UNK Track: Lopers Close out the Regular Season


Kearney, Neb. – The Nebraska track & field team finished up the regular season with three "Last Chance" meets this weekend.

On Friday, select Lopers competed at the Concordia Twilight in Seward as well as the Dr. Keeler Invitational at North Central College in Naperville, Ill. The next day, UNK was at the Nebraska Invitational in Lincoln.

Norfolk junior Nick Knudson, Seward junior Liz Damman and Elm Creek sophomore Danyell Coons led the way as each had an NCAA provisional effort.

At the Dr. Keeler, Knudson was third out of 51 in the steeplechase thanks to a 9:05.16. The time ranks him 10th nationally and also is the fourth fastest in school history.

Damman was in front of the pack as well as her 4:35.32 was the seventh best in a field of 58 in the women's 1,500 meter run. Ranking her 43rd in Division II, the time is the third best in Loper lore.

Coons, at Concordia, had two season-best tosses as she was third in the hammer (170-0) and fourth in the discus (144-2). She becomes just the fifth Loper woman to throw the hammer 170 or more.

Also in Seward, Omaha junior Morgan Hopkins was runner up in the 400 hurdles (1:04.16), Waco senior Jackie Ziemke was second in the shot (49-1) and Kansas freshman Abigayle Spilinek was second in the javelin (129-8).

In the pole vault, Hershey freshman Brooke Frederick (4th/11-7.75), Kearney junior Carly Hillburn (7th/11-1.75) and Lincoln freshman Mandy Rathje (9th/11-1.75) each went over 11 feet. On the men's side, Ogallala senior Michael Thalken was third in the hammer (183-6) with Kansas sophomore Taylor Neff fourth in the javelin (167-7).

Back in Illinois, Gordon redshirt freshman Cole Wellnitz was 14th out of 85 in the 1,500 (3:54.54) with Holdrege sophomore Jerod Schoneman six spots back (3:56.41). Finally, at UNL, Mitchell sophomore Chelsea Wickard (400 hurdles/1:03.98) and Ziemke (discus/138-9) won their respective events with Ziemke also the runner up in the shot (47-1.50).

Among other Lopers, Thalken was third in the hammer (185-4) with Lincoln senior Paul Pape third in the 800 (1:52.20) as was Colorado junior Stephanie Hutsell in the 400 (2:14.94).

The list of qualifiers for the NCAA Championships comes out early this week

Courtesy of UNK Media Relations