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    USD Track: McKelvey 14th, Eichkorn 18th at NCAA West Prelims

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The South Dakota track and field team got off to a rough start at the NCAA West Preliminary Round as no Coyotes who competed on Thursday advanced to the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore.

    South Dakota had 10 of its 15 qualifiers compete on Thursday. Each event had 48 competitors with the top-12 finishers in each event advancing to the NCAA Championships.

    Kyle McKelvey was the highest finisher of the day, finishing 14th in the men’s shot put. His best mark was 58 feet, 10 inches, which he threw on his first attempt.  He missed 12th place by just over a foot as Nebraska’s Chad Wright took the final qualifying spot with a mark of 60-1.

    In other throwing events, Danielle Waldner finished 33rd in the women’s shot put with a mark of 48-6¾ and Meghan Dennis finished 37th in the women’s javelin with a mark of 139-3.

    On the track, Amber Eichkorn had USD’s second-best finish of the day, finishing 18th in the women’s 10,000-meters with a time of 35 minutes, 6 seconds.  Her time was a little under 33 seconds off the final championship qualifying time of 34:33.16 set by Cali Roper of Rice.

    In the women’s pole vault, defending national champion Bethany Firsick competed despite a broken hand and finished her Coyote career by placing 25th with a mark of 12-9. Hunter Wilkes cleared 12-3¼ for 33rd place and Madison Mills and Emily Brigham recorded no heights after missing on all three attempts at 12-3¼.

    In the men’s pole vault, Kyle Ballew finished 28th. He cleared the opening bar of 16-3¼ on his first attempt before missing all three attempts at 16-9¼.

    In the men’s long jump, Jeff O’Connell placed 35th with a mark of 23-3¼.

    Four Coyotes will compete on Friday. In field events, Denton Stephens will compete in the men’s hammer throw at 10 a.m. and Ashley Thompson will compete in the women’s long jump at 5 p.m. On the track, Teivaskie Lewin races in the men’s 110 hurdles at 5 p.m. and Jeff Mettler competes in the men’s 3,000 steeplechase at 8:50 p.m.

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