HOUSTON, Texas - Sophomore Jesse Fenstermacher set a new school record in the 800-meters, lifting North Dakota to a third-place finish at the 2012 Great West Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championship. It was UND's best conference finish as a Division I program.
Fenstermacher, a native of Hibbing, Minn., won the event with a time of 1 minute, 50.57 seconds, toppling Aaron Berndt's 10-year old record of 1:51.21.
"I'm very happy," said Fenstermacher. " I tried to go out for a school record and achieved it. I fed off of (Texas-Pan American's Andrew) Lopez the entire race and found that I had a lot in me at the end."
Sophomore Roman Waldera (Minot, N.D.) won the discus, defeating teammate Shawn Johnson (So., Eveleth, Minn.) by less than a centimeter. Waldera recorded a throw of 49.00 meters (160 feet, 9 inches), while runner-up Johnson was right behind at 48.98 meters (160 feet, 8 inches). A third Sioux thrower, senior Brandon Quesenberry (Billings, Mont.), was eighth at 41.39 meters (135 feet, 9 inches).
Fenstermacher and Waldera led a Fighting Sioux squad that placed third in the team standings with 126 points, topped only by champion Utah Valley and runner-up Houston Baptist. UND placed fifth last year.
Senior Adam Stainiger (Chisholm, Minn.) recorded a personal record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, placing fifth with a time of 10:03.87.
Junior Bryant Halvorson (Rugby, Minn.) took seventh in the triple jump with a mark of 12.10 meters (39 feet, 8 ½ inches). Teammate Ryan Andert (Fr., Eagan, Minn.) narrowly missed out on scoring, placing ninth.
Freshman Nick Lindstrom (Shakopee, Minn.) was eighth in the 1,500-meters, crossing the line 4 minutes, 1.22 seconds.
In the 400-meter dash, Chris Benson (Jr., Devils Lake, N.D.) placed eighth with a time of 50.94 seconds.
Senior Tyler Rose (Brainerd, Minn.) capped his standout career with a fifth-place finish in the 800-meters. He clocked a time of 1:54.40.
A pair of Sioux cracked the top-5 in the 400-hurdles. Sophomore Kent Luetzen (Minot, N.D.) was third with a time of 55.06 seconds while Matthew McCreary took fifth with a time of 55.55 seconds.
In the relays, UND took fourth in the 4x400. The quartet of McCreary, Fenstermacher, Luetzen and Reilly Mathiason (So., Grafton, N.D.) combined for a time of 3:18.45.