Nowak Wins Triple Jump; Weitkum Breaks Record at Sioux City Relays


SIOUX CITY, IA ( – Valley City State University freshman Ben Novak won the men’s triple jump competition, and Allyssa Weitkum broke a 42-year-old school record Thursday at the large Sioux City Relays hosted by Morningside College.

Novak, a freshman from Mesa, Ariz., jumped a season-best 13.79 meters (45 feet, 3 inches) as he topped a field of 19 competitors from a mix of NAIA and NCAA schools. Weitkum, a native of Wauconda, Ill., finished the women’s 800 meter race in a time of 2:22.40, breaking the VCSU school record of 2:22.70 set by Vicki Bassingwaite in 1976.

Their performances highlighted Day 1 of the Sioux City Relays for VCSU, which also had four other Top 10 finishes. Day 2 of the meet on Friday was canceled due to weather, meaning several Vikings were unable to compete in their events.

“While we were finally given some decent weather during the early part of day one, it quickly turned windy and cold, which led to the second day being cancelled due to even worse weather,” said VCSU head coach Chris Johnson. “However, the first day showed that a number of Vikings were ready after a few weeks off from competition. While there were several strong programs in attendance, we made our presence known.”

Valley City State’s men posted two Top 5 finishes and eight Top 15 finishes at the abbreviated meet, which featured numerous NCAA Division I athletes in several events.

Lenzel Koskela ran a time of 50.62 in the 400 meter dash as he placed fourth in a field of 52 runners. Antione Jenkins jumped 11.95 meters to place 13th in the triple jump. Three Vikings placed 14th in their respective events: Roy Allen (shot put, 13.48 meters), Louis Leon (5000 meters, 17:00.51) and Joel DelaCruz (100 meter prelims, 11.09). Alex Otto was 13th in high jump (1.83 meters) and Jacob Furlott finished 15th in the 200 meters (22.75) amongst a field of 56 competitors.

On the women’s side, the Vikings had a trio of Top 10 finishes, led by Megan Johnson who placed second in the triple jump with her top mark of 10.96 meters (35-11.5). Grace Miller ran a time of 19:48 in the women’s 5000 meter run to place fifth.

Sayge McKrill recorded a season-best mark of 47.97 meters (157-04) in the hammer throw as she placed ninth. McKrill’s top mark was just 0.43 meters off the NAIA National Qualifying Standard of 48.40 meters. That throw also ranks her second all-time in VCSU history, ranking only behind school-record holder Jessica Meland who threw 50.29 meters in 2014.

In the women’s 800 meters, Allyssa Weitkum’s record time was good for 11th place out of 72 competitors. Macy Dimler took 13th in the 100 hurdle preliminaries (16.11) and Marilyn Quintero placed 14th in the discus (39.03 meters). The Vikings added two more Top 15 finishes in the triple jump as Kaitlin Connor (10.08 meters) took 14th and Courtney Bubach (10.07 meters) was 15th.

Up next: Valley City State’s next scheduled competition is the Northern State Twilight Meet on Friday, April 20, in Aberdeen, S.D. That meet is subject to change depending on weather and track conditions.

Sioux City Relays – Day 1 Results (Day 2 canceled)

VCSU Women – Top 15 Finishes

Triple Jump

2. Megan Johnson, 10.96 meters (35-11.5)

14. Kaitlin Connor, 10.08 meters (33-1)

15. Courtney Bubach, 10.07 meters (33-0.5)

Hammer Throw

9. Sayge McKrill, 47.97 meters (157-04)


14. Marilyn Quintero, 39.03 meters (128-01)

5000 Meter Run

5. Grace Miller, 19:48.87

100 Hurdles

13. Macy Dimler, 16.11

800 Meters

11. Allyssa Weitkum, 2:22.40 (School record)

VCSU Men – Top 15 Finishes

Shot Put

14. Roy Allen, 13.48 meters (44-2.75)

Triple Jump

1. Ben Novak, 13.79 meters (45-03)

13. Antione Jenkins, 11.95 meters (39-2.5)

5000 Meter Run

14. Louis Leon, 17:00.51

100 Meter Dash

14. Joel DelaCruz, 11.09

400 Meter Dash

4. Lenzel Koskela, 50.62

200 Meter Dash

15. Jacob Furlott, 22.75

High Jump

13. Alex Otto, 1.83 meters (6-0)

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