BROOKINGS, S.D — University of Rio Grande junior Dean Freitag earned All-American honors after finishing sixth in the men’s 3,000-meter race walk during Friday’s action at the NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships at the Sanford Jackrabbit Athletic Complex on the campus of South Dakota State University.
Freitag, whose qualifying time was seventh among those in the competition, finished in a time of 13:28.69 – nearly 30 quicker than his previous personal-best mark.
As a result of his showing, the Magnolia, Ohio native becomes Rio Grande’s 125th track & field All-American.
Two other walkers from the River States Conference – WVU-Tech’s Dan Nehnevaj and Steven Smith – finished as the champion and the runner-up in times of 12:09.95 and 12:16.25, respectively.
Ironically, Nehnevaj was among those who Freitag finished in front of at the recent RSC Indoor Championships.
Rio Grande’s other participant in the national championships, senior Zack Collins (Newark, OH), finished 30th in the men’s weight throw.
Collins threw 13.95m in his first attempt, fouled on his second try and settled at 14.67m on his final throw. He entered the competition with the 23rd-best qualifying mark of 16.62m.
Rio Grande is scheduled to open its outdoor schedule on March 21 at the Southside Power & Fitness Invitational hosted by Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.