Women earn NCC indoor track title; men second

Women earn NCC indoor track title; men second
The South Dakota women's track and field team continued its dominance by winning its second-straight North Central Conference indoor championship as the league meet concluded Feb. 25 at the Myers Field House on the campus of Minnesota State, Mankato.

The USD women's team scored a school-record 206.5 points bettering its total of 203 points a year ago. The women recorded the fourth-best team point total in NCC history. Meanwhile, the South Dakota men's team, which won the 2005 title, was second with 171.33 points.

The USD women's dominance was evident throughout the sprint, distance and field events. Leading the way on Saturday was junior sprinter Stephanie Gebhart of Elkton, who won the 400-meter dash, finished second in the 200-meter dash and anchored the winning 4×400-meter relay.

Gebhart kept alive her unbeaten streak against collegiate competition by winning the 400-meter dash with a clocking of 55.43, which is an automatic qualifying mark to nationals. USD's Allison Smith, a freshman from Wahpeton, ND, finished seventh in 59.25.

Gebhart led the 4×400-meter relay to a title as USD recorded a NCAA provisional mark of 3:49.37, which converts to the sixth-best time in Division II. The 4×400-meter squad included junior Kiki Smith of Wahpeton, ND; junior Heidi Muellenberg of Redfield; senior Kassy Laber of Parkston, and Gebhart. In addition, Gebhart was second in the 200-meter dash with a provisional mark of 24.92.

"We had a great team performance today," said USD women's head coach Lucky Huber. "I want to especially commend this senior class, who has shown outstanding leadership all year. This is a great thing for our women's program, winning its sixth straight track and field or cross country league title."

I am very proud of our team. They worked hard all day and it showed in the results."

The men's team also shined on Saturday but couldn't match the depth of Minnesota State, Mankato, which finished with the men's title and scored 250 points.

The Coyote men's team had two individual titles and six second-place finishes on Saturday. Sophomore Terry Liggins of Omaha, NE, won the 60-meter hurdles with a national provisional qualifying mark of 8.08. Colte Haines, a sophomore from White Lake, won the triple jump at 45'10.

"I am very proud of our team. They worked very hard and gave it their all," said Dave Gottsleben, head coach of the men's squad.

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