Olin, Nilles Record First-Team All-America Performances

Olin, Nilles Record First-Team All-America Performances

EUGENE, Ore. – They say Bison travel in herds, and that sentiment surely holds true for the contingency of student-athletes—four to be exact—that made their way to NCAA Track & Field Championships this week.

However, it was the dynamic duo of Maddy Nilles and Alyssa Olin that stood out at Historic Hayward Field last night.

Nilles was first to compete but saved her best for last with a sixth-attempt bomb from the hammer circle that sailed a personal-best distance of 218' 1" (66.49m). When both flights were finished, Nilles' mark was good enough to maintain a hold at fifth place on the leaderboard—awarding her first-team All-America honors.

Later in the evening, the spotlight grew bigger for NDSU as Olin fired a 180' 6" (55.02m) dart in the women's javelin toss to earn a similar fifth-place, first-team All-America finish. This was Olin's second-consecutive appearance and All-America finish at outdoor nationals.

With their performances, Nilles and Olin become the first female track & field teammates in Summit League history to place top-five at NCAA Outdoor Championships in the same season.

South Dakota's Helen Falda and Oral Roberts' Mercy Abire both wrapped up their seasons as well last night with second-team All-America recognition. Falda cleared the bar in the pole vault yesterday with at a personal-best height of 14' 1.25" (4.30m) for her third-career All-America finish, while Abire placed 13th in the long jump with a 20' 7" (6.27m) leap—the highest finish for a Summit League woman in the long jump at NCAAs since 2011.  

Other competitors last night included Rachel King of South Dakota State and Lara Boman of South Dakota. King clocked a 10:27.92 time in the 3000m steeplechase semifinal race and Boman placed 22nd in the hammer with a 188' 10" (57.57m) throw.

Here are the full Summit League results from Thursday's action at Hayward Field:

Lara Boman

South Dakota


188' 10" (57.57m)


Maddy Nilles

North Dakota State


218' 1" (66.49m)


Rachel King

South Dakota State

3000m Steeple



Helen Falda

South Dakota

Pole Vault

14' 1.25" (4.30m)


Alyssa Olin

North Dakota State


180' 6" (55.02m)


Mercy Abire

Oral Roberts

Long Jump

20' 7" (6.27m)


Competition continues today with events beginning at 7 p.m. CT. South Dakota's Zack Anderson will make his NCAA Championships debut in the men's high jump following a gold medal performance at league championships in Tulsa, Okla., and another first-place finish at the NCAA West Preliminary round in Austin, Texas.

Anderson's throws teammate Ben Hammer is also competing for the first time at national championships tonight, though not in the event his last name would imply. Instead, the junior from Dell Rapids, S.D., steps inside the discus circle tonight at 7:05 p.m. CT as the NCAA's No. 11 ranked performer this season.

North Dakota State's Payton Otterdahl, who got his feet wet at NCAA Championships with a second-team All-America showing in the men's shot put Wednesday, competes again tonight alongside USD's Hammer in the discus. Otterdahl sports the 13th-best mark in the nation this season in the discus.

For more information on how to watch and follow along live, please see the table below.

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