FREMONT, NE- Dickinson State University Track & Field athletes, Ernest Franssen III and Brittney Grove, competed in the Midlands University Half Marathon last weekend.
Blue Hawk Track and Field season is officially underway. Freshman Ernest Franssen III and Sophomore Brittney Grove competed this past weekend in Fremont, NE at the annual Midlands University Half-Marathon. Both distance athletes were attempting to qualify for the marathon at the 2017 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships in Gulf Shores, Ala.
In his first half marathon ever, Ernest Franssen III just missed the provisional national qualifying time by 13 seconds. Franssen ran 1:15:13, as the provisional qualifying mark for men is 1:15:00, an average of 5:42 per mile pace. Ernest placed 11th of 38 men going the 13.1 mile distance.
Brittney Grove clocked a time of 1:35:52 and placed 9th among the 15 female runners. The provisional qualifying mark for women running the half marathon is 1:32:00.
"Ernest and Brittney ran well despite the tough conditions this past weekend," said DSU Assistant Track & Field Coach Ben Shroyer. "We were not even sure if we could make this trip after the snow storm we had in Dickinson earlier in the week. Usually the weather is about 20 degrees warmer in Fremont than what it was on Saturday (this time of year). The course is flat and set-up to run fast qualifying times, but the cold temperatures and blowing snow, made it difficult for Ernie and Britt to maintain such a fast pace. I am proud of their efforts. Ernest was on pace through 12 miles and came up just short. Brittney ran well despite some leg issues the last six miles. They both will take a break now from the cross country season and get ready for indoor and outdoor track."
The first indoor track meet for the entire Blue Hawk Track & Field team is scheduled for Jan. 13 in Spearfish, SD at the Black Hills Open.