The University of Minnesota Morris track and field team competed at the South Dakota State Holiday Open Friday, Nov. 30, at the Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex in Brookings.

A handful of UMM runners not only competed, but recorded personal bests in their respective events.

“Overall fantastic meet,” UMM head coach Jessica Devine said. “It's always hard to tell where we're at this time of year once we get inside without full facilities, but they pretty much blew our expectations out of the water.”

Justin Pearson set a new school record in the 60-meter dash, blazing down the track with a time of 6.99 seconds in his preliminary heat. Former UMM sprinter Todd Gramenz was the previous 60-meter dash record holder as he clocked a 7.02 in the 2012 UMAC Championships.

Trent Merkins recorded a personal best in the shot put, throwing 13.68 meters. The distance was good enough for fifth all-time in program history.

In the women's 60-meter dash, Jenna Benson also made the UMM record book, recording the program's second fastest time (8.07) in the second heat of qualifying.

Emily Ciesynski recorded a personal best, running a 60.67 seconds in the 400-meter dash, which Devine noted would convert to a 61.48 on a 200-meter indoor track.

The Cougars are next in competition at Minnesota State Mankato Saturday, Dec. 8.