CSC finishes strong at RMAC Indoor

SPEARFISH, S.D. – After having what coach Ryan Baily called an outstanding opening day at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championships hosted by Black Hills State on Friday, Chadron State College track and field athletes turned in another exceptional performance Saturday.

The Eagles' men team scored 151 points, their all-time high at the conference's indoor meet, while earning runner-up honors. The CSC women tallied 77 points and were fourth in the team standings.

Adams State repeated as the conference champion in both team races.

On Saturday, two CSC men-Phil Rivera in the 400 meters and Skylar Hoopes in the pole vault-joined Charith Kapukotuwa, the winner of the weight throw Friday, as conference champions.

Rivera ran a career-best 49.52-second 400 while winning his fourth RMAC sprint race and Hoopes cleared a career-best 15-6 ½.

As had been anticipated, the sprints, vault and weights were strong areas for the CSC men.

Four Eagles placed in the 200 meters, led by runner-up Dean Francis in 22.28 seconds. Rivera placed fifth in the race while Brandon Segelke was seventh and Alex Graham eighth.

Earlier, Graham was second and Segelke was sixth in the 60 dash.

Four Eagles placed in the shot put. Kapukotuwa was second at 53-1 ½, followed by sophomores Kyle McCarty and Daniel Sotelo in third and fourth, respectively, and freshman Dylan Brant in seventh.

Like Hoopes, the Eagles' Kolten Jelden cleared 15-6 ½ while sharing second place in the pole vault. Hoopes got the gold medal because he had one fewer miss than Jelden. In addition, freshman Joe Hoffman was fifth with a career-best 15-2 ½, some 15 inches better than his best last year when he was a high school senior.

Also earning lots of points for the Eagles was senior Lanar Newman. He had a season- best mark of 48-¾ to place second in the triple jump, and also finished third in the long jump and fourth in the 60-meter hurdles.

Elsewhere in the men's competition, five of the eight placewinners in the heptathlon were Chadron State entries. Hunter Dittbenner edged Greg Rodriguez by 16 points for second place, Kelly Troester was fifth, Sean Munger sixth and Zerek Jones seventh.

Troester, a senior from Crawford, also received a plaque as the RMAC's Outstanding Male Scholar-Athlete.

Like the men, the CSC women also scored numerous points in the throws and the pole vault. Alyssa Norton was the runner-up in both the shot put and the weight throw, while Mel Herl and Cyndi Thomas placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in both of the events.

Like her brother in the men's pole vault, Kaelie Jelden was second in the women's vault by clearing 11-6 ½. Her teammates Josey Pehringer and Erin Krause were fifth and sixth, respectively.

Also doing well for the CSC women were Chelsea Murray and Shelby Bonzer. They finished third and fifth, respectively, in the pentathlon on Friday. Then on Saturday, Bozner was fourth and Murray seventh in the high hurdles.

Both Chadron State 4x400 relay teams placed second. Western State edged the CSC men for the gold medals in the men's race by a tenth of a second. Adams State won the women's race.

While the conference meet ended the indoor season for a majority of the Eagles, Baily said he anticipates that Graham in the 60 dash and Kapukotuwa in the weight throw will qualify for the NCAA Division II National Championships in Birmingham, Ala., on March 8 and 9.

The CSC placings at the conference meet follow:
Women's Events
60 high hurdles-4, Shelby Bozner, 9.09; 7, Chelsea Murray, 9.39.
4x400 relay-2, Chadron State, 4:04.44.
Distance medley relay-8, Chadron State, 13:25.66.
Shot put-2, Alyssa Norton, 44-10 ½; 4, Mel Herl, 44-8 ¾; 5, Cyndi Thomas, 43- ¼.
Weight throw-2, Alyssa Norton, 53-5; 4, Mel Hurl, 50-8; 5, Cyndi Thomas, 49-11.
Pole vault-2, Kaelie Jelden, 11-6 ½; 5, Josey Pehringer, 10-6 ¾; 6, Erin Krause, 10- ¾;
Pentathlon-3, Chelsea Murray, 3,320; 5, Shelby Bozner, 3,229.
Men's Events
60-2, Alex Graham, 6.84; 6, Brandon Segelke, 7.08.
200-2, Dean Francis, 22.28; 5, Phil Rivera, 22.46; 7, Brandon Segelke, 22.74; 8, Alex Graham, 23.03.
400-1, Phil Rivera, 49.52; 8, Gavan Archibald, 51.08.
60 high hurdles-4, Lanar Newman, 8.41; 6, Matt Mathiason, 8.58.
4x400 relay-2, Chadron State, 3:22.59.
Shot put-2, Charith Kapukotuwa, 53-1 ½; 3, Kyle McCarthy, 51-6 ½; 4, Daniel Sotelo, 50-11 ½; 7, Dylan Brant, 47-7 ¼.
Weight throw-1, Charith Kapukotuwa, 58-9 ½.
Long jump-3, Lanar Newman, 23- ¼; 4, Barrett Browne, 23-0.
Triple jump-2, Lanar Newman, 48- ¾; 8, Xavier Kvistad, 43-4 ½.
High jump-6, Zerek Jones, 6-2 ¾.
Pole vault-1, Skylar Hoopes, 15-6 ½; 2-3 tie, Kolten Jelden, 15-6 ½; 5, Joe Hoffman, 15-2 ¾.
Heptathlon-2, Hunter Dittbenner, 4,381 points; 3, Greg Rodriguez, 4,365; 5, Kelly Troester, 4,152; 6, Sean Munger, 4,109. 7, Zerek Jones, 4,039.

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