Eldon Warner-CB  Jefferson-S.Dakota
©Molly Schiermeyer-Coyotes Athletics 2018

Iowans Propel Coyotes at Jack Johnson

Eldon Warner-CB  Jefferson-S.Dakota ©Coyotes Athletics 2019

Eldon Warner-CB Jefferson-S.Dakota
©Coyotes Athletics 2019

A new meet record by senior Megan Billington, a school record by senior Lara Boman and eight event wins highlighted South Dakota in action at the Jack Johnson Classic on Saturday.

Courtesy Coyotes Athletics, click here! feature photo: Eldon Warner-CB Jefferson-S.Dakota©Molly Schiermeyer-Coyotes Athletics 2018

Billington broke her own meet record as she won the 5,000-meter run for the second-straight year. She lapped the field as she clocked 16 minutes, 48.62 seconds, a time two seconds shy of her career best. With the time conversion for track size, Billington moves to the top of the league and 46th nationally in the event. The Coyotes have dominated the 5,000 meters at the Jack Johnson in recent history, winning the event for seven-straight years dating back to 2013. Sophomore Abby Ripperda placed third in 17:37.60, while the Coyotes also picked up fifth, seventh, eighth and ninth place in the field.

Boman was the top collegiate finisher as she launched the weight throw 70-5 to break her own school record. The mark is four feet further than her previous best. She moved to 11th in the nation with the throw.

Junior Chris Nilsen captured the pole vault, clearing 18-8 ¾ and every bar leading up to it on his first attempted. The height ranks third in the NCAA. Classmate Nick Johnson finished runner-up with a vault of 16-10 ¼.

The Coyotes swept the top-three spots in the men’s high jump as freshman Jack Durst edged out junior Zack Anderson for first place. Both cleared 7-0 ¼, but Durst cleared the bar on a first-attempt make to earn the title. Durst moves into a tie for 29th nationally for the height, while Anderson’s season-best of 7-3 ¼ sits ninth. Sophomore Travis Larson finished third on Saturday in 6-9 ¾.

With a middle-distance sweep, senior Eldon Warner took gold in both the mile and 800 meters. He clocked a season-best of 4:09.05 in the mile, which moves him to 42nd in the nation when converted for track size. Warner captured the 800 in 1:55.88.

Sophomore Macy Heinz captured the women’s 800 meters in 2:13.99, a time less than a second shy of her indoor best set last weekend. Senior Mallory Fine placed third in 2:16.30.

Nearing USD’s program record in the event, junior Ellie Wilson captured the 600 meters in 1:36.68.

Junior Helen Falda’s pole vault title in 14-2 on Friday night rounded out the Coyotes’ eight event titles. South Dakota has won 33 titles at the Jack Johnson Classic since 2011.

The junior duo of Samara Spencer and Britny Kerr both compiled a handful of top-three finishes in Minnesota. Spencer placed second in the 60 meters (7.59), second in the high jump (5-4 ¼), second in the long jump (18-0 ½) and third in the triple jump (37-9 ¼). Kerr finished runner-up in the 60 hurdles (8.91), second in the triple jump (38-7 ½) and third in the high jump (5-2 ¼).

Seniors Ethan Fenchel and Ben Hammer placed second in their respective throwing events. Fenchel launched the weight throw 67-4 ¼, three inches shy of his school record set earlier this season. Hammer sent the shot put 58-5 ¼.

Junior Blake Vande Hoef finished runner-up in the long jump with a leap of 21-7 ½.

In the short sprints, junior Tasheka Gordon placed third in 7.68 for 60 meters while senior Alanisse Williams took third in the 60-meter hurdles in 8.94 seconds.

On the men’s side, junior Habib Jallow took third in the 60-meter hurdles in 8.42 seconds, while freshman Collin Brison placed third in the 200 meters in 22.73 seconds.

South Dakota returns home to host its lone indoor meet of the season next Saturday. The Dakota Realty Alumni Meet will be held inside the DakotaDome with field events beginning at 11 a.m. and running events to follow at 1 p.m.