The Northern State indoor track and field team will start its season this Saturday.
The Wolves will compete at the Black Hills State Yellow Jacket Open in Spearfish. NSU will host its open meet next Saturday at the Barnett Center.
Former NSU cross country coach Kevin Bjerke is in his first season as the head track and field coach of the Wolves. He replaces long-time coach Jim Fuller, who is now an assistant at Central College in Iowa.
“It is exciting,” Bjerke said about his first season as a head coach. “I think our coaches in each event area all have some good athletes to work with and that is the part that is fun as a head coach, is seeing assistant coaches working closely with their event area and athletes and really helping them improve and getting them excited for the season. That is what makes it fun for me.”
Luke Hauert headlines the NSU men’s team.
The senior hurdler is a multiple time all-conference performer and has national meet experience.
“He had a very good fall and stayed very healthy,” Bjerke said, “which is going to be key for him. If he can stay healthy this season, we will look for him to really have a great year.”
A pair of middle distance runners, Jake Arechigo and Mark Gilkerson, are expected to have solid seasons, as well.
“Both are pretty seasoned upperclassmen now,” Bjerke said. “They have consistently improved every year and just have the experience now to really put it all together.”
Former NSU football player Gerardo Magana will anchor the throwing events for the Wolves. Magana joined the outdoor team last season after finishing up his eligibility with the NSU football team. He turned in a solid performance at the outdoor conference meet with an eighth place finish.
“He has worked really hard ever since,” Bjerke said, “because he wants to improve on that.”
A pair of newcomers, Andrew Johnson and Monte Meyerink, are expected to contribute this season. Johnson is an Aberdeen Central graduate and did not compete in track and field his first two years at NSU. His father, Kevin, was a former school record holder in the long jump for the Wolves.
“He came out this year and just looks really good,” Bjerke said about Andrew. “We are looking to him to contribute, both in the jumps and the sprints.”
Meyerink is a true freshman and could potentially compete in the multi-events for NSU, but will focus on jumps for now, Bjerke said.
This will be Mikayla Barondeau’s last season of an outstanding athletic career at NSU.
The 1,000-point basketball player and cross country runner is a senior this season for the NSU track and field team. She will compete in the middle distance events during the indoor season.
“She is healthy and looking very fit right now,” Bjerke said. “We are hoping that she can cap off her very good athletic career at Northern here in a good way with track.”
Junior Makayla Perryman is also expected to contribute in the middle distance events. The sprinters are perhaps the strength of the women’s team. The Wolves have four senior sprinters — Jill Schaefer, Nicolia Edwards, Maria Franker and Lindsey Fluharty — that are expected to score several points for NSU.
“They were all members of our school record setting (400-meter relay team) from last year,” Bjerke said. “We are looking at them to lead our team, both on and off the track.”
Hannah Treinen and Leandra Schlecht will be multi-event athletes once again.
“I’m really excited about where they are at and hopefully that they can put together a good season,” Bjerke said.
Calley Worth and Theresa Knapp will be solid pole vaulters for the Wolves. Freshman Breann Jackson is expected to contribute this season in the throwing events.
JANUARY — 12, at Black Hills State Open; 19, NSU Open; 25-26, at Mankato Open/Multi-Events.
FEBRUARY — 6, NSU/Moorhead Dual; 9, at NDSU Bison Open; 10-11, at NSIC Multi-Events; 15, at University of Nebraska-Lincoln Tune-Up; 15, at USD Twilight; 22-23, at NSIC Indoor Championships, Mankato, Minn.
MARCH — 8-9, NCAA Division II Indoor National Championships, Geneva, Ohio.
Mark Tetzlaff’s all-time South Dakota State scoring record was finally broken on Saturday.
SDSU senior point guard Nate Wolters passed Tetzlaff’s record last Saturday against rival South Dakota at the DakotaDome in Vermillion. When Wolters broke the record, Tetzlaff was in Aberdeen watching his son, Dustin, play for Northern State.
“I knew at some time it would be broken,” Tetzlaff said. “Nate is a great ball player. He is very worthy of the honor.”
Tetzlaff played for SDSU from 1981 to 1985 and finished with 1,931 career points. He is also the Jackrabbits’ all-time leading rebounder. Wolters finished with a game-high 26 points against USD and currently has 1,943 career points.
“He is kind of an amazing player with that driving shot that he does,” Tetzlaff said. “He is very good and I hope him the very best for this season and for future seasons possibly down the road for him.”
Tetzlaff, a former Hamlin standout, had Wolters' cellphone number and planned on calling him later on Saturday night to congratulate the NBA prospect. Unfortunately for Wolters and SDSU, it lost to USD 74-71 on Saturday.
“That always takes away from an honor when you lose a game,” Tetzlaff said, “but at the same time, he is having a terrific career.”
Sports writer Ryan Deal
Collin Pryor has been rewarded for helping the Northern State men’s basketball team get off to a good start.
The Wolves are 11-3 overall and tied for first in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference overall, as well as, the North Division. NSU and Moorhead — who the Wolves have already beaten — are tied for first in the North and Mankato is leading the South. All three are 6-1 in the NSIC.
Pryor was named NSIC men’s basketball player of the week for helping the Wolves beat NSIC defending champion Bemidji State and Minnesota-Crookston last weekend. The NSU senior from St. Charles, Ill., had a combined 33 points, 16 rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Pryor ranks 14th in the nation in free throw shooting percentage at 90.9 percent per game. He was a perfect 11-for-11 from the line this past weekend.
NSU plays at Mankato Friday and at Concordia-St. Paul Saturday.
In a Division I basketball battle of South Dakota starting post players Wednesday night, senior Colton Iverson (17 points and six rebounds) got the better of sophomore Cedrick Lang. The 6-foot-10 Iverson of Yankton led Colorado State to a 62-58 victory over the 6-foot-9 Lang (two points and six rebounds) of Sioux Falls O’Gorman and his UTEP teammates.
Former Yankton College player Rich Bisaccia (1979-82) has been named special teams and running backs coach at Auburn University.
NSU baseball coach Dean Berry will be one of the featured clinicians at the South Dakota High School Baseball Association’s annual coaches clinic Jan. 19 at the Ramkota Best Western Motel in Sioux Falls. Registration is $20 at the door, with lunch included.
South Dakota State student-athletes finished the recently completed fall semester with a collective 3.21 grade-point average.
The SDSU football team (9-4) finished 14th in the final Football Championship Subdivision media poll conducted by The Sports Network.
NSU sophomore men’s basketball player Michael Emge ranks 4th in the nation in three-point field goal percentage at 51.5 percent per game.
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