WAYNE – After completing the entire indoor track and field season, three Wildcats were set to compete in the weight throw competition during the 2020 NCAA Division II Indoor National Championships when they had to head back home.
After flying down on Tuesday, March 10, members with the Wayne State College indoor track & field team rented a vehicle making their way back to Wayne a few days later.
Senior Dylan Kaup and junior Cade Kalkowski as well as sophomore Mckenzie Scheil of the Wayne State College indoor track & field team qualified for nationals and were set to throw on Friday, March 13. Nationals were scheduled to be held in Birmingham, Alabama.
Head Wildcat track & field coach Marlon Brink said all three national qualifiers were consistent on a more consistent basis.
“The level of their marks all improved from the year before,” said Brink. “So, that was the big take away I think from this season for all of them. They were just throwing at a higher level consistently. The conference is a tough conference with the throwing events. All three of them did well at the conference but there’s also other good throwers in the conference.”
Scheil ranked fifth in NCAA DII entering the Nationals as a repeat qualifier after placing 15th with a top mark of 58’ 6” a year ago. Her top throw this season came when she won the NSIC title at 63’.
Kalkowski qualified for a second straight year with season-best mark of 67′ 3 ¼” at the NSIC Indoor Championships in Mankato to place second and earn All-NSIC honors. He ranked sixth in NCAA Division II entering the national championships and earned All-American honors in the event with a seventh-place finish last year (66′ 7 ¾”).
Kaup was also a repeat national qualifier in the weight throw after posting a top throw of 64′ 1″ this season at the SDSU Last Chance Meet on February 21. His mark ranked 14th best in NCAA Division II entering the national championships and last year he finished 18th in the weight throw at nationals with a top mark of 60′ 8 ½”.
The NCAA has also granted an extra year of eligibility for all senior athletes competing in spring sports.
“Even though they’re using the rest of this semester to complete their classes it’s not counting against them,” Brink added. “That’s kind of a tough decision for kids who were maybe set to graduate, do they come back and spend another year in school just to get back that season of outdoor eligibility? We got a few kids who are in that situation.”
NCAA in-person recruiting has been suspended until at least April 15.
The Wildcat Classic was also scheduled to open the outdoor track & field season for WSC this weekend but was cancelled once the NSIC and NCAA called off all spring competition.
Coach Brink mentioned the track & field athletes are starting an earlier summer training mode.
“Then we’ll start to send them workouts that they can start to do on their own which may or may not be possible given the accessibility that they have to facilities,” Brink mentioned. “Wherever they’re located at whether that’s at home or there’s a few that are still here in Wayne.”
In all, Wayne State had seven meets scheduled leading up to the NSIC Outdoor Championships in St. Paul, Minnesota in early May and Outdoor Nationals that were going to be held in Kingsville, Texas May 21-23.