South Dakota State, North Dakota State favored for indoor

South Dakota State men and North Dakota State women picked as favorites for the 2018 Indoor Track and Field season.
South Dakota State men and North Dakota State women picked as favorites for the 2018 Indoor Track and Field season.

By: Aubrie Laufenberg
 
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota State men and the North Dakota State women were picked as the league favorites in The Summit League's Indoor Track and Field preseason poll released Friday.

This is the first time since joining the league that the South Dakota State men were voted the preseason No. 1 team with 19 total points and three first-place votes. Right behind South Dakota State is defending indoor champion North Dakota State, claiming the No. 2 spot with a total of 18 points and two first-place votes. South Dakota (14), Oral Roberts (13), North Dakota (7) and Western Illinois (4) round out the men's rankings.

On the women's side, North Dakota State was selected to take the top spot for the tenth time since joining the league 11 years ago. The Bison finished with 42 total points and six first-place votes. South Dakota claimed the final first-place vote and took the No. 2 spot with 35 total points. South Dakota State, which received 34 total points, took the No. 3 spot.

Following South Dakota State to finish off the women's preseason rankings was Oral Roberts (26), North Dakota (25) Western Illinois (13), Omaha (13) and Purdue Fort Wayne (7).

2018-19 SUMMIT LEAGUE MEN'S INDOOR PRESEASON POLL

 

Team

Score (1st place votes)

1.

South Dakota State

19 (3)

2.

North Dakota State

18 (2)

3.

South Dakota

14

4.

Oral Roberts

13

5.

North Dakota

7

6.

Western Illinois

4

 

2018-19 SUMMIT LEAGUE WOMEN'S INDOOR PRESEASON POLL

 

Team

Score (1st place votes)

1.

North Dakota State

42 (6)

2.

South Dakota

35 (1)

3.

South Dakota State

34

4.

Oral Roberts

26

5.

North Dakota

25

T-6.

Western Illinois

13

T-6.

Omaha

13

8.

Purdue Fort Wayne

7

 

MEN'S INDOOR PRESEASON ATHLETES TO WATCH LIST

All notes/bullet points meant to reflect indoor track & field accomplishments only

Kyle Burdick | South Dakota State | Senior | Distance

  • Summit League Most Outstanding Performer (2018)
  • All-League Indoors (2016, 2017, 2018)
  • Won the mile and 3,000-meters and finished second in the 5,000-meters at the 2018 Indoor Championships

Bryant Courter | South Dakota State | Junior | Jumps

  • All-League Indoors (2017, 2018)
  • Summit League Indoor Championship Field MVP (2017, 2018)
  • Reset the triple jump school record four times and etched his name on three meet records
  • Won the triple jump with a championship record and finished second in the long jump and high jump at the 2018 indoor championships

Payton Otterdahl | North Dakota State | Senior | Throws

  • Weight throw champion and third-place finisher in the shot put at the 2017 indoor championships
  • All-League indoor honors (2016, 2017)
  • Broke the NDSU record in the weight throw and ranked 2nd in shot put during the 2017 season

Tony Ukkelberg | North Dakota State | Junior | Multi-Events

  • 2018 runner-up in the heptathlon at the indoor championships with a personal-best 5,352 points
  • Finished seventh in the long jump and established new personal-bests in the high jump, 60-meter hurdles, pole vault and shot put
  • All-League indoor honoree (2017, 2018)

Eldon Warner | South Dakota | Senior | Distance

  • 2018 Summit League Indoor Championship Track MVP
  • All-League honors (2017, 2018)
  • Won the 800-meter race while finishing runner-up in the mile and 3,000-meters and third in the 5,000-meters at the indoor championships

Chris Nilsen | South Dakota | Junior | Pole Vault

  • 2017 Summit League and NCAA indoor pole vault champion
  • 2018 NCAA indoor pole vault runner-up
  • All-America status (2018)
  • USTFCCCA Midwest Indoor Field Athlete of the Year (2018)
  • Summit League Indoor Field Athlete of the Year (2017, 2018)
  • Summit League Indoor Championship Record-Holder

Jaden Purnell | Oral Roberts | Senior | Jumps

  • Won the long jump title and shattered his personal best by 10 inches at the 2018 indoor championships
  • Took second place in the triple jump at the 2018 indoor championships
  • All-League indoor honors (2017, 2018)

Josh Kirby | Western Illinois | Junior | Hurdles

  • Fifth in the 60-meter hurdles at the 2018 indoor championships
  • Ranks second all-time in school history in the 60-meter hurdles
  • Scored at the 2017 indoor championship

 

WOMEN'S INDOOR PRESEASON ATHLETES TO WATCH LIST

All notes/bullet points meant to reflect indoor track & field accomplishments only

Maddy Nilles | North Dakota State | Junior | Throws

  • Earned All-League honors in 2017 for finishing runner-up in the weight throw
  • Placed fifth in the shot put at the 2018 league indoor championships
  • Ended the 2018 season ranked second in NDSU history in the weight throw

Kelby Anderson | North Dakota State | Sophomore | Distance

  • Competed in three indoor meets last season
  • Clocked a 4:59.38 in the mile at the Jim Emmerich Invitational
  • Ran the 3,000-meters in a time of 9:58.28 at Washington

Samara Spencer | South Dakota | Junior | Jumps

  • 2017 Summit League Indoor champion in the long jump
  • Summit League Indoor Field Championship MVP (2017)
  • Earned All-League honors after placing second in the 60-meter at the 2018 Summit League Indoor Championships

Helen Falda | South Dakota | Junior | Pole Vault

  • All-American in the pole vault and earned second-team All-America accolades with a 14th-place finish at the 2018 NCAA Indoor Championships
  • Summit League Indoor Field Athlete of the Year (2018)
  • 2018 Summit League pole vault champion

Megan Billington | South Dakota | Senior | Distance

  • Won the 5,000-meter race at the 2018 Summit League Indoor Championships, while placing fifth in the mile and the 3,000-meters
  • All-League accolades (2017, 2018)
  • Holds the second fastest 5,000-meters time in South Dakota program history

Rachel King | South Dakota State | Senior | Distance

  • 2018 Summit League Championship Track MVP
  • Won the mile and the 3,000-meter race while finishing second in the 5,000-meters at the 2018 Summit League Indoor Championships
  • 2017 Summit League Indoor Athlete of the Year
  • All-League Indoors (2017, 2018)

Michaela Busch | Western Illinois | Junior | Jumps

  • Broke the school record for the indoor pentathlon last season
  • Placed fourth in the high jump at the 2018 indoor championships
  • Took sixth overall in the pentathlon, highlighted by a PR of 2:28.19 in the 800 at the championships

Stephanie Ahrens | Omaha | Senior | Jumps

  • Returning indoor champion in the high jump
  • Summit League Indoor runner-up in the high jump (2015, 2016)
  • Indoor All-League accolades (2015, 2016, 2018)

Emma Rafuse | Purdue Fort Wayne | Senior | Distance

  • Finished fourth in the mile at the 2018 Summit League Indoor Championships
  • Held Purdue Fort Wayne's fastest indoor 800, mile, and 3,000-meters times last season

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ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE

Through 36 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 115,000 at nine institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), the University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, Purdue Fort Wayne (Purdue University Fort Wayne), the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced 12 NCAA Champions along with over 100 Academic All-Americans, nearly 125 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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