Race to nationals

Vikings place 3rd, 5th at NSIC Championships



As the indoor season comes to a close, the Augustana track and field team heads into the outdoor season with some serious hardware.

At the NSIC Championships this past weekend, the women placed third in their division scoring 87 points. The men placed 5th with 69.5 points, just 5.5 points behind the third place finisher, University of Sioux Falls.

14 Augustana athletes claimed All-NSIC honors in a total 13 events. Athletes named NSIC champions in their individual events included freshmen Callie DeWitt (60-meter dash) and Carly Rahn (600-meter run), sophomore Emily Tromp (1000-meter run), and juniors Josh Barrows (800-meter run) and Anthony Huber (weight throw). The men’s distance medley team of Zach Tuschen, Ryan Stiles, Barrows and Austin Miller also scored a first-place finish.

“The indoor season is a springboard for the outdoor season,” assistant coach Scott Tanis said. “We view the year as one long progression, and it’s our goal to continue getting better as we move into March, April and May. We’ll continue working hard, and will look to improve on the performances we had indoors.”

Barrows placed first in the men’s 800-meter run during the 2016-2017 season, and reclaimed his title with a time of 2:59.45.

“The mental aspect is huge in track and field,” Barrows said. “A big thing for me this year has been trying to gain control of my emotions and composure before races. My coach tells me again and again this year to ‘treat it like a business meeting’…[and] I have really tried to embrace that this year.”

Standout freshman DeWitt placed first in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.61 in the finals, breaking the Augustana school record for the second time this year. DeWitt also placed second in long jump with 5.57-meter finish.

“Being a freshman on the track team is so fun,” DeWitt said. “I was really intimidated at first, but the upperclassmen are so friendly, and I feel like a part of the track family, not just the team. They really make it worth it.”

Six athletes qualified for the National Indoor track and field meet, including Anthony Huber in the weight throw, Barrows in the 800-meter dash, and the distance medley relay team of Carly Rahn, Valarie Gildemaster, Cassidy Soli and Emily Tromp.

“We’re always trying to build and enhance our culture, and this year is no different,” Tanis said. “In many ways, that effort is athlete-led, and the coaches can only do so much—it’s ultimately up to the athletes to guide each other and hold one another accountable.”

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