May 15, 2005
DAVIS, Calif. - North Dakota State men won 10 events on Sunday while the UC Davis women captured four as both squads claimed overall team titles at the inaugural NCAA Division I Independents Track and Field Championships at Woody Wilson Track.
North Dakota State trailed host UC Davis after Saturday's first day of competition but had seven victories in running events and three more in the field to finish with 245.5 points. The Aggies, who picked up individual titles from Matt Chisam in the 110-meter high hurdles and Ryan Frank in the shot put, tallied 171 points and placed second. South Dakota State took third with 88 points and was followed by Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (73), Portland (63), Northern Colorado (60.5) and Utah Valley State (50).
UC Davis held a 24-point lead in the women's team standings after Saturday and posted wins by Danielle Green in the 100, Rochelle Carter in the 400 hurdles and Kim Gleeson in the shot put, with Gleeson setting a school record at 47 feet, 6.25 inches. UC Davis also won the meet-ending 4x400 relay. The Aggies scored 219 points to out-distance North Dakota State which was second with 141 after scoring six titles on Sunday. Utah Valley State took third with 106 points and was followed by South Dakota State (93), Northern Colorado (64), Portland (35), Indiana-Purdue-Ft. Wayne (25), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (21) and San Francisco (16).
North Dakota State's Andrew Aakre won the triple jump, was second in the long jump and 110 high hurdles, took third in the 400 hurdles and was sixth in the discus and was named the men's athlete of the meet. The Bison's Nicole Rieck captured the 200 and 400 and was named the women's athlete of the meet along with South Dakota State's Sheena Dauer, who finished first in both the 5,000 and 10,000 runs.
North Dakota State men's coach Don Larson was named the Division I Independents Men's Coach of the Year while Aggie coach Deanne Vochatzer was named the Division I Independents Women's Coach of the Year. The meet was open to any Division I school not affiliated with a conference championship.
"That meet was everything we hoped for and more," said Aggie men's coach Jon Vochatzer. "I think it's just going to keep growing and growing, even after we leave for the Big West."
The Bison men showed their strength in the sprints and short races, capturing wins in the 100 (10.54) and 200 (21.05) by Allen Burrell, by Jared Essler (47.38) in the 400, and by Dylan Spitzer (52.79) in the 400 hurdles (52.79). North Dakota State also won the 4x100 (40.92) and 4x400 (3:11.81) relays. Other victories on Sunday for the Bison came from Eric Palmquist (1:51.89) in the 800, Marc Steckler (16-7.50) in the pole vault (48-8.75), Aakre in the triple jump (48-8.75) and Riley Dolezal (207-6) in the javelin.
North Dakota State was particularly strong in the 800 where it went 1-2-3-4 and in the 400 hurdles where it claimed the top three spots.
UC Davis gave chase to the Bison on Sunday, highlighted by the performance of senior decathlete Matt Chisam who placed in four events on the weekend. He was second in the high jump on Saturday before winning the 110 high hurdles on Sunday in a season-best tying 14.70. He added second-place finishes in both the pole vault (15-7.75) and javelin (194-6), the former which was a season-best and the latter which was a personal-best mark that vaulted him into the No.6 position all-time at UC Davis. Chisam scored 34 points for the Aggies in the meet.
UC Davis' other event win on Sunday came from senior Ryan Frank, who followed up a title in the hammer and a second-place in the discus on Saturday with a first-place in the shot put (54-7.50) on Sunday.
The Aggie women used strong depth in several events to help them add to their winning total. UC Davis was particulary strong in both hurdles events, scoring 43 combined points in the 100 hurdles and 400 hurdles. Carter led four Aggies in the final of the long hurdles, winning the individual title in 1:01.30, a time that jumped her to No.4 all-time at UC Davis. Jessica Lorson had a career-best 1:02.01 and was second, Amy Purtle took third and Natalie Russell was seventh.
In the short hurdles, Gretchen Haussler was edged by .01 for first place by Kari Snow of Utah Valley State and tied her best non-wind-aided time of the year of 14.49. Caroline Sheldon added five team points with her fourth-place finish while Emily Azevedo picked up four more by placing fifth.
Deanne Vochatzer said a key to the Aggies' team title was depth, especially in an event like the hurdles.
"I'll hand it to the kids, when we packed it in, we packed it in," she said. "(Also), Danielle (Green) stepped up at the right time and Kim (Gleeson) came back in the shot put."
Gleeson, who was second in the discus and hammer on Saturday, surpassed her previous best of 45-3 in the shot put by more than two feet on Sunday. Her mark of 47-6.25 broke the school record of 46-4 set by Michelle Reis in 1998. Green improved her No.3 all-time position at UC Davis with a 12.12 time in her 100 victory. The Aggies also earned a title in the 4x400 where they went a season-best 3:44.99.
Deanne Vochatzer said the meet gave UC Davis an opportunity for a culminating championship in light of the Aggies' four-year reclassification to NCAA Divison I during which they are ineligible for NCAA Championships. UC Davis competed in the California Collegiate Athletic Association Championship in 2003 but did not have a conference-style meet last year.
"We just noticed our whole demeanor changed in the past week," she said. "We became a team again. The last week has been the best in the past two years."
North Dakota State earned runner-up honors after posting wins on Sunday by Rieck in the 200 and 400, by Sarah Klein in the 800, by Kimberly Hilton in the pole vault and by Cassandra Olson, who set a stadium record in the triple jump at 41-8.75.
On the men's side, the South Dakota State had a win by Brad Lowery in the 1,500 and Portland claimed a title by John Moore in the 5,000. For the women, Becka Mansheim of South Dakota State won the 1,500 while the Jackrabbits' Dauer captured the 5,000. Utah Valley State had victories by Amanda Olsen in the steeplechase and by Snow in the 100 hurdles. Olsen set a stadium record with her winning time of 10:39.10 in the steeplechase. Northern Colorado won the remaining event on Sunday as Kelley Cobb finished first in the javelin.
The UC Davis men and women each had 15 top-three finishes in the weekend meet.
The meet marked the final competition of the season for UC Davis.