USD’s Nilsen, NDSU’s Moton collect latest weekly award

South Dakota's Chris Nilsen and North Dakota State's Akealy Moton pick up weekly honors.
South Dakota's Chris Nilsen and North Dakota State's Akealy Moton pick up weekly honors.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. –No strangers to the weekly accolades, South Dakota's Chris Nilsen and North Dakota State's Akealy Moton claimed this week's outdoor track and field athlete of the week honors. This is the second straight week and third this season for Nilsen, while Moton earned the award for the second time this spring.

For the first time in his career, Nilsen beat Olympic medalist Sam Kendricks in head-to-head competition to win the pole vault at the 110th Drake Relays. He vaulted a season-best 19-02.25 which broke the Drake Relays record and tied Drake Stadium's facility record set by Kendricks at the 2018 U.S. Outdoor Championships.

Moton headlined the performances for the Bison women's track and field team with a shot put victory at the Drake Relays. She claimed the shot put title on her final throw of competition with a winning mark of 55-00.25 (16.77m) that vaulted her from third place to first. 

Chris Nilsen, South Dakota
Junior | Pole Vault

  • Won the elite section of the men's pole vault at the Drake Relays
  • Broke the Drake Relays meet record with a vault of 19-02.25 (5.85m)
  • First pole vaulter since 1991 to win the Maury White Award (Drake Relays Most Outstanding Performer)
  • Mark ranks second in both the NCAA and the world this spring

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

Akealy Moton, North Dakota State
Redshirt Freshman | Throws

  • Claimed the shot put title on her final throw at the Drake Relays with a mark of 55-00.25 (16.77m)
  • Her mark vaulted her from third place to first in the event
  • Ranks sixth in the NCAA this season

Also nominated: Christina Ollison (Oral Roberts), Autumn Stokes (North Dakota), Helen Falda (South Dakota), Rachel King (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 

April 30
M: Chris Nilsen, South Dakota, Pole Vault
W: Akealy Moton, North Dakota State, Throws

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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 www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague.

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