Sioux Falls cracks top 25 behind 10 provisional qualifying marks
Following a solid showing at the Nebraska Wesleyan Invitational last weekend, Sioux Falls took the largest jump of any team in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) poll, moving from unranked to No. 16 in the first regular-season edition of the National Computer Team Rankings released Tuesday.
"This is a monumental day for USF track and field," first-year USF head coach Reid Ehrisman said. "To see where we have come from, being a program that couldn't compete at an elite level in the NAIA just six years, to grow into a top-20 team in the NCAA, shows the commitment our coaches and student-athletes have made to hard work and continual improvement."
The Cougars have already hit 10 NCAA-Division II provisional qualifying marks in the long jump, pole vault and triple jump events.
The current provisional mark for the women's pole vault event is 12-11.5 (3.95m). Kayla Coffee, Bridgette Gross and Kristin Majerus each own season-best vaults of 12-7.5 (3.85m), which places them in a three-way tie for the sixth-best mark in the nation. In total, USF pole vaulters account for seven of the team's current provisional qualifiers.
Samantha Koch (11-11.75), Chelsey Schenavar (11-11.75), Courtney Crandall (11-6.25) and Katlyn Sawtelle (11-5.75) represent the additional four Cougar vaulters who have reached provisional marks.
USF student-athletes have also achieved provisional standards in both the long and triple jump events. The provisional mark for the long jump is 18-1 (5.51m), while the triple jump is 37-6.78 (11.45m).
Freshman Jazzelena Black owns the NSIC's best long jump result of 19' 5.25" (5.92m), which currently ranks second in the nation. Her winning leap of 39-2.5 (11.95m) in triple jump last weekend at the NWU Prairie Wolf Invitational set the school record and gave Black the top triple jump mark in the NSIC. Her triple jump mark also ranks seventh in DII.
Joining Black for her efforts in the triple jump is Kristin Townley. Her leap of 38-0.25 (11.59m) at the MSU Preseason open is the team's second-furthest triple jump recorded this season.
With a 57.35 at the Dordt Invitational, Kendra Knight has also met the provisional standard of 57.70 for the women's 400m dash.