The Northern State men had a field day on Friday.
The NSU men's track and field team is in second place after the first day of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference outdoor meet. The Wolves racked up 38 points on day one. Minnesota State-Moorhead is in first place with 55 points.
The first day of the meet was all preliminaries in the track events, excluding the 10,000-meter run. Five men's field events were determined on Friday.
The Wolves took advantage.
“It was a pretty good first day,” Northern State coach Jim Fuller said. “If we could just get a little better weather that would be helpful. We did the best we could with the weather we were given.”
A pair of long jumpers gave NSU some points right off the bat. Calvin McGruder won the men's long jump with a leap of 23 feet, 7 inches. It was McGruder's first conference title in the long jump.
“I was thinking about it last night,” McGruder said. “Long jump was the only event that I normally jump that I haven't won yet. I have always been in the top three for it, but never won it.”
McGruder, who is a two-time All-American and three-time national qualifier, won the high jump title this past indoor season. He can now add an outdoor title to his resume. The mark also improves on his national provisional qualifying standard.
“I'm just happy that I actually got a chance to win in my final jump, in my senior year,” McGruder said.
McGruder edged teammate Trevor Mau in the event for the conference title.
“The guys started off well and went one-two in the long jump,” Fuller said. “Trevor and Calvin had good solid marks for the weather we were in.
Mau finished with a jump of 23-6 , a personal best.
“I'm actually pretty happy,” Mau said about his jump. “It was nice going out that way. Calvin is a great jumper. It was nice to have him on my team this year.” The sophomore placed fifth last season at the outdoor meet.
McGruder and Mau netted 18 points for the Wolves in the long jump competition.
“We started the day off well,” Mau said. “Hopefully the rest of the team can keep building from that. Hopefully we will end up pretty well if we keep going.”
Jon Evenson kept it going for the Wolves. The senior captured his third NSIC men's javelin crown and his first since his sophomore season in 2009.
“It is great,” Evenson said about his third conference crown. “It is your last meet and to end with a personal best is exactly what you hope and wish for.”
Even though Evenson won back-to-back titles as a freshman and sophomore, he was still uneasy with how things would shake out on Friday.
“I knew there was a lot of good throwers here,” Evenson said. “I knew any of them could pop off a big one.”
Evenson had a personal best throw in the event with a mark of 196-11, which is an NCAA provisional qualifying standard and was five feet better than runner-up Brent Peltz of the University of Mary.
McGruder also placed third in the high jump, while teammate Andrew Rose earned a fifth place finish in the event. Both McGruder and Rose had combined to win the last four NSIC high jump titles. Rose won both the indoor and outdoor high jump titles last season and also claimed the 2009 outdoor crown. McGruder won the indoor conference title in February.
Northern State's Luke Hauert had the fastest preliminary time in the 110-meter hurdles (:14.44) and the second fastest time in the 400-meter hurdles (:56.89) on day one. Jacob Arechigo will compete in the 1,500-meter final today after qualifying in the prelims when he covered the distance in 4:12.04, which is the seventh best time among the 12 qualifiers.
“We're doing what we were supposed to do,” Fuller said. “We got some kids qualified for (today).”