Gebhart finishes second in the 400-meter dash to highlight USD at the NCAA championships

Gebhart finishes second in the 400-meter dash to highlight USD at the NCAA championships Sophomore Stephanie Gebhart earned three All-American honors and helped The University of South Dakota women's track and field team to a 15th-place finish at the NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships which ended Saturday night in Abilene, TX.

The USD men's team finished with eight team points and was 25th in the team standings at nationals.

Overall, USD track and field athletes set two school records and had five individual All-American performances with a total of nine USD athletes picking up All-American honors (4×400 meter relay) at the Division II nationals.

Gebhart, who now has nine career All-American honors, had a big day for South Dakota on Saturday. She finished second in the 400-meter dash, seventh in the 200-meter dash while anchoring the Coyotes' 4×400-meter relay squad to a seventh-place finish. Gebhart picked up All-American honors by breaking her own USD school record and state of South Dakota mark of 54.08 by clocking a 53.59 in the 400-meter dash.

The second-place finish in the 400-meter dash was Gebhart's highest individual finish ever at nationals. Later on Saturday night, she clocked a time of 24.43 and earned All-American honors with her seventh-place finish in the 200-meter dash. Then, she anchored the USD 4×400-meter team to a seventh-place finish with a clocking of 3:44.78. The squad, which received All-American honors, had a season's best time of 3:43.12 in the preliminary round of the 4×400-meter relay on Friday. Along with Gebhart, the team consisted of sophomore Heidi Muellenberg of Redfield, junior Kassy Laber of Parkston, and senior Amber Stoltenburg of Elkton.

Also on Saturday, Laber earned her sixth career All-American honor, including two at the 2005 nationals, with her sixth-place finish in the 800-meter run (2:13.70).

Senior Marci Miller of Rapid City, also picked up her sixth career All-American honor with a sixth-place finish in the pole vault (12'02).

Derek Gearman, a sophomore from Lennox, earned his second All-American honor at the 2005 nationals by placing sixth in the men's high jump on Saturday. Gearman, who was fourth in the triple jump (50'02.50) on Friday, had a jump of 6'09. Gearman tied for the fourth-best jump in the competition, but due to event criteria, finished sixth. Gearman, who now has four overall All-American honors, accounted for all eight USD men's team points.

Freshman Terry Liggins of Omaha, NE, finished ninth in the men's 110-meter hurdles with a clocking of 14.38. He had set a USD school record with a 14.22 in the preliminary round but finished one spot short of earning All-American honors in the finals.

South Dakota's senior women's hammer throwers both finished in the top-15 at the meet. Kassidi Bridge of Winner, was 13th with a throw of 163'06. Tiffany Barber of Chester, tossed the hammer 155'08.

Dan Tolsma of Vermillion, fouled on all three of his throw attempts and did not place in the men's hammer throw.

Lincoln University won the women's team competition with 108 points while Abilene Christian had 109 points to capture the men's team crown.

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