Collegiate tracksters making strides

FAIRMONT – Success at the next level.

Eight former Fairmont Cardinal varsity track & field standouts recently posted competitive times and distances for their respective collegiate programs during the indoor track & field season.

Augustana College freshman Ryan Heuer captured fifth place in the 60-meter high hurdles finals with a time of 8.58 seconds during the University of South Dakota Open in Vermillion, S.D., on Feb. 15.

Heuer, the 2012 Minnesota High School Class A state champion in the 110-meter high hurdles, also scorched the tarred surface at North Dakota State University on Feb. 9. The fleet-footed Heuer posted a fifth-place showing of 8.51 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles at the Bison Open in Fargo, N.D.

Augustana sophomore Jeremy Botzet also competed at both the USD and Bison opens, displaying his sprinting skills in the open 400 and 200 races, respectively.

Botzet produced an eighth-place showing in the quarter-mile sprint by crossing the finish line in 53.14 at Vermillion, S.D. The former Fairmont prep standout also claimed 22nd place out of 48 sprinters in the open 200 with a time of 23.62 on the Fargo track.

University of Sioux Falls freshman Carson Ricard and Augustana junior Mary Hitchcock, both former Fairmont prep sensations, competed at the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Meet on Feb. 10 in Mankato.

Ricard generated 4,205 points in the heptathlon to take 10th out of 17 competitors, while Hitchcock produced 2,785 points in the decathlon to place 17th out of 20 competitors.

Clarke University freshman Megan Fuhrman demonstrated her vaulting prowess by netting a silver medal in the pole vault at the Midwest College Conference Meet in Sterling, Ill., on Feb. 9.

Fuhrman, who tied for seventh place in her specialty during the 2012 Minnesota High School Class A state meet, cleared 8 feet, 9 1/2 inches to finish second at the collegiate conference competition.

One day earlier, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire sophomore Robbie Riley put his mid-range running skills to the test. Riley crossed the finish line in the 800-meter run in 2:02.45 to claim seventh place for the BluGolds.

Minnesota State University, Mankato sophomore Justin McMurtry put his hurdling talents on display during the St. Cloud State University Invitational on Jan. 26 in St. Cloud. McMurtry covered the 60-meter hurdles in 8.92 seconds to pocket fifth place.

Montana State University sophomore Taylor Rather, whose family moved to Missoula, Mont., after her freshman year at FHS, competed in the Bobcat Open in Bozeman, Mont., on Feb. 15.

Rather posted a time of 10:57.21 in the 3,000-meter run to place fifth out of nine runners.