The young and up-and-coming Chadron State College track and field team will be competing at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championships hosted by Colorado State-Pueblo this weekend.
The action begins Friday with primarily multi-events and will conclude Sunday when most of the track finals take place. Twenty-four Chadron State men and 13 women have qualified to compete. Only one of them, sprinter-long jumper Javan Lanier, is a senior.
“We’ve improved a lot during the season and have the potential to do well,” Coach Riley Northrup said. “One of our goals is to get some national qualifiers. We’ll need season-best marks for that to happen.”
Although all-star sprinter Brodie Roden was unable to compete because of a tight hamstring, the Chadron State men scored 72.5 points and placed fourth among the 11 teams at the RMAC Indoor Championships in late February.
Roden, who was the outstanding male athlete at the conference’s 2020 indoor meet after winning both the 200 and 400 meters, is going full-speed again. He will enter this weekend’s meet with the fastest time of 47.56 seconds in the 400 and the fifth best mark of 21.34 in the 200. He also has run the anchor leg on the fastest 4×400 relay team and the second fastest 4×100 relay so far this spring.
Other CSC sprinters who are high in the pre-meet rankings are freshman Morgan Fawver of McCook, who is fourth in the 100 in 10.59 seconds, and sophomore Osvaldo Cano of Oshkosh, who is sixth in the 400 in 48.83.
The jumps are another strong event for the CSC men. Sophomore Naishaun Jernigan of Springfield, Mass., is fourth in the long jump at 23-7 ½ and classmate Derrick Nwagwu of Aurora, Colo., is fifth in the triple jump at 48-7 ¼. Another freshman, Quest Savery of Miles City, Mont., has been a great addition to the CSC team this spring. His 189-9 javelin throw is the RMAC’s second farthest entering the meet.
In addition, freshman Shane Collins of Bison, S.D., is the leader in the hammer throw at 189-6 and second in the discus at 164-4. Another freshman, Alec Penfield of Lusk, Wyo., is seventh among the high jumpers at 6-6 ¼.
CSC women who are high in the pre-meet rankings include high jumpers Jourdaine Cerenil of Pine Bluffs, Wyo., who has cleared 5-5 ¾ to rank second, and Miranda Gilkey of Lusk, Wyo., who is fifth at 5-4 ½. Northrup believes Hannah Christie of Alpine, Wyo., will be a contender in the heptathlon. Another heptathlete, Julianne Thomsen of Custer, S.D., will have to skip that grueling event because of an ankle injury, but ranks fourth in the javelin at 118-9.
Several former Eagles are RMAC Outdoor Meet record-holders. They are Joel Duffield, 400, 46.92 seconds, 2006; Karl McFarlane, 110 hurdles, 14.00, 2013; Damarcus Simpson, long jump, 25-8, 2016; and Mel Herl, women’s shot put, 53-7, discus, 170-6, and hammer throw, 208-9, all 2017.