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Six Coyotes to travel to USA Track and Field Championships

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USD Coyotes
USD Coyotes

VERMILLION, S.D.(KWSN) – Six South Dakota track and field athletes will compete at the USA Track and Field Championships which starts Wednesday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa. Five of the six are freshmen and will compete at the junior level of the USA Championships, which is held for athletes under the age of 20.

The group will be led by a trio of freshmen pole vaulters. Peter Chapman will lead off by competing in the junior men’s pole vault on Thursday at 4:45 p.m.  Chapman, this year’s Howard Wood Relays champion, has a season-best height of 16 feet, 8 inches.

Hunter Wilkes and Madison Mills will compete in the women’s pole vault on Friday at 1:15 p.m.  Wilkes was ranked 23rd in Division I this season with a height of 13-5¾, while Mills was 27th with a height of 13-5¼. The two have the fifth- and sixth-best heights in the field.

Those two will also compete against future teammate Emily Brigham, who will start classes at USD in August.  Brigham enters competition with the fourth-best height of 13-6¼.  

Outside of Mills and Wilkes, two more USD athletes will compete on Friday.  Coming off a 20th-place finish at the NCAA Championships, Meghan Dennis will partake in the junior women’s javelin at noon.  Dennis has the third-best mark in the field with a high-mark this season of 159-3. 

On the men’s side, Christian Nielsen will race in the junior men’s 200-meters at 12:45 p.m. He has a top-time of 21.39 seconds, which is 11th-best entering competition.

Megan Glisar will be USD’s only representative at the senior level when she competes in the high jump at 2:45 p.m. on Saturday. The sixth-place finisher at the NCAA Championships has a season-best height of 6-0, which is 13th-best in the event.

Bethany Buell, who won the Division I pole vault championship on June 7, will not compete at the USA Championships after having surgery to repair a torn ligament in her left shoulder.

Courtesy of University of South Dakota

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