Waldorf University women’s track and field standout Markai Wotoe qualified for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Outdoor National Championships in the long jump during Saturday’s Al Cassell Relays.
In just Wotoe’s second meet of the outdoor season, she captured first place in the long jump with a distance of 5.52 meters (18 feet, 1.5 inches). The redshirt freshman from Minneapolis topped her outdoor school record by 0.28 meters (11.02) while hitting the NAIA’s national-qualifying B standard.
“Markai did a standout job in the long jump as usual,” Waldorf interim head coach Kaylen White said. “The runway was a little different than what we’re used to, so it took her a few tries to get a good jump, but that’s all it took for her to hit the national mark.”
Wotoe will represent the Warriors in the NAIA Outdoor National Championships, scheduled for May 25-27 at Gulf Shores, Ala. The hours put in with assistant coach Ashley Conway have helped Wotoe perfect her approach while advancing to nationals during both the indoor and outdoor seasons.
“I’m really proud of her and the work she and Coach Conway have been putting in to get her to this point,” White said.
Waldorf junior Peyton Russell locked up third in the javelin with a throw of 35.97 meters (118 feet).
Freshman Morgan Straight charged to second in the 100-meter hurdles for the Warriors, clocking a time of 16.41 seconds and improving her outdoor school record by one-hundredth of a second.
Waldorf freshman Kaila Jackson claimed third (13.20) in the 100-meter dash, marking her second appearance in the event for the Warriors this season. Jackson also fought to fifth (27.36) in the 200.
“Kaila ran the best 100 I’ve seen her run this whole season,” White said. “She looked really strong and powerful in addition to being just plain quick.”
Redshirt freshman Asia Bell pulled in ninth (18.85) in the 100 hurdles while making her season debut for Waldorf.
“I’m happy with Asia’s 100 hurdles performance,” White said. “She’s been struggling with injuries and illness, so we haven’t been able to practice much, but she still made it through the entire race with good form.”
Bailey Matthaidess earned fourth for the Warriors in the 3,000 steeplechase, battling to the finish with a time of 14 minutes, 11.93 seconds. The junior from Eldridge smashed her outdoor school record by 20.28 seconds.
“Bailey did well in the steeple,” White said. “She showed improvement and looked stronger this week than she did when she ran it a few weeks ago.”
Waldorf freshman Marissa Kuik ran the 800, posting a time of 2:53.88. Kuik also went the distance in the 1,500 to finish in 5:41.24.
Freshman MacKinzie Thill-Urbanek went to work for the Warriors in the hammer throw, delivering a toss of 34.35 meters (112 feet, 8 inches). Waldorf also received a 30.33-meter (99-foot-6-inch) throw from freshman Jennifer Plancarte in the hammer.
Plancarte launched the discus 29.38 meters (96 feet, 5 inches). Thill-Urbanek turned in a throw of 26.12 meters (85 feet, 8 inches) in the event and sophomore Kelli Wallace recorded a distance of 22.67 meters (74 feet, 4.5 inches). Wallace also competed in the javelin, hitting a mark of 18.18 meters (59 feet, 7.75 inches). Thill-Urbanek rounded out Waldorf’s field event performances in the shot put, finishing with a 9.76-meter (32-foot-0.25-inch) throw.
The Warriors return to action in the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) Outdoor Championships, set for May 11-12 at Jamestown.