By the time Dave Ackerson completed his four-year track and field career at Dakota Wesleyan University, his name was scattered throughout the school record book, and he graduated in 1972 as one of the best track athletes in Tiger history. The four-year letter winner set seven school records- four in indoor track and field and three in outdoor- during his career and also ranks among the school’s all-time greatest in two other events. Ackerson’s brilliance came most often in the hurdles, where he set school records in the 60-yard low hurdles, the 55- and the 160- meter intermediate hurdles and the 55-meter high hurdles. He also helped set school records in the sprint medley relay, the shuttle hurdle relay and the 1,600-meter relay. Ackerson was a two-time conference champion in hurdle events, and never finished lower than sixth in an event throughout his career, which is a testament to his remarkable consistency. Ackerson led the Tigers to third-place finishes in the 1971conference and district meets, which still ranks among the best team performances in school history. Ackerson’s excellence went beyond the track; he was a straight-A student, was featured in Who’s Who in American Colleges and he was DWU’s 1972 homecoming king.
Darrell Barth ‘64
Darrell Barth excelled in basketball and track while attending Dakota Wesleyan University. He was a four-year starter on the Tiger basketball team, playing in integral role on two South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference championship teams in 1963 and 1964. Barth helped lead the team to a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics District 12 championship and a national NAIA tournament berth. In track Barth was one of the Tiger’s most talented middle distance runners. He set school records in the 440 and 880-yard runs, and he won two conference titles in each. Barth was particularly respected by his coaches and teammates for his excellent leadership ability and tireless work ethic.
Tom Bell ‘74
Tom Bell, a two-sport standout for Dakota Wesleyan University, excelled at football and track. He arrived on campus in 1970 as one of many outstanding athletes that came from Pennsylvania during the 1960’s and early 1970’s. Bell was a talented four-year starter at offensive guard for the Tigers, receiving two South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference selections and one National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics District 12 honorable mention selection. In track Bell was a four-time conference javelin champion, gaining his greatest recognition in 1973 with a throw of 239’6”. The distance has been a school, conference, South Dakota College and NAIA District 12 record for over 30 years. Bell qualified for the 1973 NAIA national track meet and placed sixth, earning All-American status. Bell was the second DWU track performer to receive such an honor up to that time. For his football and track skills, Bell was listed in the 1974 edition of Outstanding College Athletics in America.
Jack Burroughs ‘38
Jack Burroughs was a two-sport standout at Dakota Wesleyan University. He was a four-year starting end and letterman for the Tigers. Burroughs was considered one of the best pass receivers in the conference during the 1930’s and was twice named all-conference. Burroughs’ offensive and defensive skills were a major factor in the teams 1936 5-0-1 record and South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference championship. Burroughs was elected to the team’s co-captain his junior and senior years. Burroughs also was a superior track performer and set school records in the javelin, the 440-yard dash, the 880-yard relay and the sprint medley relay. His 179-foot javelin toss in 1935 remained a school record for 39 years. After his graduation in 1938, Burroughs remained on campus as the assistant football coach for four years.
Craig Cheeseman ‘92
Craig Cheeseman launched his Dakota Wesleyan University athletic career the fall of 1987 and then climaxing in 1992 by becoming the only athlete in school history to receive 15 letter awards. Craig’s distinguished career covered four sports that included football, basketball, baseball and track. He was a three year starting quarterback for the Tiger football team, winning offensive most valuable player honors in 1990 as well as being selected Honorable Mention All-Conference. He was a two years starter in basketball and was elected co-captain of the team his senior year. Winning the team’s most valuable player honors twice and a 1991 NAIA District 12 Honorable Mention selection highlighted Craig’s four year baseball career. His track competition was capped by winning All-Conference honors in 1990 and 1991 by placing in the triple jump in the South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference meets. Craig not only excelled with his athletic ability but also as a team leader. He was instrumental in leading the Tigers to six conference championships spanning over three sports. Craig spent a three year period (1995-98) as the DWU head baseball coach and assistant football coach.
Dave Elhoff ‘72
Dave Elhoff, already an accomplished distance runner before beginning his track career at Dakota Wesleyan University in 1968, became one of DWU’s most successful track athletes, and, by his 1972 graduation, Elhoff held seven school records, more than any other track performer in DWU history up to that time. His seven records included every distance event, the steeplechase and two relays. Elhoff also has the distinction of placing high in every track event in which he participated. Elhoff was not only recognized as a great track performer and leader by his coach, but his teammates twice voted him team captain and most valuable track performer. One of Elhoff’s career highlights came in 1970 when he won the Second Annual Sioux Falls to Harrisburg 10,000 Meter Road Race in a record time that still ranks in the top 10.
Troy Erickson ‘93
Troy Erickson, one of Dakota Wesleyan University’s most talented track athletes, excelled in hurdles and long jump but participated in many events. Erickson set nine school records, four in indoor track and five in outdoor track. His rebounds include two in the long jump, three in the hurdles and four relays. In 1990 and 1991, Erickson led DWU’s track team to the South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference championship, the first time for such a feat in the school’s long history of athletic excellence, and in 1992 Erickson broke DWU’s longest track record of 35 years, the 110-meter hurdles. That same year his indoor long jump of 23’3 1/2” gave him a third place finish in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national indoor track meet and All-American status. Erickson’s outdoor jump at the 1992 conference meet of 23’9 ¼” broke the 61-year-old SDIC meet record set by Smokey Joe Mendel. Erickson was named the 1992 SDIC Most Valuable Track Athlete. After graduation in 1993, Erickson spent five years coaching cross-country and track at DWU.
Harlan Glenn ‘70
Harlan Glenn was one of Dakota Wesleyan University’s most outstanding all-around track athletes. His specialty included the 400-meter hurdles and his 1969 time of 54.74 seconds remained a school record for 22 years. Glenn also was a two-time South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference hurdle champion. He was a very versatile track performer and often ran in four to six events per meet. Glenn’s hurdling skill was equaled by his leadership ability both on and off the track. Glenn was voted team captain three straight years and won the school’s 1969 outstanding track performer award. Glenn reached his athletic peak during the 1970 indoor track season and placed third in the University of Minnesota Invitational, outrunning many National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I athletes. Unfortunately, during the 1970 season, Glenn severely injured his ankle and Achilles tendon, prematurely ending his track career.
Don Hilton ‘79
Don Hilton continued family tradition by attending Dakota Wesleyan University. However, after excelling at football and track for four years, Hilton left his own legacy. As a defensive back, Hilton won All-Conference honors his sophomore, junior and senior years. He also was the team’s co-captain his junior and senior years. Hilton not only was an exceptional tackler, but he had the uncanny ability to read quarterback passes and became one of DWU’s most accomplished players in pass interceptions. At the conclusion of Hilton’s career, he had set two school pass interception records, single season and career. Both of these records remained on the books for more than 10 years. In track, Hilton’s specialties were hurdles and relay events. His times in the hurdles and three relay events still rank high on the all-time list. Hilton joined his father Earl in the hall of fame, and they became the first father and son duo.
Chris Lounsbery ‘92
Chris Lounsbery began his outstanding football career at Dakota Wesleyan University in the fall of 1988. He played at the offensive guard position and was a perfect fit for the Tiger’s potent rushing attack. His quickness and outstanding blocking skills in opening up holes for the running backs helped make long yardage gains a reality not just a possibility. He was instrumental in the team leading the conference and District 12 in rushing during 1990 and 1991 seasons. During his four-year career Chris helped the Tiger football team win South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference championships in 1989 and 1991. He received first team all-conference and NAIA All-District 12 honors in both his junior and senior years. However his senior year truly climaxed his brilliant career in grand style by being named the SDIC Most Valuable Player and becoming only the second football player in school history to be named a first team NAIA All-American. Chris was also a track athlete placing second in the 1990 and 1991 conference meet in the shot put.
Steve Mach ‘77
Steve Mach arrived on Dakota Wesleyan University’s campus in 1973 and immediately displayed his athletic ability in football and track. Mach played both defense and offense in football, finishing his career as the quarterback for the 1976 South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference championship team that was named South Dakota College Team of the Year. Mach was not only an outstanding player but was also a natural team leader and was elected the team captain for the 1975 and 1976 seasons. During the 1976 season, Mach broke the school’s single season passing record, tossing for 1,340 yards. He was named the quarterback for the SDIC All-Conference team. Mach, also an excellent runner, set records in the indoor 800-meter run and the outdoor mile and medley relays.
Cliff Mackey, a three-sport athlete at Dakota Wesleyan University, excelled in football, basketball, and track. In football Mackey was considered one of the best triple threat halfbacks in the conference and was selected South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference three years. He also was voted team captain by his teammates in 1932. Mackey’s basketball career was very successful at the guard position, and he was a consistent scorer and great playmaker, which helped him gain all-conference selections his sophomore, junior and senior years. With a combined conference record of 21 victories and 1 defeat, Mackey helped lead the team to SDIC conference championships in 1932 and 1933. Those same years the team also participated in the Amateur Athletic Union national basketball tournament, winning two games in the 1932 tournament. Mackey also was an excellent track performer and won numerous times in the dashes and field events.
Jim Martin ‘73
Jim Martin was an outstanding three-sport athlete during his four years at Dakota Wesleyan University and won a total of 12 varsity letters. He was a four-year starting halfback in football and was selected South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference honorable mention twice. Martin also was a four-year starter for the Tiger basketball team and was an excellent shooter and one of DWU’s most outstanding floor leaders. Martin scored 1,097 career points while leading the Tigers to SDIC conference championships in 1969 and 1970. He was an All-Conference and NAIA All-District 12 selection his junior and senior years. On the track Martin excelled in the sprints and set three school records. His time of 49.04 seconds in the 400-meter dash held for 19 years. After Martin’s graduation in 1973, he returned to campus in 1975 as the assistant basketball coach. He became the head coach in 1983 and won the conference championship in 1984 and 1985.
Mike McKay ‘63
Mike McKay began his Dakota Wesleyan athletic career in the fall of 1959. He participated in three sports but was primarily known for his many skills on the football field. During his football career, he played six different positions. He was noted many times for his leadership ability as was proven by not only leading the Tiger football team at quarterback but also twice being selected team captain. For his excellent skills on the field, he was twice selected a South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference performer and in 1962 was named NAIA Honorable Mention All-American. Mike’s athletic and leadership ability was also prevalent on the track by his participation on four Dakota Wesleyan conference championship relay teams. His 1960 championship 800 meter relay team not only set a school record that lasted 11 years, but is still 10th best in school history.
Vladimir Micic still holds several records-both indoor and outdoor- at Dakota Wesleyan University after a prolific career with the track and field program. The Yugoslavia native and 2002 DWU graduate is one of just a handful of athletes in DWU history with multiple All-America honors. He took third in the 55-meter hurdles at the 2000 and 2001 NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships and fifth in the 100-meter hurdles at the 2000 outdoor national championships. He set the SDIC indoor record in the 55-meter hurdles in 2000 and the GPAC record in the same race in 2001 (7.37 seconds). He still holds school records in the outdoor 110-meter hurdles (14.34) and in the indoor 55-and 60-meter hurdles (8.08). His time of 27.15 seconds in the 200-meter hurdles is still second best in school indoor history. He was also part of the 800-meter relay squad in 2000 that holds the eighth-best time (3:30.14) in school indoor history. Since graduation, he has remained an active distance runner, and has completed three full-marathons- the Bucks Country Marathon, the Cleveland Marathon and the Wine Glass Marathon.
Lauritz Miller ‘03
DWU Academy 1897-99
Lauritz Miller was considered by many to be Dakota Wesleyan University’s greatest all-around athlete for the university’s first 50 years. With no eligibility limits in the early years of college athletics, Miller competed in football and track for six years- two years while attending the DWU Academy and four years while attending the university. Miller’s size, speed and overall desire made him the most feared athlete in the Dakotas during his playing days. On the football field Miller played guard, tackle, end and running back, leading the Tigers to a 18-2-3 record and five South Dakota College championships. During that time the team piled up a total of 638 points, most of which were scored by Miller, to their opponents, 154 points. In track, Miller was equally outstanding and participated in hurdles, dashes, high jump, discus, hammer throw, and shot put, winning in nearly every meet. Miller’s throw of 41’6” in the shot put was a school record that stood for 25 years. Miller’s times in the 100-yard dash were close to 10 seconds flat in every race he ran.
Randy Oldenkamp ‘79
Randy Oldenkamp, an outstanding football and track athlete at Dakota Wesleyan University, was a four-year starter and letterman in football, playing primarily defensive linebacker until his senior year when he moved to the quarterback position. This switch proved to be an excellent coaching decision, not only because of Oldenkamp’s skills on the field but also because of his leadership ability. Oldenkamp was selected the team’s captain and most valuable player, and for the second year in a row Oldenkamp was named South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference. Oldenkamp is one of few Tiger players who can claim All-Conference honors for both offense and defense. Oldenkamp also excelled in track, showing tremendous all-around talent. He was the SDIC and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics District 12 decathlon champion in 1978 and 1979. In his senior year, Oldenkamp set a school decathlon record that remained for 18 years, and he has ranked in the top 10 in three track categories for many years.
Eric Pulse ‘91
Eric Pulse began his Dakota Wesleyan University athletic career in 1988. He quickly became one of the most prolific track and field athletes in school history. In Eric’s distinguished track career, he set several school records in track and field. He earned four letters in track. Eric was named the South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference Most Valuable Performer at the 1990 SDIC outdoor meet. Eric held school records in the indoor 200 and 400 and outdoor 400. He was also a member of several relay teams that set school records, including the outdoor 800-meter relay, 1,600-meter relay and the sprint medley relay. His track accomplishments and leadership were capped by leading the team to the first SDIC team championship in school history in 1990. He also helped the team to the team championship in 1991, the only two track championships in DWU history. Eric was not only a standout track athlete; he was defensive back on the SDIC Conference championship football team in 1989 and 1991.
Wayne Roberts ‘74
Wayne Roberts arrived on Dakota Wesleyan University’s campus in 1970 with a group of athletes recruited from Columbus, Ohio. After four years of starting on the track team, Roberts graduated in 1974 holding eight track records, including three indoor dashes, two outdoor dashes and three relays. Three of Roberts’ records held for over 30 years and one remained for 27 years. Roberts was the 100 and 200-meter South Dakota Intercollegiate Conference and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics District 12 champion in 1972, 1973 and 1974. He also was a member of the 1971 4x100 conference championship team. Roberts became DWU’s fastest runner in the school’s history by the time he ended his track career.
Ray Seay ‘69
Ray Seay, touted as Dakota Wesleyan University’s greatest track prospect in the fall of 1965, immediately began to make his mark as DWU’s best sprinter and jumper since the 1930’s. Seay led the Tigers to a third place finish in the 1966 conference track meet, the highest finish for a DWU track team in over 35 years. Although a top-notch sprinter, Seay’s true strengths were in the long jump record with a leap of 22’8 ½”, breaking the existing 52 –year-old record, and the next season he broke his own record with a jump of 23’5”, a record that held for 24 years. Seay also set a new triple jump record with a distance of 43’6”. Seay was both the long jump and triple jump champion in the 1967 and 1968 conference track meets, and he placed in every track meet he participated in during his DWU athletic career.
George Smith ‘57
George Smith followed his brother Russ to Dakota Wesleyan University in 1957. Smith soon proved his athletic talents and skills by excelling in football, basketball, and track. He was a four-year starting end in football and was considered one of DWU’s best during the 1950’s. Smith was twice named South Dakota Intercollegiate All-Conference. Smith also was an excellent basketball player and was one of the team’s leading scorers for three years. Although never realizing a conference championship, Smith helped lead the Tigers to 46 victories and second place conference finishes in 1956 and 1957. During his career the team never ended a season below fifth in the conference standings. As in football, Smith was an All-Conference performer. In track Smith was the conference high hurdle champion and placed in numerous meets as a pole-vaulter.
Jamey Sperle graduated from Dakota Wesleyan University in 2003 as one of the most decorated track and field athletes to compete in the Tiger track program. Sperle is a seven-time All-American who still holds eight individual records and two relay records at Dakota Wesleyan, as well as two GPAC records, an SDIC record and two South Dakota College records. He ran the fastest indoor and outdoor 200-meter dash time by a college athlete in South Dakota history in 2003. Sperle was the SDIC Indoor Conference MVP in 2000 and the GPAC Indoor Conference MVP in 2001. He holds GPAC records for the indoor 55-meter dash and 100-meter dash and the SDIC record for the indoor 200-meter dash. Sperle placed as high as second in the nation at the NAIA National Championships when he took second in the 200 at the 2003 Outdoor National Championships. He also had two third-place finishes and four fourth-place finishes to his name. While at DWU, Sperle competed at the USA Indoor Track Championships and took 12th in the 200-meter dash. He also qualified for the U.S. Bobsled National Team and competed in the 2002 Winter Olympic Trials. After graduating, Sperle ran for the Indiana Invaders, a Nike-sponsored track club for five years, and took sixth in the 200 at the 2004 USA Track and Field Indoor National Championships.
Lloyd “Lefty” Turnwall ‘43
Lloyd “Lefty” Turnwall was a three-sport letterman during his athletic career at Dakota Wesleyan University. Turnwall excelled in football, basketball, and track; however, he was probably best known for his leadership ability and his knowledge of the sports in which he participated. Turnwall was regularly selected as the team captain for football and basketball. In 1943 he was named DWU’s Outstanding Athlete and Scholar. Turnwall’s talent and leadership on the basketball court helped the Tigers win two conference championships in 1939 and 1943. The 1943 team won a total of 21 games, the most of any basketball team in DWU’s history up to that time. During Turnwall’s four years, the team also participated in three National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national tournaments, reaching the quarterfinals in 1939.
Jim Walton ’59
Jim Walton arrived at Dakota Wesleyan University in 1959 and was touted as South Dakota’s premiere high school hurdler, holding the all-time hurdle record and having the tenth best time in the nation. Walton continued his record-setting pace his freshman year, breaking the all-time South Dakota collegiate high hurdle mark with a time of 14.5 seconds. By the end of his freshman season, Walton had accomplished what no other DWU track athlete had done up to that point in school history. He had set a school record, a conference record and a South Dakota Intercollegiate Athletics nation track meet, which made him the first trickster in DWU’s history to accomplish this feat. He placed sixth and received All-American status. Walton remained the conference hurdle champion his sophomore and junior seasons, but poor eyesight ended his senior season prematurely. Walton’s high hurdle record remained number one for 35 years. Walton joined his brother Jerry as a member of DWU’s Athletic Hall of Fame, making them the fourth brother combination.