Wetterling punches ticket to nationals, 4x400 posts fastest time in 26 years

Sophomore Chase Wetterling
Sophomore Chase Wetterling

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — Chase Wetterling ran one of the nation's 10-fastest times in the 400 meters, Jordan Coughenour and the 4x400 relay improved their chances for a trip to nationals and the Simpson men's track and field team concluded the regular season at the Augustana Midwest Twilight Final Qualifier on Thursday.

Coaches have until 4 p.m. Friday to declare their student-athletes for the national meet. The final list of participants will be available Saturday, May 20, at 8 a.m.

Entering the day with a slim chance at qualifying for nationals in the 400 meters, Wetterling removed any doubt with Thursday's performance. 

Competing against some of the nation's fastest runners, the sophomore posted the No. 8 time in the nation, winning the race in 47.72. A personal-best by more than 0.3 seconds, Wetterling ran the third-fastest time in school history and the fastest by a Simpson runner since 2003.

Wetterling finished the day by running the lead-leg on the 4x400 relay team. Along with Matt Pearson, Travis Tupper and Coughenour, the quartet ran a season-best 3:14.58, moving up to No. 14 in Division III -- No. 12 when removing duplicates. The time is the third-fastest in school history and fastest by a Simpson team since 1991.

Coughenour lowered his personal-best time in the 400 hurdles, posting the No. 17 time in the nation. He ran 53.36, currently one of the final four times that will qualify for nationals. 

Keagan Zwiefel ran a personal-best 22.45 in the 200 meters, Kirk Wicks added a career-best 49.66 in the 400 meters and Isaiah Strong cleared 6-feet, 4 1/4-inches to place third in the high jump. The 4x100 relay of Zach Nissen, Wetterling, Travis Tupper and Tate Tufte failed to improve upon last Saturday's school-record time of 41.68, placing sixth in 42.36.

Meet Report
400 meters — Chase Wetterling, 47.72 | first place | NCAA #8 | Simpson #3
4x400 relay — Wetterling/Pearson/Tupper/Coughenour, 3:14.58 | second place | NCAA #14 | Simpson #3
400 hurdles — Jordan Coughenour, 53.36 | third place | NCAA #17 | Simpson #4
4x100 relay — Nissen/Wetterling/Tupper/Tufte, 42.36 | sixth place
200 meters — Keagan Zwiefel, 22.45 | sixth place | personal best
High jump — Isaiah Strong, 6-04.25 | third place
400 meters — Kirk Wicks, 49.66 | fifth place | personal best 

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