DSU foursome holds bragging rights for state's best 400-relay time
By LARRY LEEDS, Sports Editor
The 2013 Dakota State University men's 400-meter relay team holds the bragging rights for the fastest South Dakota collegiate time ever in the event.
The Dakota State foursome of (left) Mark Moeller, Stacey Berg, coach Buzz Stevenson, Seth Boomsma and D'Artist Williams are holding the first-place 400-meter relay trophy at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays last month.
The foursome, made up of senior Stacey Berg and freshmen Mark Moeller, Seth Boomsma and D'Artist Williams, had the fastest South Dakota collegiate time in the NAIA national championships last month when they were clocked in 40.68 seconds. The old state mark of 40.70 seconds was held by the University of South Dakota.
"The season got off to a slow start," said DSU Coach Buzz Stevenson. Due to weather conditions, the team was on the track just one time before they ran at the Augustana meet.
"We ran against some very good teams at the Augustana meet and we won," Stevenson said. "I knew we had a good team and from that point on they kept getting better each week."
Berg is from Winslow, Ariz. Moeller (Rosholt), Boomsma (Crooks) and Williams (Madison) all hail from South Dakota.
"I knew we were going to be fast," said Berg. "But I had no idea we would end up with a state record and All-American recognition."
During the season, DSU claimed several 400-meter relay wins. One of the biggest was at Sioux Falls when the foursome won the Howard Wood Dakota Relay championship competing against schools from all divisions.
"They did not care what teams were there. They wanted to compete and they were prepared both mentally and physically," Stevenson said.
"All year long, we had a goal to become All-Americans and break the all-time state record," Boomsma said. "With nationals and peaking at the right time, it all came together nicely."
After winning at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays, they just kept getting faster and faster.
"These four runners blended together well," Stevenson said. "They worked hard at practices and they showed the cohesiveness that was needed in building a good team."
Moeller was grateful to be part of this great 400-meter relay team.
"It was fun running with some of the best sprinters in the state," he said.
The foursome placed third in the NAIA National Meet. Winning the event was Indiana Tech with a time of 40.00 seconds. With three of the four DSU runners returning next season, the goals could be very lofty.
"Our goal is to pick up where we left off this year and take it to another level," Stevenson said. "We need to work hard and stay injury-free to reach this goal. They know what it takes, and the three returnees will be a great influence on the new addition."
"It was a blast running with this group of guys," Williams said. "We have some big goals for next year."
The lead runner for the relay team was Williams, followed by Berg, Moeller and Boomsma.
DSU men now hold two collegiate records. Tard Smith, who once held both the 100- and 200-meter dash collegiate records, holds just the 200-meter dash collegiate record.
©Madison Daily Leader 2013
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