University of Minnesota Morris senior Katherine Novak clocked a 5:18.03 to finish 13th in the women's mile at the SDSU Last Chance meet Friday, Feb. 15, at the Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex in Brookings.

With the 300-meter track conversion, Novak's time is converted to 5:21.18, which ranks No. 2 all-time in school history.

"We are continuing our streak of great performances," UMM head coach Jessica Devine said of the Cougar track and field team, which competed against Division I and II schools in their indoor regular season finale. "We recorded a handful of top-10 marks as well as many personal bests. Justin Robinson had a 72 centimeter (personal record) in shot put to earn the ninth-best throw in school history, up from 15th, and Katherine Novak continued with her weekly time drops to earn the second best mile in school history. With what we saw from our men and women (Friday), we're confident going into the Indoor UMAC Championships (this) week. We're poised for a strong weekend and are looking forward to earning some top spots in the conference."

Sophomore Justin Pearson won the men's 60-meter dash (7.07) and the men's 200-meter dash (22.60).

Freshman Jenna Benson led the Cougars in the women's 60-meter dash with a 10th-place finish (8.22). She also took 10th in the women's long jump (15-0.75) and 11th in the women's 200-meter dash with her time of 27.93.

Moving up to the women's 400-meter dash, Emily Ciesynski took sixth with a time of 59.45, while Kaitlyn Ladwig clocked in at 2:36.19 to place 12th overall in the women's 800-meter run.

The women's 60-meter hurdles saw Ciesynski and Brooke Hogan finish fifth (9.67) and sixth (9.70), respectively. In the prelims of the 60-meter hurdles, Hogan ran 9.64, which ranks third all-time in school history.

In the men's 800-meter run, Andrew Stanek finished ninth with his time of 2:07.36.

The men's mile saw the Cougars finish 7-8-9-10-11, as Christian Thielke led the way in a time of 4:49.90.

In the men's 3,000-meter run, Tyler Sassenberg crossed the finish line in 9:15.54 to take seventh.

In the women's throws, Brennyn DePaulis finished 19th in the shot put (37-11.25) and Jessica Bliese took 22nd in the weight throw (44-10.75). Bliese's mark of 44-10.75 improves her No. 10 standing in school history.

In the throws for the Cougar men, Trent Merkins finished 13th in the shot put (43-9.75) and Alex Boyd took 17th in the weight throw (44-10.25). Along with Merkins in the men's shot put, Justin Robinson finished 17th with the No. 9 throw in school history - 41-5.25.

Also in the field for the Cougar men, Zion Zaloudek cleared a height of 11-6.5 in the pole vault to place 11th and Cole Kvistero took sixth in the long jump (18-3.25).

The Cougars will now head to Duluth for the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) Indoor Track and Field Championships. The two-day meet gets underway on Friday, Feb. 22.


Justin Pearson, So., Minnesota Morris

Elk River, Minn./Elk River

- Won two events against Division I and II competition at SDSU

- Clocked winning time of 7.07 seconds in 60-meter dash

- Ran 22.60 seconds to win 200-meter dash