JAMESTOWN, N.D. – Waldorf University women's track and field athlete Markai Wotoe secured first place in the long jump during the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) Outdoor Championships.
The Warriors notched 42 points to place fifth in the team standings during the two-day meet, which concluded on Friday.
Wotoe broke the conference-meet record and tied her outdoor school record with a 5.52-meter (18-foot-1.5-inch) leap in the long jump. The redshirt freshman from Minneapolis scored 10 points and received all-conference honors.
Junior Danielle Holt, freshman Taylor Navratil, freshman Morgan Straight and Wotoe fielded a 4x100-meter relay that claimed third with a time of 51.03 seconds. Waldorf's 4x100 relay notched six points and crushed the outdoor school record by 2.98 seconds. Holt, Navratil, Straight, Wotoe and freshman Kaila Jackson put in quality preparation prior to the conference meet.
"I'm so proud of the women's 4x100 relay," Waldorf interim head coach Kaylen White said. "Kaila was out with injury but she was still an important part as she helped watch handoffs in practice to prepare for the race. Danielle stepped up and took her place while Morgan, Taylor, and Markai ran a great race. That's definitely going to be a strong race for us in the future."
Wotoe raced to fifth (1:01.38) in the 400, improving her outdoor school record and adding two points for the Warriors.
"Markai did a lot of events for us and did well in every one," White said. "Her best event has to be the long jump, but she proved that she's also great in the 400 and 4x100."
Peyton Russell captured second in the javelin with a distance of 38.19 meters (125 feet, 3.5 inches). The junior from Bedford contributed eight points and earned all-conference recognition.
"Peyton's first couple of throws in the javelin were decent but her last one was a really good one," White said. "She proved that she's got what it takes with that throw."
Freshman Morgan Straight beat her outdoor school record during the prelims of the 100 hurdles and improved her outdoor school record during the finals. She turned in fourth (15.92) in the 100 hurdles, topping her prelim time by 0.45 seconds and scoring four points for Waldorf. Straight finished sixth (16.37) during the prelims.
"Morgan ran a huge personal record (PR) in the 100 hurdles, and I couldn't be more proud," White said. "She has certainly earned it. She's been working hard, learning a lot, and steadily improving."
In addition to blasting her outdoor school record in the 100 hurdles, Straight reached a major milestone by breaking the 16-second barrier.
"I see it as a huge accomplishment to run sub-16 seconds," White said. "That's what differentiates a good hurdler from a great hurdler and she proved that she's a great hurdler."
Straight took fourth (1:08.72) in the 400 hurdles to notch four points for the Warriors. She missed her outdoor school record by 0.07 seconds.
Junior Bailey Matthaidess earned fourth (14:56.25) in the 3,000 steeplechase and scored four points for Waldorf.
"Bailey competed well in the steeplechase," White said. "That's a race that can really beat you up, but she has taken control of it and proven that she knows how to handle it."
Holt powered to a season-best time of 17.3 seconds during the prelims of the 100 hurdles. The New London native sprinted to a personal-record time of 16.88 seconds during the finals of the 100 hurdles.
"Danielle finally gave the strong hurdles performance we've been waiting to see from her all season," White said. "She's been doing it in practice every week, and we finally saw it in action at the meet."
Navratil clocked times of 13.21 seconds in the 100 and 1:07 in the 400. The Plymouth native joined the Warriors for the final week of the outdoor season after spending most of the spring competing in softball.
"We really appreciate Taylor running at the conference meet for us after coming off softball season," White said. "She's such a talented athlete and also versatile."
Freshman Jennifer Plancarte posted a personal-record distance of 30.82 meters (101 feet, 1.5 inches) in the discus.
"Jennifer had a great day in the discus ring," White said.
Buddenhagen recorded a PR in the 400 with a time of 1:16.27.
Dickinson State University captured the team title with 241 points, finishing ahead of the University of Jamestown (192), Viterbo University (96), Valley City State University (71), Waldorf (42) and Dakota State University (23), which rounds out the team standings.
The Warriors bring two individuals to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Outdoor Championships in Gulf Shores, Ala. Russell battles in the javelin on May 25 at 3 p.m. (EST) while Wotoe returns to action in the long jump on May 25 at 5:30 p.m.