NDSU’s Retzlaff, USD’s Nilsen Named Athletes of the Week

NDSU’s Retzlaff, USD’s Nilsen Named Athletes of the Week

ELMHURST, Ill. – North Dakota State's Bailey Retzlaff and South Dakota's Chris Nilsen were named Summit League Indoor Track & Field Athletes of the Week for their performances last Saturday.

Retzlaff and the Bison returned to action hosting the Thundering Herd Classic in Fargo, N.D., while Nilsen and the Coyotes traveled to Iowa City for the Hawkeye Invitational. Both field athletes, Retlaff—a junior from Carrington, N.D.—registered marks in the shot put and weight throw events while the defending NCAA Indoor Champion Nilsen added another impressive notch in his collegiate belt in the pole vault.


Jr. // Carrington, N.D.

  • Competed in both the shot put and weight throw events at The Thundering Herd Classic
  • Placed second overall with a personal-best mark of 51-09.25 (15.78m) in the shot
  • Earned fourth-place in the weight throw with a 60-02.00 (18.34m) toss
  • No. 1 in the shot and No. 2 in the weight on The Summit League performance list this season
  • Ranks in the top-40 nationally in both event categories (SP – 23rd, WT – 38th)
  • Moved to No. 3 all-time in NDSU history in the shot
  • First-career Athlete of the Week honor

Also nominated: Madeline Huglen (USD), Cameron Hilliard (ORU), Stephanie Ahrens (Omaha), Amelia Peterson (WIU), Jaymie O'Connor (SDSU)

Previous winners: Aniekeme Etim, Oral Roberts – Dec. 5 // Maddy Nilles, North Dakota State – Dec. 12

Chris Nilsen, SOUTH DAKOTA  

So. // Kansas City, Mo.

  • Competed in the pole vault event at the Hawkeye Invitational   
  • Won the event by over a foot with a season-best 18-4.50 (5.60m) mark
  • With that vault, now ranks first in both The Summit League and NCAA this season
  • Two-time Hawkeye Invitational pole vault champ (2017, 2018)
  • Broke the Hawkeye Invitational pole vault meet record for the second-consecutive season
  • Also broke the 21-year-old facility record set back in 1997
  • Sixth-career Summit League Indoor Athlete of the Week title (third-most all-time)

Also nominated: Steffan Stroh (NDSU), Emmanuel Mwewa (ORU), Trent Francom (SDSU)

Previous winners: Bryant Courter (SDSU) and Corey Reid (USD) – Dec. 5 // Alex Talley, North Dakota State – Dec. 12


Through 35 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 100,000 at eight institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University with the University of North Dakota becoming an official member on July 1, 2018. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced nine NCAA Champions along with over 90 Academic All-Americans, nearly 100 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague.


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