Four Chadron State College track and field student-athletes were selected on Tuesday to the 270-person men’s and women’s fields at the 2022 NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships, to be held March 11-12 in Pittsburg, Kansas.
Three men’s athletes and one women’s will make the trip. Three are freshmen, and one a sophomore.
The highest nationally-ranked among them is freshman Daniel Reynolds of Granby, Colorado. Reynolds recorded his first provisional mark of the season in December at the Yellow Jacket Holiday Open, when he threw the 35-pound weight 18.40 meters. He improved upon that throw further at the Mines Classic and the BHSU Stinger Open in February, where he set a CSC school record of 18.93 meters. It wasn’t until the RMAC Indoor Championships, however, that he made it into the NCAA field, shattering the RMAC meet record and his own school record by hitting 19.80 meters to win gold. That most recent throw, on February 25, has him ranked No. 11 among the entries at the NCAA meet.
Leading the field in the men’s weight throw are the returning third and fourth place finishers from 2021. Both are seniors with throws this season over 21 meters. Tanner Berg of Northern State commands the pack with a mark of 22.58 meters, and Brent Fairbanks of Ashland will try to catch him after hitting 21.97 meters at his conference meet last weekend.
Freshman Morgan Fawver, of McCook, Nebraska, made only eight successful long jump attempts this season, but fortunately, his second-to-last landed him No. 13 on the national charts. He landed a jump of 7.43 meters at the Mines meet in February, going more than a foot past his previous indoor best of 7.05 meters at the 2021 RMAC championships. Fawver did not compete at this year’s RMAC meet, in order to preserve his health for nationals. He also ran a 60 meter race, at CSC’s home meet, which equated to 6.86 seconds after altitude adjustments, and it was just 0.09 seconds from making the NCAA field in that event.
The men’s long jump field returns defending national champ David Kizan, who qualified only a centimeter ahead of Fawver. It also includes last year’s placers three through five, led by Christopher Goodwin of Central Missouri with a mark of 7.67 meters. The field is relatively wide open, as only about 10 inches separate the top marks of all 16 competitors.
In the men’s triple jump, sophomore Derrick Nwagwu, of Aurora, Colorado, quietly improved on his career best indoors, at the RMAC championships, moving ahead two centimeters to take third at the event. He previously jumped 15.02 meters at the CSC home meet, which effectively placed him in the triple jump field in January. Still, he is more than a foot past where he landed at last year’s RMAC indoor meet, and he went on to a mark of 15.1 meters in the 2021 outdoor season. Nwagwu enters the NCAA competition ranked No. 16 in his field.
The competition is stiff in the men’s triple. All three medal-winners from last year are back in the 2022 field, and five of the top seven jumpers from 2021 will also compete. RMAC rival Dakota Abbott of UCCS is chief among them, bringing the 2021 NCAA triple jump crown to Pittsburg. The leader in the 2022 season is the only Division II athlete to go past 16 meters, ranking Henry Kiner of host Pittsburg State the favorite at 16.02 meters.
The only member of CSC’s women’s team to travel to Kansas for NCAAs is Jourdaine Cerenil of Pine Bluffs, Wyoming. The freshman high jumper competed at six of CSC’s eight meets this season, finishing no lower than her bronze medal at the RMAC Championships. Cerenil set her top mark at the Mines Winter Classic, where she went over 1.72 meters on her second attempt. That leap now ranks her No. 15. She has added at least five centimeters of clearance to her jumps since December, when she missed on three consecutive tries of 1.67 meters. Cerenil also has the experience of attempting 1.75 meters six times.
At the 2021 NCAA championships, 1.71 meters was good enough for fourth place in women’s high jump. However the top four from that meet are back in 2022, and three of the four hit 1.74 meters or better at last year’s event. Junior Chinenye Agina of Azusa Pacific is the only woman to have cleared six feet this season, but she has not competed at an NCAA indoor meet in three years.
The four national qualifiers represent the biggest CSC contingent since seven went in 2016. Cerenil is the first to qualify from the women’s team since Ashton Hallsted in 2019.
Ashland University is the defending NCAA indoor champ for the men’s side, while Grand Valley State holds the women’s title.