JC women contender at DAC meetJim Clark has been the women’s track and field coach at Jamestown College for more than three decades, so when he says things like “most rewarding” and “a season I will cherish” about his current team, that’s a pretty good indication of the kind of indoor season it has been. The Jimmies are in Spearfish, S.D., today for the two-day Dakota Athletic Conference meet and are expected to be in a three-way showdown for the DAC title.
Jim Clark has been the women’s track and field coach at Jamestown College for more than three decades, so when he says things like “most rewarding” and “a season I will cherish” about his current team, that’s a pretty good indication of the kind of indoor season it has been.
The Jimmies are in Spearfish, S.D., today for the two-day Dakota Athletic Conference meet and are expected to be in a three-way showdown for the DAC title.
“This has been one of the most rewarding indoor seasons I can remember,” said Clark, in his 32nd season at JC. “It has been fun watching everyone improve and new events qualified each week.”
The Jimmies, meet host Black Hills State and Dickinson State are the conference’s top teams.
The Yellow Jackets are strong in the throws, long distance events and pole vault. The Blue Hawks are heavy on speed, jumps and vaults, while the Jimmies currently have the best performance so far in the 60 hurdles and pentathlon (Sarah Skipper), 400 (AnnaLiesa Fauth) and 800 (Alyssa Bossler), while Katie Conlon leads the entire NAIA in the 3000 (10:00.84) and has the best DAC time in the mile.
The Jimmies could clean up in the 400 with Fauth, Katie Zent, Stephanie Erlandson and Marissa Curry all in the top eight. They’re also strong in the 800 where Bossler, Madey Hornung and Emmylyn Bentley have three of the top four times.
The Jimmies also are the returning champions in the 4x800 relay, and the throwing contingent — led by Jill Schlenker and Megan Vote — is better than last year.
“We are a more solid team this year. We have more potential to score in more areas, even though we probably won’t win some of the events we won a year ago,” Clark said. “We have the capability of scoring in every event, possibly with the exception of the 60 meter dash.”
The Jimmies already have all three of their relay teams qualified for the NAIA meet March 4-6 in Johnson City, Tenn., making this weekend more about open events.
Black Hills State is the defending conference champ. Dickinson State was a close second and the Jimmies about 40 back in third last year.
“Whatever happens, this will be a season I will cherish,” Clark said.
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The Jimmie men don’t possess the overall firepower the women do in sheer numbers or potential placers, but still should leave the Black Hills with some hardware.
“Team-wise we’re a little shallow, but we have some guys we think should be able to compete at a pretty high level,” JC men’s coach Ed Crawford said. “We’re looking for good, solid performances that keep us going in the right direction towards the outdoor season.”
Andrew Stoen leads the conference in the pole vault with a mark of 15-1 and has come close to 15-3 a couple times.
“Andrew has had a really nice season. Hopefully he’s able to have another PR and get us a win,” Crawford said.
Josh Ewalt, who missed all of last season recuperating from a football injury, is the DAC’s top multi-eventer so far, with 4,429 points in the pentathlon, which currently ranks him seventh nationally. He also has the second-best time in the open hurdles and is fifth in the high jump.
Lief Rasmussen will run in both the 800 and mile and should be competitive in both.
“Lief is running well. He’s really fit right now,” Crawford said.
J.J. Koerber also has a chance to place in the distance events for the Jimmies, especially the 1000.
Kelly Roemmich, Nathan Christensen and Cody Roland also could make noise in the 800.
Robert Nelson has been the team’s top thrower and should place in both the shot and weight throw for coach Ed Crawford’s team.
“Robert has a chance to be a national qualifier and should be real competitive at the conference level.”
The pentathlon and heptathlon kick off the meet today at 10 a.m. The pole vault, weight throw, women’s triple jump and 5000 meters also will be held today. Everything else is Saturday.
Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at email@example.com