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Mescher's qualifying time leads host of personal bests at the Howard Wood Relays‏


SIOUX FALLS, SD (KWSN) - Augustana's Kayla Mescher ran a provisional qualifying time in the 400-meter hurdles as she was joined by six Vikings who recorded personal-bests and finished top-eight in their respective events on the second day of the Howard Wood Relays, the final regular-season meet of the season.


"We are pleased with the results from today; both teams had strong performances," head coach Tracy Hellman said. "We are getting peaked and ready for the NSIC Championships next weekend [in Winona]. We know that we have to bring out our best performance, but the coaching staff is confident that both teams will be focused and ready."


Mescher hit the provisional standard earlier in the season, but the junior from Brighton, Colo. improved that mark by a half-second to take second in the women's 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:01.76.


Ryan Heuer nearly equaled his teammate's efforts in the men's 400-meter hurdles, but came less than 0.50 seconds shy of the qualifying time. Heuer took sixth in the event, finishing in 54.43 seconds and he kept his good day rolling. The Fairmont, Minn. native came within 0.25 seconds of a qualifying time in the 110-meter hurdles with a fourth-place, a personal-best, time of 14.94 seconds.


In the women's 100-meter hurdles, Calliann Brunswig followed Heuer's suit with a personal-best of her own. Brunswig clocked a 15.13-second run to take seventh.


Colleen Everson tied Mescher for the highest finish of the day as the Viking sprinter/jumper took second in the women's long jump with a best leap of 5.46 meters (17-11). Everson also helped the women's 4x400-meter relay team to a runner-up finish when she teamed with Anne Parsley, Charissa Etrheim, and Mescher for a 3:50.27, falling shy of North Dakota State's winning time.


Three Vikings clocked personal-bests in the 1,500-meter dash with two finishing in the top five. Jordan Slusser led the way with a 3:54.58 to take third in the men's division. Kaitlyn Yoerg finished fifth in the women's race with a PR of 4:41.32 and Cassidy Soli hit a collegiate best of 4:46.85.


Augustana's women's short sprinters also showed improvement when Laura Popanz (12.42 seconds) and Kyerra Titus-Baer (12.46) both turned in personal-bests to finish sixth and seventh, respectively, in the 100-meter dash.


With a host of personal bests in their final regular season meet, the Vikings are ready postseason competition.


"This has been an outstanding season up to this point and we are ready to finish with our best effort," Hellman said.


The Vikings now prepare for the NSIC Championships in Winona, Minn. next weekend on Friday and Saturday, May 9 and 10.

Courtesy: Augustana College