Andrew Rose has won the conference high jump title three times. He is looking to make it two more this season.
The senior high jumper won his first Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference high jump crown during the 2009 outdoor season. He swept the event last season as he won the indoor and outdoor NSIC titles in the event.
The Gillette, Wyo., native hit national provisional qualifying marks in the event during each of those seasons as well, but did not advance to the national meet.
“A bigger accomplishment for me would be the five-time conference champ rather than I went to nationals one time,” Rose said.
Rose would certainly welcome a trip to nationals, but the conference meet is what he is worried about first and foremost.
“For most of the in-season meets, you have nationals in the back of your mind as far as hitting qualifying marks,” Rose said. “Soon as conference rolls around, I completely forget about that all together. I just focus on going out and getting a win because you have all season to hit qualifying marks and then you could jump 6-2 and win the conference meet and it would still be a win. It is still points and those go toward your team.”
The 6-foot-2 Rose started competing in track and field when he was in the seventh grade. However, he did not start high jumping until his sophomore year.
“It was frustrating at first,” he recalled, “but after the first couple of weeks, things started to catch on and I was able to put it together after seeing some of the older kids do it.”
He went on to win the state high jump title his senior season. When it came time to decide on a school, he was mulling over offers from the University of Sioux Falls and Dickinson State. He picked the Wolves mostly because of the athletes.
“I got to know the athletes here and they all seemed like they were the people I wanted to hang around,” Rose said. “I knew I would be spending all my time with them so I figured this would be the best place to do it.”
Rose's personal best in the high jump in high school was 6-foot-5. His personal best now is 6-foot-9. Rose credits NSU head coach Jim Fuller and former NSU graduate assistant Dave Craven for his leap in the event.
“The two of them meshing together with their ideas gave me the building blocks for improvement,” said Rose, who was the 2008-09 most improved NSU male athlete.
Rose is part of a talented group of men's jumpers at NSU right now. Calvin McGruder qualified for nationals last season during the indoor and outdoor season in the long jump. He was an All-American during the outdoor season. Travis Kamm, Trevor Mau and Austin Suther are also quality jumpers for the Wolves.
“We are definitely a strong group,” Rose said. “Mostly our field events is where we are going to be getting our conference points. The jumps alone bring in a substantial amount of points. We are a very competitive, tough and pretty consistent group.”
Despite more than a month-long competitive layoff and lacking any points from the diving events, the Northern State swimming team made a splash in their first competition of the 2011 calendar year, finishing second of four teams at the Dragon-Cobber Invitational, hosted by Minnesota State Moorhead on Friday and Saturday.
With just three weeks remaining and in their final competition until the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championships, the Wolves tallied 484 points and one new school record in the two-day meet.
Freshman Sara Peterson chalked up the new NSU record in the 50-yard butterfly, finishing third in that event with her time of :28.91. That mark is nearly a half-second faster than her previous best.
Sophomore Allie Samuels also finished third in the 200-yard breaststroke in a personal best time of 2:39.16. Jordan Robles (200 backstroke; 2:27.90; sixth place), Cynthia Konechne (50 backstroke; :35.70; seventh), Mikaela Waiflein (200 individual medley; 2:30.82; seventh) and Laura McCowan (50 butterfly; :33.95; eleventh) also recorded personal best efforts in their respective events.
“We were a bit tired going into finals (Saturday), but were able to keep things together and finish the night with some good solid swimming and move from third place into a second place team finish,” NSU head coach Elyce Kastigar said. “We raced hard and were able to score some critical points to secure that second place spot.”