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Jacobi claims third in NSAA Multi

waldorf-warriors-outline_1By Aaron Schneider

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – Justin Jacobi, Isaiah Craig and Caleb Gilbertson turned in strong finishes for the Waldorf College men’s track and field team in the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA) Indoor Championships & Multi, which wrapped up on Monday.
Jacobi recorded a third-place finish in the heptathlon to contribute six points to Waldorf’s point total in the NSAA Indoor Championships team standings. The freshman from Belle Plaine improved upon his own school record with a 3,986-point performance. Jacobi hit a national-qualifying standard in the event set by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and currently ranks 38th in the nation.
“This is a very big step for our program,” Waldorf coach Kelsey Riggins said. “He is our first track and field athlete to hit a national-qualifying standard. I think this is only the beginning of what Justin will accomplish during his time at Waldorf.”
Craig and Gilbertson tallied 3,583 points and 3,354 points in the heptathlon, respectively.
It was a solid start for the Warriors in the heptathlon as Gilbertson clocked a time of 7.34 seconds in the 60-meter dash to capture first place and 765 points. Craig followed closely behind for second (7.38) to notch 752 points. Jacobi ran lifetime-best 7.85 seconds to earn 604 points.
Gilbertson leaped to a first-place finish in the long jump with a season-best 6.56-meter (21-foot 6.25-inch) mark. The Haywood, Minnesota native recorded 711 points off the performance. Jacobi jumped to a personal-best 6.06 meters (19 feet, 10.5 inches) for 600 points. Craig turned in a distance of 5.93 meters (19 feet, 5.5 inches) to score 593 points.
“All three of our men jumped over six meters in the long jump and that was some great points for all of them,” Riggins said.
Jacobi added 460 points in the shot put behind a lifetime-best distance of 9.57 meters (31 feet, 4.75 inches). Gilbertson also threw for 9.19 meters (30 feet, 1.75 inches) and 437 points following a lifetime-best performance while Craig provided an 8.81-meter (28-foot 10.75-inch) toss for 414 points.
“It was Isaiah’s first time throwing in the shot put,” Riggins said. “We were very impressed with his explosiveness in this event.”
Craig received 679 points in the high jump, clearing the bar at 1.86 meters. The Apple Valley, Minnesota native was one of two athletes reach that mark.
“Isaiah jumped pretty close to his PR,” Riggins said. “He has had some big breakthroughs with his approach. I think we are going to see some big jumps from him next weekend and during the outdoor season.”
Gilbertson and Jacobi each reached a height of 1.74 meters (5 feet, 8.5 inches) in the high jump for 577 points apiece. Gilbertson established a new personal record and Jacobi matched his personal-best.
“The high jump is a very complex event,” Riggins said. “Caleb and Justin have done a great jump working with Coach [Ashley] Conway this year and learning this event in order to compete in the multi.”
Jacobi took home first place in the 60 high hurdles, clocking a lifetime-best performance of 9.11 seconds and adding 722 points to his score. Craig ran to a time of 11.59 seconds for 281 points while debuting in the event.
“Justin is starting to look comfortable over the collegiate high hurdles and Isaiah did a great job for his first time competing in the hurdles,” Riggins said.
Gilbertson lost some time when he fell after catching his foot on the first hurdle in the 60 hurdles. He recovered to run a 13.23-second finish.
“There are a lot of athletes that would take a fall like Caleb did and stop,” Riggins said. “Even though that ended up costing him quite a few points in the competition, he knew he needed to finish the race. You can’t teach athletes that drive and I was very proud of him for that race.”
Jacobi surpassed the barrier he set for the pole-vault school record by delivering a 2.68-meter (8-foot-9.5-inch) performance for 282 points. Gilbertson received 259 points following a 2.58-meter (8-foot-5.5-inch) vault. Craig earned 237 points with a height of 2.48 meters (8 feet, 1.75 inches), completing his first performance in the pole vault.
“All three of them did a great job,” Riggins said. “Once we are outside and able to vault on a more consistent basis, each one of them will see some major improvements in this event.”
The three Warriors rounded out the heptathlon in the 1,000.
“Running the 1,000 after they have already competed in six events in the last 18 hours is not an easy task,” Riggins said. “It is big test of mental toughness and each one of them ran a spectacular race.”
Jacobi entered the final event leading Viterbo University’s Gavin Zimmerman by 35 points. The goal for Jacobi was to stay close to Dickinson State University’s Tommy Sease and Jacobi’s strategy resulted in a personal-record time of 2:52.39 and a second-place finish and 741 points in the 1,000. He secured third place in the heptathlon with a 0.63-second advantage over Zimmerman in the 1,000. Jacobi trailed Sease for first place in the 1,000 by 2.97 seconds.
“Justin Jacobi took four seconds off his previous time of 2:56 and ran a very, very tough race,” Riggins said. “He knew that he need to stay as close to [Tommy] Sease in order to stay in the top three and he did just that.”
Craig ran the 1,000 in 3:03.90 for 627 points despite finding himself isolated between two packs during the race.
“Isaiah was very impressive, especially since he was pretty much running alone,” Riggins said. “He was in between two groups of athletes and just kept fighting.”
Gilbertson knocked three seconds off his personal-best time as he closed out the 1,000 in 3:17.11, which resulted in 507 points.
Waldorf returns to action in this weekend’s NSAA Indoor Championships at Brookings, South Dakota. The two-day meet starts on Friday at 11 a.m.
“They will all be on the track for us next weekend and I am looking forward to seeing what they can do,” Riggins said. “After the completion of the indoor conference meet, Justin and Caleb will transition to competing in the decathlon during the outdoor season.”