BROOKINGS — South Dakota freshman Sara Reifenrath captured three titles, broke two school records and earned the league’s Newcomer of the Championship on Sunday at the Summit League Championships inside the Sanford Jackrabbit Athletic Complex.
South Dakota took second in the women’s team race with 146 points, while the USD men finished third on the men’s side with 148 points. The Coyotes nabbed five women’s and three men’s individual titles.
Reifenrath took home the gold in the 200 meters, 400 meters and 4x400-meter relay. She bettered her own school records for both the individual events, clocking 23.73 seconds for the 200 meters and 53.55 seconds for the 400 meters. The 400-meter time moves her to 34th in the nation. Reifenrath is the only woman in USD history to clock under 54 seconds in the 400 meters or under 24 seconds in the 200 meters. She captured the first golds by a Coyote in any of the three events since USD joined the league in 2012. She totaled 22.5 points over the weekend to earn the Newcomer award. Arizona transfer Jennie Baragar-Petrash swept the three distance races for NDSU to steal away the Track MVP award from Reifenrath.
The Coyote women’s 4x400-meter relay took the gold at the end of the meet with Reifenrath on the anchor carry. The squad clocked 3:46.46 for the sixth-fastest time in USD history. Sophomore Madison Jochum, senior Holly Gerberding and senior Alli Wroblewski joined her on the relay.
Sophomore Gen Hirata vaulted a lifetime best of 14-3 ¼ (4.35m) to win her first Summit pole vault title. Hirata moved to seventh in the NCAA with the height, solidifying her entry to the NCAA Indoor Championships in two weeks. She was joined on the podium by teammates Landon Kemp and Makiah Hunt. Kemp cleared a season-best 13-8 ¼ (4.17m) and Hunt made 13-2 ¼ (4.02m) for second and third, respectively. Seven Coyotes totaled 36 of the 39 available points in the event.
Sophomore Brithton Senior defended his Summit League title in the men’s 60-meter hurdles. He captured the gold in 7.99 seconds, with sophomore Hugo Morvan on his heels placing second in 8.00 seconds. Both clocked season-bests in yesterday’s preliminaries, with Senior’s time of 7.77 seconds moving him into 10th nationally.
After a pair of all-league finishes the last two years, junior Jack Durst nabbed his first career Summit title. He jumped 6-10 ¼ (2.09) to win the meet. Durst also took fourth in the triple jump. The Coyotes swept the podium and grabbed 28 total points in the high jump. Redshirt-freshman Ethan Heitman took the silver with a height of 6-8 ¼ (2.04m), while senior Travis Larson earned the bronze with a height of 6-6 ¼ (1.99m).
Gerberding (pentathlon) and senior Ethan Bray (pole vault) added a pair of Summit titles from Saturday’s competition.
Sophomore Dylan Kautz finished runner-up in the men’s 60 meters with a clocking of 6.86 seconds. Kautz was also fourth in the 200 meters.
Freshman Jacob Jenkins took home the silver in the men’s triple jump by leaping 46-8 (14.22m).
Earning all-Summit honors for the first time in her career was junior Josephine Starner in the shot put. She launched the shot a personal best distance of 48-10 ¼ (14.89m). Starner ranks fourth in school history with the mark.
Junior Merga Gemeda placed third in the men’s 5,000 meters with a career best time of 14:33.81. This marks his second-straight year of earning all-league honors in the 5,000. Gemeda added a pair of seventh-place finishes in the mile and 3,000 meters.
Junior Haley Arens made the podium in the women’s 800 meters, crossing the finish line in 2:14.50 for third. She’s earned all-league honors for the last two years as a member of the Coyotes’ distance medley relay, but earned her first individual award today. Arens also finished seventh in the mile.
Freshman Demar Francis earned all-Summit honors with a third-place finish in the men’s 200 meters. He clocked a collegiate best 21.47 seconds in the meet. He ranks third in program history with the time.
SDSU freshman Jaiden Boomsma (Yankton) finished third in the 60-meter dash, finishing in 7.63 seconds.
South Dakota wraps up the indoor season with the NCAA Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on March 11-13.