Track & Field

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Rains and Wetering Named Outstanding Indoor Track & Field Athletes;

Smith, Gottsleben, Schuck and Fulkrod Named Coaches of the Year

Kaitlin Rains of Minnesota State and Tyler Wetering of South Dakota have been named the Outstanding Athletes for their efforts at the North Central Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships held February 23 & 24 in Vermillion, S.D.

Steve Smith of Nebraska-Omaha, Dave Gottsleban of South Dakota, Mark Schuck of Minnesota State and John Fulkrod of Minnesota Duluth have been named the North Central Conference Indoor Track and Field Coaches of the Year announced today by the conference office. The award is voted on by the conference's track and field coaches. Smith represents the women's coaches while Schuck, Gottsleban and Fulkrod was honored by the men's coaches.

Rains, a sophomore from Spring Lake Park, Minn., set a new NCC record in winning the pole vault with a height of 13-5 3/4, beating the second-place vaulter by 2 feet, 3 1/2 inches. She also took home a NCC title in long jump with a leap of 18-5 3/4 and finished third in the triple jump with a mark of 37-7 1/4.

Wetering, a senior from Sioux Falls, S.D., pulled off a nearly impossible feat in leading South Dakota to the team title with a narrow victory over Minnesota State. In the final afternoon of competition, Wetering won the mile run in 4:21.67 at about 12:20, then won the 1000-meter run in 2:29.60 which began at 1:55 and the 3000-meter run in 8:37.58 which started at 2:40 to give USD the 223.5 points needed to outdistance Minnesota State's 222 points.

Smith led the Nebraska-Omaha women's team to the team championship with 162.5 points, the first indoor track and field title for the Mavericks since the first NCC championship in 1981. Nebraska-Omaha had seven champions, Molly Belling (60 and 200), Karin Clarkson (400), Angela Kampschneider (500), LaCheryl Prince (triple jump), the 4x400 relay team of Clarkson, Kampschneider, Pinar Saka and LaVerne Monger and the distance medley relay team of Kelli Mertes, Kampschnieder, Mary Margaret Nelson and Tahnee Tuenge. It is the first time that Smith has been recognized by his peers as Coach of the Year.

Gottsleben led South Dakota to the championship in the closest finish in NCC history, 223.5 to 222 over Minnesota State. The Coyotes had 10 champions: Stefan Logan (60-meter dash), Tyler Wetering (mile, 1000, 3000), Scott Hargens (800), Tony Turgeon (5000), Terry Liggins (60 hurdles), 4x400 relay (Ben Oberle, Tyler Williamson, Josh Jeffrey, Hargens), Colte Haines (triple jump) and Preston Scott (weight throw). Gottsleben has been named the NCC Coach of the Year, either indoor or outdoor, eight times in his tenure at USD.

Schuck led Minnesota State to second place in that close race that came down to the home stretch of the 4x400 relay. MSU had six champions: Kelvin Rodgers (200-meter dash), Nate Pieper (400), distance medley relay (Chris Jacobson, Brady Flies, Pat Lehmann, Jon Stoltman), Jim Dilling (high jump, long jump), Brady Kinneman (pole vault). It is the second consecutive and overall time that Schuck has been honored by his indoor peers in his ninth year at the helm of the track and field program.

Fulkrod is being honored for the first time in his career for leading Minnesota Duluth to third place in the NCC men's championship with 114 points. The Bulldogs had two champions: Pete Klopp (500) and James Martinsen (shot put).