WAYNE – As a pair of current members of the Wayne State College women’s indoor track & field program recently qualified for the national meet, a trio of incoming student-athletes have signed with the program.
According to a release from Wayne State Athletics, head coach Marlon Brink announced their first members of the 2022-23 recruiting class for women’s cross country and/or track and field team.
Joining the Wildcat program for the 2022-23 school year are Jozlyn Barnes from Union, Maelee Beacom of Hooper, Ava McGown from Brady, Lindsey Kneifl of Pilger and Olivia Schwarzrock from Gibbon, Minnesota.
“We are excited to have these young ladies joining our team for next year,” stated Coach Brink. “They are outstanding students as well as athletes who will have a positive impact on our teams next year.”
Jozlyn Barnes is a distance runner from Plattsmouth High School who will compete in cross country and track and field for the Wildcats. She is a three year letter winner and starter in both sports for the Blue Devils. As a senior, Barnes was a Class B state qualifier in cross country and ran legs on two relay teams in the Class B state track meet that included a seventh place medal in the 3200-meter relay.
Maelee Beacom is a distance runner from Logan View High School who will also compete in cross country and track and field at Wayne State. She was a two-time Class D state qualifier in cross country, helping her team reach the state cross country meet for the first time in school history. Beacom earned two Capital Conference medals in cross country and was a four-time NCPA Academic All-State selection in cross country.
Ava McGown is a distance runner from Brady High School and will compete in cross country and track and field at Wayne State. She is a three-time Class D state qualifier in cross country and collected NCPA Academic All-State honors in cross country three seasons. She started four years in cross country, three in basketball and two in track and field.
Lindsey Kneifl is a jumper/sprinter from Wisner-Pilger High School and will compete in track and field. She is multi-sport standout for the Gators in volleyball, basketball and track and field. Last year as a junior, Kneifl was a Class C state track meet qualifier in three events, placing sixth in the long jump. As a freshman in 2019, she was fifth in the long jump and fourth in the triple jump. In volleyball, Kneifl earned Class C2 All-State First Team honors last fall leading Wisner-Pilger to a third place finish at state with a 29-7 record and was All-East Husker Conference and All-State Honorable Mention in basketball last season as a junior. She holds school records of 36’ 4” in the triple jump and 17’ 8” in the long jump.
Olivia Schwarzrock is a thrower from Gibbon, Minnesota and will compete in track and field at WSC. She is a five year starter in track and field while also starting two years in volleyball and basketball at Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop High School. Last spring as a junior, Schwarzrock was the Tomahawk Conference and Section champion in the discus to qualify for state and was also the conference champion in the shot put. Her personal best marks are 37’ 0” in the shot put and 124’ 11” in the discus. Schwarzrock excels in the classroom earning Academic All-State honors in volleyball and basketball this season and Academic All-Conference honors in all three sports twice.
The 2022 NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships were held at the Robert W. Plaster Center in Pittsburg, Kansas earlier this month.
Mckenzie Scheil, a graduate student from Fairmont (Fillmore Central HS), had a top prelim throw of 62’ 5” and was the #5 qualifier entering the finals. On her final attempt in finals, Scheil posted her top mark of 64’ ¼” to finish sixth place and collect her second All-American honor in the weight throw. She was the national runner-up in the event last season.
Also competing in the weight throw was junior Brooklynn Chipps, who scratched on her first two attempts in prelims and posted a mark of 56’ 8 ¾” on her third and final throw in prelims to finish 14th out of 19 competitors. Chipps (Clearwater HS), ranked seventh in NCAA Division II entering the national meet with a season-best mark of 64’ 7” at the USD Alumni Meet in Vermillion, S.D. on February 5.
The winning mark was 67’ 1 ¼” from Judith Essemiah, a junior from Grand Valley State.
The Wayne State College women’s and men’s outdoor track and field season will open their competition with the Wildcat Classic on Friday, March 25 – Saturday, March 26 in Wayne.