By Trisha Zach
Cade Kalkowski, graduate of Niobrara in 2016, has performed very well at the collegiate level of track and field for Wayne State College. Kalkowski throws the weight and hammer for the Wildcats.
At the collegiate level there are two track seasons, indoor and outdoor. An athlete can redshirt one or both to make their career last five years. Kalkowski is a redshirt freshman this 2018 outdoor season.
This year being his first competitive outdoor season, Kalkowski recently won NSIC conference with a toss of 190’10” on May 12, beating many older, more experienced athletes.
“It hadn’t really registered that I won till I was stepping onto the winner stands,” Kalkowski stated.
Kalkowski bested his conference mark on May 13, at the Loper Last Chance Twilight in Kearney, launching the hammer 194’6” making it his new personal best and qualified him for nationals.
“I feel really honored to qualify as a redshirt freshman,” he states humbly.
Brett Suckstorf is the throws coach at Wayne State College. He brought Kalkowski to the last chance meet to try to qualify him for nationals.
“I was so happy that my coach decided to go down to that last chance meet in Kearney because if i wouldn’t have, I would not have made nationals,” Kalkowski states.
Suckstorf has multiple athletes going to nationals this year, just like many years in the past.
“I owe all my success to my coach and teammates. My teammates are always pushing me to be better and always cheering me on which is a great feeling when you’re throwing.”
Kalkowski credits both his teammates’ and his own success to Suckstorf. “My coach is in my opinion, the best coach in the conference and D2. He is so smart with throwing and training and is the reason Wayne State has so much success.”
“My coach is really good at preparing me and my teammates for nationals, as far as intensity of a workout and how to peak our abilities at the right time,” Kalkowski says.
On May 24, at the NCAA Divison II Nationals in Charlotte, North Carolina, Kalkowski finished fourteenth at Nationals with a throw of 190’9”.