VERMILLION - A sunny afternoon saw a facility record and an Olympic Trial qualification for USD high jumper Zach Anderson during the South Dakota Challenge Saturday in Vermillion.
“Honestly, I have jumped at this bar a lot of times, so I was kind of just going into it knowing that I can make it and I've had good looks at in the past so might as well make it today,” Anderson said. “Things just happen on the first attempt which is always good, because then it doesn’t have time to get in your head.”
Anderson cleared seven feet, five inches to qualify for the Olympic Trials this summer in Oregon. The clearance also moved Anderson into a tie for first in the nation.
“Yeah, that's exciting,” Anderson said. “I was right there on that line for the last two years, but to know that I solidified the automatic standard was beyond crazy. It probably hasn't set in yet because it’s only been an hour but no, I'm definitely grateful for that. I can't wait. I can't wait to get out there.”
The Coyote men’s high jumpers rank first in the nation, and the squad set four personal bests Saturday to claim four of the top five spots. Jack Durst cleared seven feet to claim second. Blake Vande Hoef and Marshall Faurot took fourth and fifth respectively.
Faurot also saw action in the pole vault, where Ethan Bray cleared 18 feet for the second straight weekend. Bray won the event clearing 18 feet 2 ½ inches. Faurot set a new personal best in pole vault, clearing 17-6¾ to place third. USD’s Kaleb Ellis took fourth.
Kamberlyn Lamer continued her day one success in the heptathlon, winning the event scoring 5,332 points, and moving into ninth in the nation in the heptathlon. A strong second day for William Stupalsky moved him up from fifth to second in the overall standings. South Dakota State’s Evan Hieber pulled ahead of Mount Marty’s Mason Schleis in the first event of the day and held the lead for the rest of the day.
Other strong Coyote performers in the field include Carly Haring’s victory in the high jump and Ethan Heitman’s runner-up finish in the long jump. Sara Reifenrath had another strong day on the track, winning the 400-meter and anchoring the first place Coyote 4-by-400-meter relay team.
USD’s McKenna Herrmann won the 3,000-meter steeplechase. The Coyote men won the 4-by-100 relay by .02 seconds over South Dakota State. South Dakota’s Demar Francis and Mount Marty’s Paul Paul took second and third place respectively in the 400-meter dash.
In the team standings, the Coyotes took home first in both men’s and women’s. SDSU took second in the men’s competition but fifth in the women’s. Mount Marty placed seventh in the men’s competition, and 15 in the women’s.
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