the University of South Dakota Coyotes this weekend at the 2002 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships, May 23-26, in San Angelo, TX. South Dakota will have 16 athletes competing at the NCAA Division II nationals this weekend, including 11 men's team members and five from the women's squad. The Coyotes men's team looks to improve on the fourth place finish at indoor nationals.
Pelkofer, one of the best polevaulters in school and North Central Conference history, continues to reach new heights as she now holds both indoor and outdoor school and NCC records. Last week, Pelkofer vaulted 12'7'' for the outdoor school and NCC record at the NCC outdoor championships at Howard Wood field in Sioux Falls last week.
The previous week, Pelkofer went 12'6'' at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays to clear her previous Dakota Relay record of 11'6'' by a foot, a mark Pelkofer set in 2000. That performance earned her a shared NCC Athlete of the Week honor with Morningside's Meredith Davis. It was the second time this season Pelkofer was NCC Women's Track and Field Athlete of the Week.
She has won pole vault titles this season at the Sioux City relays, Minnesota Gold Classic, John Dalton Memorial Meet, Godfather's Division II Challenge meet in Emporia, KS, among others. At the 2001 NCAA Division II Indoor Nationals, Pelkofer won the pole vault title with a 12'3'' which tied the national record in Division II at that time. A four-time all-American, she finished second in the pole vault at the NCAA Division II indoor nationals in March 2002. She recently received the USD Women's Scholar Athlete of the Year award and was named to the academic all-NCC at-large team. Throughout her career, Pelkofer, who won a state title in the pole vault while competing for Rapid City Stevens, has continually set new records at meets at which she has competed.
Green, who will run in the 100M and 200M dashes, continues to dominate the sprinting events. Green, who was named the Outstanding athlete at the NCC Outdoor Championships, won the 100M and 200M at the meet. Green a six-time all-American, ran a :10.33 in the 100M dash, which is the third-fastest time in NCAA Division II this season. In the 200M dash, he recorded a clocking of :21.07 to break sophomore teammate Ronnie McDougle's, (Pompano, FL) school-record time of :21.70. He also won the University/College Division of the 100M (:10.49) at the Drake relays in Des Moines, IA on April 25-27. It was Green's first title at the Drake Relays. Green was the national runner-up in the 60M dash at the 2002 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships last March, clocking a school-record time of :6.73. In 2000, Green was a double winner at the NCC outdoor championships with titles in the 100M dash (:10.30) and the 200M dash (:21.30).
In addition to Green, four-time all-American junior Ryan Finley, Omaha, NE, will also be running in the 200M dash. Finley overcame North Dakota State's Marques Johnson in the final 30 meters to finish second in :21.49 behind Green at the NCC outdoor championships. Finley also took second behind teammate senior John Kehoe, Rapid City, in the 400M dash in :48.35 at the NCC meet. Two weeks ago, Finley won the Howard Wood Dakota Relay 400M dash title with a time of :48.21. Finley also was a part of the national runner-up indoor 4x400M relay (:3:12:26) and he was eighth in the 400M dash (:48.51) at the national indoor meet last March. He was the 400M dash champion (:48.29) at the 2000 NCC outdoor meet.
All-American senior John Kohoe, Rapid City, the 2002 NCC outdoor 400M dash champion (:47.75), will compete in the 400M dash at the national meet. Kehoe finished fifth in the 200M dash (:21.86) and was a member of the second-place 4x400M relay at the NCC meet. Kehoe was also a part of the national runner-up 4x400M relay at the NCAA Division II indoor meet (:3:12.26).
Senior Josh Hofer, Freeman, will compete in the 110M hurdles at the national meet. At last week's NCC outdoor championships, Hofer finished second in the 110M hurdles with a time of 14.62. Hofer won the 2001 NCC title in the event with a time of :14.50 at last year's outdoor meet. Hofer, who was recently named to the NCC academic honorable mention at-large team, has the best time in the NCC this outdoor season, clocking a :14.38 in the prelims at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays (May 3).
The men's 4x400M and 4x100M relays should also vie for spots at the national meet. The 4x400M relay, which features senior Erik VanLaecken, Parkston, sophomore Ronnie McDougle, Pompano, FL, Finley, and Kehoe ran the eighth fastest time in NCAA Division II this season with a 3:12.14 at the Drake Relays. Last week, the relay finished second in 3:16.23 at the NCC championships. The men's indoor 4x400M relay was the 2002 national runner-up (3:12.26). The 4x100M relay (McDougle, junior Pat Belling, Omaha, Finley, Green) ran a :40.80 at the Godfather's Division II Challenge in Emporia,KS.
Sophomore Derek Pelc, Norfolk, NE, and junior Paul Brozik, Winner, will compete in the high jump. Brozik was a double winner at the NCC outdoor championships, winning high jump event (6'10 3/4'') and long jump (23'10''). Pelc finished sixth in the high jump (6'10.75''). At the Howard Wood Dakota Relay, Pelc and Brozik tied for first (6'10.5'') Brozik won the NCC indoor title (6'10.75''). Pelc who was second at the 2001 NCC Outdoor Championships (6'6''), finished third nationally indoors (6'-9.75'').
Freshman Sam Pribyl of Webster, continues to make fast progress in the pole vault event. After a quiet indoor season, Pribyl has stood out in the outdoor season, winning the event at the Sioux City Relays (15'9'') and the Northwest Missouri State Open (15'1''). At last week's NCC championships, Pribyl reached a personal best, finishing second with a vault of 16'3''. Pribyl is a three-time South Dakota prop champion.
In addition to Pelkofer, freshman Marci Miller, Rapid City, will compete in the pole vault event. Miller reached a personal best and freshman record of 12'1.75'' at last week's North Central Conference Championships. Miller also was second at the Sioux City Relays (11'6'') and at the Emporia State D-II Challenge (11'5.75''). At the 2002 NCAA Division II Indoor Championships, Miller finished fourth (11'7.75'').
Senior Mandy Muller returns to the national outdoor meet in the discus and hammer throws. At last year's NCAA Division II Outdoor meet, Muller was ninth in the hammer throw (160'11''), 15th in the discus (135'2'') and 15th in the shot put (42'3.5''). This season, Muller won her first NCC title in the hammer throw with a toss of 163'2'' at last week's outdoor meet. Muller tied with Minnesota State, Mankato's Kortney Ihnen, but Muller threw the winning mark on her second throw. Muller also was fourth in the shot put with a mark of 41'9.5''.
Sophomore Brianne Vette, Spearfish, will compete in the heptahlon after finishing second at the NCC Multi-Event championships on April 30. Vette finished the competition with 4,686 points, behind defending national champion Meredith Davis of Morningside, who had a two-day total of 5,504 points. On the second day, Vette moved from fourth to second as she had a long jump of 18'2'' (715 points), a javelin throw of 102'3'' (499 points) and she ran the 800M run in 2:27.93 (717 points). On day one, Vette was fourth with 2,753 points as she threw the shot put 34'3 1/2'' (559 points), finished the 100M hurdles in :15:44 (784 points), recorded a clocking of 26.62 (748 points) in the 200M run and had a high jump of 5'0 1/2'' (666 points).
Sophomore Jennie Buller will run the 3,000M steeplechase, an event she won at the 2002 NCC outdoor meet with a school record time of 11:15.95. Buller also won the 3,000M steeplechase in 11:29.41 at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays.