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Men and women within striking distance after day one of NSIC Championships‏

Augustana Vikings
Augustana Vikings

WINONA, MN (KWSN) - Augustana qualified 21 athletes for event finals and are set up for high team finishes after the first day of competition at the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Friday.


The men's team sits in fourth place with 31 points and the women are in eighth with a 19-point total after day one. After day one Sioux Falls leads the men's side with 55 points and Wayne State women are in first at 45 points.


The men's team's fourth-place standing was fueled by a 26-point showing in the men's 10,000-meter run in which the Vikings placed five consecutive runners, finishing second to sixth.  Nathan Hauge (31:03.97) led the charge with a runner-up finish, followed by Paul Yak (31:15.20) in third, and Keegan Carda was hot on his tail in fourth. TJ Gleason took fifth in 31:23.75 and Glen Ellingson added the final three points with a sixth-place time of 31:28.34.


CJ Ham added the only other points for the Viking men on day one, taking fourth in the men's shot put. Ham hit an outdoor-season personal best, but was passed on his final throw by three centimeters as the Augustana thrower recorded a best heave of 15.88 meters (52-1 ¾) to finish one spot out of All-NSIC honors.


Kelsey Kaufmann won the women's high jump to complete the 2014 sweep after she won the indoor conference title this past February. Kaufmann was the lone jumper to clear 1.68 meters (5-6) in the 23-athlete field and hit a provisional mark for the third time in the outdoor season.


The women's team started off the day with eight points after Meritxell Delgado took second in the women's 10,000-meter run. Delgado's push with three laps to go wasn't enough to break the eventual winner and her 35:39.31 was good enough for second.


The women's long jump competition was a tight race as just three centimeters separated the final three placers. Colleen Everson's best leap of 5.51 meters (18-1) was good enough for eighth and added the final point to Augustana's women's day-one total.


Everson also qualified for two finals with teammate and fellow sprinter Carina Hofmeister. Hofmeister logged top-three qualifying times in the 200- and 400-meter dashes and Everson was the sixth-fastest qualifier in both events. Laura Popanz added another qualifier to the Viking women's team with a 12.39-second run that placed her sixth in the prelims.


Both teams look to score big in the 1,500-meter run as the men qualified four and the women three in the mid-distance event. Harald Karbo led the men in third with John Klecker (fifth), Henrik Hansson (seventh), and Jordan Slusser (eighth) joining him in the 12-athlete final. Kristin Brondbo was the top qualifier for the women, taking third in the prelims and she will be accompanied by Cassidy Soli and Kaitlyn Yoerg who qualified in fourth and fifth, respectively.


Augustana's men will be guaranteed several points in three events as they qualified eight more athletes in eight-man finals for tomorrow. Aduo Omot led the charge in the 800-meter run with the top qualifying time and he will be pushed by Hansson and Justin Cook who earned spots in the final with the third- and fifth-fastest qualifying times.


Ryan Heuer and Zach Jones look to lead a scoring charge in the men's hurdle events. Both Viking sophomores recorded times in the 110- and 400-meter hurdle prelims that placed them in the eight athlete fields. Jason Greenway clocked the fifth-fastest qualifying time in the 400-meter hurdles and will join Heuer and Jones who qualified second and third, respectively.


Augustana will look to score big in a pair of distance finals tomorrow as they bring in the top men's and women's qualifiers in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Kyle Blakeslee is the top woman in the conference and she is seeking her fourth straight NSIC title in the event. Karbo will be joined by Adam Braun in the men's race as the two Augustana men enter tomorrow's final with the top two times this season.


Augustana will also have six entrants in both the men's and women's 5,000-meter runs when they continue their charge up the team scoreboard. The women's 4x400-meter relay team enters with the second-fastest time this season in the conference and will compete for the title with U-Mary.


Competition resumes at 10 a.m. and will conclude at the 5 o'clock hour.

Courtesy: Augustana College