Irvin wins two GPAC titles at conference championships

Tamika Irvin from DWU.

Tamika Irvin

Derik Fossum from DWU.

Derik Fossum

Katie Johnson from DWU.

Katie Johnson

Lindsey Sanftner from DWU.

Lindsey Sanftner

MITCHELL, S.D. – Dakota Wesleyan University sprinter Tamika Irvin wrapped up her tenure in the Great Plains Athletic Conference in style Saturday afternoon.

Irvin, a senior from Denver, Colo., not only won the 100- and 200-meter dashes at the final GPAC Championship of her career, she also set two school records – again. Irvin won the 100-meter dash in a time of 11.92 seconds – nearly a full second faster than the second-place finisher. That time beats the school record – which Irvin set earlier this year – of 12.01 seconds.

In the 200, Irvin won by three-tenths of a second with a time of 24.33. Midland’s Mariah Toussaint took second in 24.66 seconds. Irvin’s 200-meter dash time set another school record. She beat her own record of 24.78 seconds, also set earlier this year.

The Tigers had three other All-GPAC performers at Saturday’s championships, where the top eight finishers in each event earned All-GPAC accolades. Senior jumper Derik Fossum earned all-conference honors with a third-place finish in the triple jump. He recorded the second-longest jump in school history with a mark of 47-feet-11 inches. Both he and Irvin are qualified for the NAIA Outdoor National Championships May 24-26 in Marion, Ind.

Freshman Katie Johnson earned All-GPAC honors in the javelin. She took fifth in the competition with a toss of 120-2 – the third-best mark in school history. Johnson, who also plays for the Tiger women’s basketball team, also finished 16th in the shot put competition with a toss of 39-1.25. Lindsey Sanftner, a freshman from Black Hawk, S.D., finished seventh in the long jump with a mark of 17-4.75.

Heather Banister also recorded a top-15 finish for Dakota Wesleyan. She took 12th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 15:09.69. Jessie Pederson took 18th in the triple jump with a mark of 33-11.5 and 20th in the long jump with a leap of 15-7.5. Teammate Abby Fossum took 22nd in the triple jump with a mark of 31-6.

For the DWU men, senior Danny Hutcheson finished 19th in the long jump with a mark of 20-5.25 and Tyler Volesky took 20th in the 400 with a time of 51.83 seconds.

As a team, the Tiger women took ninth with 26 points. Concordia University won the team title with 158.5 points and Doane College was second. Dordt’s Briana Vander Woude won the women’s outstanding athlete title. Doane ran away with the men’s title with 234 points. Nebraska Wesleyan was second with 150 points and DWU took 11th with six points. Doane’s Edwin Ronoh was the men’s outstanding athlete.

The Tigers have one last chance to qualify for the national tournament on Friday, May 11, at the Concordia Twilight Meet in Seward, Neb. The national championships are May 24-26.