USD’s Nilsen, Omaha’s Ahrens Nab Athlete of the Week Honors

USD’s Nilsen, Omaha’s Ahrens Nab Athlete of the Week Honors

ELMHURST, Ill. – South Dakota's Chris Nilsen was named the men's indoor athlete of the week after setting a personal-best in the men's pole vault at the Nebraska Tune-Up last Friday, while Omaha's Stephanie Ahrens earned the women's honor for her performance at the same meet in the women's high jump event.

With his performance, Nilsen is now tied for fifth on the NCAA's all-time indoor performance list. Additionally, the Coyote sophomore ranks eighth in the world this season (professionals included) and was named the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) NCAA Division I National Athlete of the Week (Feb. 20).

This is Nilsen's league record ninth-career indoor weekly honor and fourth this season.  

Ahrens also competed last Friday at the Nebraska Tune-Up, going for a season-best in the women's high jump with a 5' 9.75" (1.77m) leap. Ahrens improved her No. 1 ranking on this season's Summit League performance list.  

Chris Nilsen, SOUTH DAKOTA

So. // Kansas City, Mo.  

  • Competed at the Nebraska Tune-Up Friday night  
  • Set a Devaney Center facility record with a personal-best vault of 19' 0.25" (5.80m)
  • Continues to maintain a stranglehold on the nation's No. 1 NCAA indoor ranking this season
  • Moves into a tie for fifth-place on the NCAA's all-time indoor performance list
  • Eighth-ranked pole vaulter in the world this season (professionals included)
  • Named USTFCCCA's Division I National Athlete of the Week (Feb. 20)
  • Ninth-career Summit League Indoor Athlete of the Week honor (fourth this season)

Also nominated: Jonah Warwick (NDSU), Daniel Clarke (SDSU)

Previous winners: Bryant Courter (SDSU) and Corey Reid (USD) – Dec. 5 // Alex Talley, North Dakota State – Dec. 12 // Chris Nilsen, South Dakota – Jan. 16 // Chris Nilsen, South Dakota – Jan. 23 // Chris Nilsen, South Dakota – Jan. 30 // Ethan Bray, South Dakota – Feb. 6 // Colton Bender (SDSU) and Jaden Purnell (ORU) – Feb. 13

Stephanie Ahrens, OMAHA

Sr. // Lincoln, Neb.

  • Competed at the Nebraska Tune-Up Friday night
  • Recorded a fourth-place finish in the women's high jump with a season-best 5' 9.75" (1.77m) mark
  • Improved her No. 1 ranking on this season's Summit League performance list
  • Currently tied for 40th on this season's NCAA indoor performance list
  • Third-career Summit League Indoor Athlete of the Week honor

Also nominated: Ashley Thompson-Ballew (USD), Lexi O'Connell (Fort Wayne), Josie Lilja (NDSU), Rachel King (SDSU)

Previous winners: Aniekeme Etim, Oral Roberts – Dec. 5 // Maddy Nilles, North Dakota State – Dec. 12 // Bailey Retzlaff, North Dakota State – Jan. 16 // Maddy Nilles, North Dakota State – Jan. 23 // Megan Billington, South Dakota – Jan. 30 // Amanda Levin, North Dakota State – Feb. 6 // Helen Falda, South Dakota – Feb. 13


ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE

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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