MITCHELL, S.D. – Three members of the Dakota Wesleyan University track and field team are ready to compete at the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships.
Senior sprinter Tamika Irvin and freshmen distance runners Hailey Brunke and Nicole Court-Menendez all qualified for nationals, which run May 23-25 at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Ind. This is the seventh time Irvin has qualified for nationals, the second for Court-Menendez and the first trip to nationals for Brunke.
Irvin, a Denver, Colo., native, returns to the outdoor meet to try and earn All-American honors once more in her college track career. Last year, she took third in the 200-meter dash and fifth in the 100 to become the first female All-American in DWU track history, and the first to earn multiple All-American honors in the same national meet in the same season. This year, Irvin qualified in the 100-meter dash. The preliminary race is at 2:50 p.m. Friday, May 24, and the finals are scheduled to be run at 3:50 p.m. on May 25. Her best time this season is 12.15 seconds, which she ran May 10 at the Concordia Twilight meet.
Court-Menendez, a Lewiston, Idaho, native, qualified for nationals in the 5,000-meter racewalk. She became the school’s first indoor track and field All-American when she took eighth in the 3,000-meter racewalk at the indoor national meet in March, and looks to follow up that performance with All-American honors at outdoor nationals. Court-Menendez set the school record in the 5,000-meter racewalk at the Penn Relays this spring in 28:01.61. She competes at 4:10 p.m. on Friday, May 24.
This is the first trip to nationals for Brunke, a Scotland, S.D., native, who will compete in the marathon. Brunke qualified by meeting the provisional standard at the Midland Half Marathon in December. She completed the half marathon in 1:31.5. Brunke set the school record in both the 5,000 (18:55.63) and 10,000 (39:11.6) meter runs this season. The marathon begins at 6 a.m. on Saturday, May 25.