HARTINGTON — Two former Lady Wildcats have taken this year’s indoor track season by storm with their respective teams.
Michaela Dendinger, a junior at Wayne State College, and Camie Stratman, a freshman at Nebraska Wesleyan University, have each put on impressive displays this year.
Dendinger has excelled at both the shot-put and weight throw, and she earned a spot on the Division II Second Team All-America Team.
Stratman has jumped into her first season, as she helped her team earn an IIAC Indoor Track & Field Team Title.
“I think Michaela has learned what it takes to really dedicate herself to her sport,” said Wayne State head coach Marlon Brink. “She is very focused and motivated to reach her full potential, and has learned to deal with both the highs of being runner-up at Nationals in discuss two years ago, and the lows of being injured and forced to red-shirt all of last year.”
This year at the national indoor championship event in Alabama, Dendinger placed 10th in both the shot-put and weight throw.
In both events she missed qualifying for the finals by mere inches.
“One of my many goals last indoor season was to make it to the national meet in both shot put and weight throw,” said Dendinger. “I am grateful that I was able to go in both. At nationals I was expecting a little better performance from myself but the experience taught me a lot and has made me work harder for the upcoming seasons.”
At the national championship Dendinger hit 47’ 2.25” in the shot put, but was 2.75 inches away from qualifying. In the weight throw she missed the finals by four inches.
The junior now has her eyes set on the outdoor season as she won the shot put and discus events at the Wayne Outdoor Classic, while also hitting NCAA provisional qualifying marks in both events.
“A national title has always been the main goal of mine, along with adding new WSC records,” said Dendinger. “But I like to focus on one meet at a time and the marks will come.”
Currently in the outdoor season Dendinger holds the farthest hammer throw in Division II, the third farthest shot put and the fifth farthest discus throw.
Stratman, as a freshman, isn’t looking at setting records yet but rather focusing on perfecting the technique that her new college coaches have been teaching her.
“It definitely took some time to adjust to college competition, but towards the end of the indoor season, I began to understand the new techniques my coaches were teaching me,” said Stratman. “It was exciting to see how the new techniques I was taught were beginning to produce results.”
Stratman placed second in the IIAC Indoor Conference high jump competition with a height of 5’3”. The IIAC high jump champion also jumped 5’3”. Stratman also placed fourth in the triple jump.
Competing in the long jump, high jump, and triple jump, Stratman has continued to excel in the events that she set records in high school.
“I would mainly just like to continue to improve my form and see results from it,” said Stratman. “Other than that, I just want to be a supportive teammate, and see my team be successful.
Stratman now looks to the outdoor season where she can take this momentum and continue to push forward.
Both Dendinger and Stratman competed at the top echelon in high school, and they continue to represent themselves and their hometown well in the athletic arena.