Tiger track teams sweep Pipestone

In just their second outdoor meets of the season, the Marshall boys’ and girls’ track and field teams emerged with a pair of victories in Pipestone on Friday. How they won, however, was an entirely different manner.

The girls’ team took top honors in eight events, including three from Sarah Buysse, and cruised to 211 points. Southwest Minnesota Christian scored 99.5 points to take second place.

Marshall’s boys’ team eked past Redwood Valley by a half-point, 127-126.5. Andrew Bell ran 3200 meters in 10 minutes, 13 seconds to claim Marshall’s first event championship, while Promise Nkwocha leapt 41-feet-6.75 inches to take top honors in the Triple Jump.

“Promise had to be a close second in the voting for athlete of the meet with his second (place finish) in the 100 meter, his first place in the Triple Jump and his second place finish in the 300m hurdles,” Marshall boys’ head coach Mike Jacobs said. “He was certainly one of the star athletes.”

Nkwocha ran the 100 meter dash in 11.87 and complete the 300 meter hurdles in a time of 41.88, just two seconds off the conference record, despite not practicing the event in over a week.

“I think one day before the last snow storm and we were outside, he maybe practiced one 20 second segment on the intermediate hurdles and he hasn’t practiced since,” Jacobs said. “I just stuck him in there and he gets this 41.88. For somebody who hasn’t worked on it, to come in there and your first race to be in the 41-second range, that was just something that we haven’t seen from our hurdlers in a long, long time.”

Wade DeAustin also had an excellent meet for the Tigers, setting a personal record in the 1,600 meter run with a time of 4:57.

Though the Tigers just slipped past their Southwest Conference rivals, Jacobs said the measurables in general were encouraging.

“A lot of the times, the heights and the jumps are fairly respectable for it only being our second outdoor meet,” he said. “I think we’ve got a good start, it’s just a matter of juggling around some of the relays.”

If Nkwocha was nearly athlete of the meet on the boys’ side, than Marshall’s Sarah Buysse was undoubtedly the star of the girls’ competition.

Buysse won the 100 meter, 200 meter and 400 meter sprints with times of 13.14, 27.22 and 1:02.66 respectively. Friday was also Buysse’s first outdoor meet of the season.

“Sarah wasn’t with us in Austin, so that was her first outdoor meet and she was only with us for one of our indoor meets,” Marshall girls’ head coach Marie Sample said. “She really hasn’t had a lot of practice, and I’ve been working hard, training her for the 400. She really hasn’t been doing any sprint training. She’s very versatile at the moment, I can use her in the 100, 200, 400 or 800.”

Maddie Verschaetse also finished in first place in three events for the Tigers, completing the 800 meter run in 2:35.98, while participating on a pair of first-place relays.

Marshall’s 4×400 and 4×800 meter relay teams feature Verschaetse, Jenna Christianson and Nichole Sample. Claire Boersma runs on the 4×800 team, while Abby Louwagie is on the 4×400. The Tigers won the two events with times of 4:26.15 and 10:22.00.

“Maddie is a good leader, she’s our senior on that squad,” Sample said. “I kind of told her that this is your team and it’s being built to get you to state this year. Nichole and Claire, they’ve got lots of potential and years to come, but, Maddie, this is her last shot at it. We’re really kind of gearing it around Maddie and Jenna. They’re starting to gel and they’re starting to dream together.”

Rachel Miller and Kayla Wartner were the other individual champions for Marshall in Pipestone. Miller won the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 17.63, while Wartner set a personal record in the Shot Put at 30-06.

Both Marshall track and field teams will be back in action on Tuesday as they travel to Brookings (S.D.) for a meet.