Kolpack: Ex-record holder in 3,000 proud of Bison's Teschuk
Fargo - The video circulating on social media last week showing Erin Teschuk’s finishing kick in the 3,000-meter run is about as dramatic as it gets in long distance running. With one lap to go, the North Dakota State junior looked so far out of the race at the Iowa State Classic that the apparent winner could have stopped for a hot dog and coke.
Even the commentators already had Nicol Traynor from the New Jersey New York Track Club as the winner. Then came the heart of a champion in about the last 100 meters. Teschuk won at the wire with a time of 9 minutes, 2.4 seconds, which at the time stood as the NCAA’s top time this season. It’s currently fourth.
But as impressive as that time was, and as stirring as that last lap was, perhaps the most jaw-dropping result from that race was it broke the NDSU school record.
By 28 seconds.
That’s like somebody beating Mike Powell’s world long jump record by two feet.
“I am very happy to hand over the baton to Erin,” said Nancy (Dietman) Holovnia, the former record holder. “I hope running brings her as much joy as it did and still does for me today.”
The fact an NDSU record stood for 30 years is a testament to the impressive performance Dietman turned in at the 1985 NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships, which were held at NDSU.
“There were three of us real close at the end. It was just an all-out guts race,” she said. “I had been logging miles, but not doing any speed workouts because we were getting ready more for outdoors, so certainly wasn’t peaked for the race. It was a tough one.”
NDSU has its biggest indoor meet of the season this weekend with the Summit League Championships at the Shelly Ellig Indoor Track on campus. The Bison have turned out some impressive long distance runners over the years, and that includes over 10 years as a Division I program. It took one of the most amazing personal yearly improvements the Bison program has ever seen to beat Holovnia’s record set as a Division II athlete.
Teschuk wasn’t even on the top 10 NDSU performance list in the 3,000 at this time last year. She made national waves last month when her mile time of 4:32.02 was almost 28 seconds faster than she ran last season. As of this weekend, it ranked as the second-fastest mile time in the country.
“That is wonderful,” Holovnia said. “I recall when I increased my mileage from high school to college I was not successful my freshman year, but by my sophomore year I had cut over a minute off my times. So it’s possible depending on training, discipline eating right and loving the sport.”
The oldest NDSU women’s indoor record is the last one hanging around from the 1980s with Deb Bergerson’s 4:29.24 in the 1,500 meters. Holovnia still has the trifecta of outdoor school records in the 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 runs. If Teschuk remains healthy, those may be in danger.
And that would be fine with Holovnia, who didn’t run at NDSU for the records.
“I smile when I think of it not because I had a record,” she said. “I ran because I loved the sport and loved the team. I had a very good experience at NDSU. To be honest, I have never looked it up in 30 years.”
Her advice to Teschuk: maintain a disciplined mindset to handle the demands of mileage and training.
“Believe me, you earn your times,” she said.
Her old indoor record was from a race that bestowed her as the first NDSU female national track and field champion. When NDSU moved to Division I athletics, feats like that were considered out of the question to happen at this level. But watching that video of Teschuk in the 3,000 at Iowa State, nothing seems out of the question for this program anymore.
NDSU’s best Division I individual performance to date was Laura Hermanson’s second place finish in the 2009 Outdoor Championships. The best indoor was Leslie Brost’s fourth place in 2012. So the table is set for Teschuk, although the focus this week is the Summit meet.
“I’m just excited for her,” Holovnia said.