South Dakota sweeps final outdoor weekly accolades

South Dakota senior distance runner Eldon Warner secured the honor on the men’s side while junior pole vaulter Helen Falda took home the award on the women’s.
South Dakota senior distance runner Eldon Warner secured the honor on the men’s side while junior pole vaulter Helen Falda took home the award on the women’s.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. –The South Dakota Coyotes swept the final Summit League Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week awards announced by league officials Tuesday. Senior distance runner Eldon Warner secured the honor on the men's side while junior pole vaulter Helen Falda took home the award on the women's. This is the first honor of the season for both Warner and Falda.

Warner took home the 1,500-meter title at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays after clocking a season-best time of 3 minutes, 46.16 seconds. Out of the field of 48 runners, he took home the event by two seconds and moved up to No. 2 in the league for the event.

Falda vaulted a career-best height of 14-05.25 to move her up to No. 7 nationally and No. 22 in the world. She was the top collegian in the women's pole vault field at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays. This is the fourth time in six meets that Falda has vaulted over 14 feet.

Eldon Warner, South Dakota
Senior | Distance

  • Won the 1,500-meter title (3:46.16) at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays
  • Moved up to No. 2 on the Summit League performance list this spring season
  • Clocked a season-best, which was one second off his school record in the event
  • Beat a field of 48 in the event by two seconds

Also nominated: Cal Lawton (South Dakota State)

Helen Falda, South Dakota
Junior | Pole Vault 

  • Vaulted a career-best 14-05.25 (4.40m) to finish first among the collegians
  • Moved up to No. 7 in the NCAA and No. 22 in the world
  • Fourth time over 14 feet in six meets this season
  • Leads the league by four inches over her teammate Kimmy Peterson

Also nominated: Lauren Van Dyke (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 

May 7
M: Eldon Warner, South Dakota, Distance
W: Helen Falda, South Dakota, Pole Vault

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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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