Nilsen, Levin claim weekly outdoor accolades

South Dakota's Chris Nilsen and North Dakota State's Amanda Levin claim athlete of the week honors.
South Dakota's Chris Nilsen and North Dakota State's Amanda Levin claim athlete of the week honors.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. –Impressive performances by South Dakota's Chris Nilsen and North Dakota State's Amanda Levin earned the duo this week's outdoor track and field athlete of the week awards. This is the second weekly honor of the season for Nilsen and the first for Levin.

Nilsen entered the weekend holding the NCAA's best height this outdoor season and extended that lead with a world-leading vault of 19-1 at the 25th Beach Invitational. He remains the only collegian to clear 19 feet this spring.

Levin broke the NDSU school record in the heptathlon at the Bryan Clay Invitational. Her score of 5,695 surpassed the previous NDSU all-time best by 139 points. No athlete has ever scored over 5,600 points in the heptathlon and not qualified for the national meet.

Chris Nilsen, South Dakota
Junior | Pole Vault

  • Won the pole vault at the Beach Invitational (19-1, 5.82m) and the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate (18-06.75, 5.66m)
  • Increased his NCAA lead by two centimeters and now owns the world-leading height
  • Eighth time in his career to pass 19 feet, 19-1 is the third-best mark in his career
  • Joins Lawrence Johnson (NCAA pole vault record holder) as the only two vaulters to have three jumps of 19-1 or higher in their collegiate career

 Also nominated: Payton Otterdahl (North Dakota), Matt Owen (Oral Roberts), Coby Hilton (South Dakota)

Amanda Levin, North Dakota State
Senior | Multi-Events

  • Currently ranks fifth in the NCAA this season
  • Finished with personal-best performances in six of the seven events
  • Javelin mark was the second-best of her career
  • Posted a long jump mark of 20-02.50 (6.16m) to move up to fourth in NDSU history and second in the league this year

Also nominated: Sasha Wells (Oral Roberts), Molli Detloff (North Dakota), Megan Billington (South Dakota), Oksana Covey (South Dakota State) 

2018-19 The Summit League Athlete of the Week
March 19
M: Payton Otterdahl, North Dakota State, Throws
W: Molli Detloff, North Dakota, Throws | Bailey Retzlaff, North Dakota State, Throws

March 26
M: Ben Hammer, South Dakota, Throws
W: Callie Henrich, South Dakota, Throws 

April 2
M: Payton Otterdahl, North Dakota State, Throws | Chris Nilsen, South Dakota, Pole Vault
W: Rachel King, South Dakota State, Distance 

April 9
M: Payton Otterdahl, North Dakota State, Throws
W: Akealy Moton, North Dakota State, Throws 

April 16
M: Jaden Purnell, Oral Roberts, Jumps
W: Landon Kemp, South Dakota, Pole Vault 

April 23
M: Chris Nilsen, South Dakota, Pole Vault
W: Amanda Levin, North Dakota State, Multi-Events

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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 website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague.