DICKINSON, N.D. – Waldorf’s Kevin Wu turned in his most memorable performance of the season at the
most opportune time, and in doing so earned himself a spot at the NAIA National Championship.
The Warriors record holder in the men’s javelin not only shattered his own school-best mark, but
surpassed the automatic qualifying standard for the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National
Championships with a throw of 187 feet at the North Star Athletic Association Championships on
Wu’s effort, good for third place and All-NSAA honors at the Championships, was one of four record
efforts and four All-NSAA performances on Thursday for the Waldorf track and field teams, which
concludes the NSAA meet on Friday at Dickinson State.
“I’m very proud of Kevin Wu coming out and hitting an ‘A’ standard to qualify for nationals today,”
Waldorf head coach Kayla Kregel said.
“Also, other big performances that shouldn’t go unnoticed were Dane (Whipple) and Camara (Green)
making finals of the javelin, Isaiah (Craig) and Mark (Esquivel) scoring in the men’s triple jump, and
Camara and Hayleigh (Solano) scoring in the women’s triple jump.”
Craig’s effort in the triple jump earned him another school record and one of those All-NSAA honors,
while Marissa Widener was All-NSAA with a top-3 finish in the women’s 10,000 meters, Green earned
All-NSAA honors in the women’s triple jump, and the Waldorf 4×800-meter men’s and women’s relay
teams broke school records with their performances on the day.
Of course, the biggest performance came from Wu who bested his own school record from two weeks
earlier of 173-9. His throw of 57.01 meters also just surpassed the automatic national qualifying distance
of 57 meters and ranks him No. 21 in the country.
Whipple finished seventh with a throw of 160-10 for the Warriors in the javelin.
Joining Wu in breaking a school record and earning All-NSAA honors was Craig in the triple jump, who
finished third at the Championships with a mark of 44 feet, 7 inches. He broke his own school record of
43-8.75 which he posted back as a freshman in 2016.
He was joined in the finals by Esquivel, who was sixth with a mark of 40-1.5, earning points for the
Waldorf men’s team that is fourth in the team standings with 27 points. Host Dickinson State leads the
team race with 67 points.
Adding to the Warrior men’s point total was Craig (5,578 points) and Justin Jacobi (5,493) in the
decathlon with third- and fourth-place finishes respectively at the competition held in mid-April at the
Red Raider Open, and Thursday’s record-setting Waldorf 4×800 relay team of Jaden Dawson, Kobi
Sadler, Andrew Murley and Jacob Conlon.
That quartet finished fourth in the relay in 8 minutes, 18.38 seconds, shattering the previous school-best
of 8:31.41 run in 2017 by Chasen Selsor, Cassidy Warson, Jimmy Blankenship and Mark Ahlers.
One of two record-setting relays on the day for the Warriors as the women’s 4×800 team of Bailey
Matthaidess, Natasha Troxel, Nydia Castro and Mindy Barchenger finished fifth in 11:42.68, also
shattering a 2017 school-record in the event. The tandem bested the record of 12:14.71 run by Marissa
Kuik, Matthaidess, Katelynn Ramirez and Charley Biddenhagen.
That record performance helped the Waldorf women land in fourth place in the team standings with 26
points, while Dickinson State holds the top spot with 75 points.
Adding All-NSAA finishes to the Warriors day was Widener in the women’s 10,000 meters as she finished
third overall in 42:43.77, and Green in the triple jump as she also finished third with a mark of 35-5.25.
Green also was third in the heptathlon, contested in mid-April at the Red Raider Open hosted by
Northwestern. Green scored 2,948 points, while teammate Solano was fourth with 2,875 points in the
Solano also was right behind her teammate in the triple jump on Thursday, finishing fifth with a mark
And Green was seventh in the javelin on Thursday with a throw of 91-1 for the Warriors.
While those record-efforts and All-NSAA performances led the way for the Warriors, they also finished
off the day strong in the 100-meter preliminaries. No results were available, but Coach Kregel said:
“Conference meets are about energy and today at the end of the day, getting three ladies and four men
into the 100 finals was an awesome end to day 1! Now we need to carry that over.”
By: Mike Stetson, SID, Waldorf University