Nebraska Wesleyan University is sending a large group of athletes with 19 participants headed to the 2011 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships that will be held May 26-28 at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio. Ten men and nine women have qualified for the track & field championships for the Prairie Wolves.
Two NWU men will enter the championships with the top marks in the country. Senior Kevin Janata (Howells, Neb.) has the fastest time in the country in the 110 hurdles (14.24) and will be aiming for his third All-American honor and first national title. Sophomore John Kersenbrock (O’Neill, Neb.) has the top mark in the long jump (24-7) and is going for his second All-American honor after placing seventh in the long jump at the Indoor Championships.
Kersenbrock is the only NWU male to compete in two events as the joins John Hower, Matt Holst and Nick Sawyer on the 4x400 meter relay that has the third fastest time in the country (3:13.0).
Jay Wall (Grant, Neb.) will try to get another All-American honor as competes in the men’s pole vault and has the ninth best mark in the country. Freshman Tommie Bardsley (Beatrice, Neb.) makes his first NCAA appearance and will compete in the long jump. Also making his first appearance will be Derrick McKenzie (Fremont, Neb.) in the 400 hurdles.
Senior Elliott Bulling (Lincoln, Neb.) is the only NWU male thrower competing as he has the 10th best throw in the country in the shot put. Rounding out the list of qualifiers is sophomore Jack Chatelain (Kearney, Neb.) in the triple jump. Chatelain was an All-American in the long jump last season.
Highlighting the women’s qualifiers is the group of NWU female throwers. Three women will be competing in two events apiece for the Prairie Wolves. Senior Amanda Brichacek (Schuyler, Neb.) leads the way with top six marks in the hammer throw and shot put. Two-time All-American Brichacek has the third best mark in the hammer throw (184-6) and fifth best shot put (47-2.25). Deanna Dirkschneider (North Bend, Neb.) will compete in the shot put and discus, while Bailey Soucie (Cambridge, Neb.) makes her first NCAA appearance competing in the discus and javelin.
Taylor Tacha (Bertrand, Neb.) is the only NWU athlete that will be competing in three different events. Tacha has the seventh fastest time in the 100 hurdles (14.38) and is competing in her fourth NCAA Championship. Tacha joins Claire Boyer, Jami Pritschau and Allee Kuska on the qualifying 4x400 relay team. The 4x100 relay team also qualified with Tacha, Boyer, Kuska and Erin Twibell.
The final qualifier for NWU is junior Katie Schoen in the high jump. Schoen has the eighth best height entering the championships.
Tommie Bardsley, Fr., Beatrice, Neb. (Beatrice) – High Jump
Elliott Bulling, Sr., Lincoln, Neb. (Lincoln Northeast) – Shot Put
Jack Chatelain, So., Kearney, Neb. (Kearney) – Triple Jump
Matt Holst, Fr., Omaha, Neb. (Omaha Burke) – 4x400 Relay
John Hower, Fr., Omaha, Neb. (Millard West) – 4x400 Relay
Kevin Janata, Sr., Howells, Neb. (Howells) – 110 Hurdles
John Kersenbrock, So., O’Neill, Neb. (St. Mary’s) – Long Jump, 4x400 Relay
Derrick McKenzie, Jr., Fremont, Neb. (Fremont) – 400 Hurdles
Nick Sawyer, Jr., Lincoln, Neb. (Lincoln Southwest) – 4x400 Relay
Jay Wall, Jr., Grant, Neb. (Perkins County) – Pole Vault
Claire Boyer, Sr., Mullen, Neb. (Mullen) – 4x100 Relay, 4x400 Relay
Amanda Brichacek, Sr., Schuyler, Neb. (Schuyler Central) – Shot Put, Hammer Throw
Deanna Dirkschneider, So., North Bend, Neb. (North Bend) – Shot Put, Discus
Allee Kuska, Sr., Exeter, Neb. (Exeter-Milligan) – 4x100 Relay, 4x400 Relay
Jami Pritschau, So., Firth, Neb. (Norris) – 4x400 Relay
Katie Schoen, Jr., Adams, Neb. (Freeman) – High Jump
Bailey Soucie, So., Cambridge, Neb. (Cambridge) – Discus, Javelin
Taylor Tacha, So., Bertrand, Neb. (Bertrand) – 100 Hurdles, 4x100 Relay, 4x400 Relay
Erin Twibell, So., Orchard, Neb. (Orchard) – 4x100 Relay