#SummitOTF Athletes of the Week

#SummitOTF Athletes of the Week

ELMHURST, Ill. – Despite the unseasonal and substandard weather conditions last week, North Dakota State's Payton Otterdahl and Oral Roberts' Mercy Abire remained unphased as they pieced together Summit League Athlete of the Week performances at the South Dakota Invitational (April 11) and John McDonnell Invitational (April 14).

Otterdahl earned the league's weekly honor for the second time this spring after slinging a first-place 193' 9" (59.06) toss in the men's discus in Vermillion last Wednesday—besting his old personal and school record by 8' 11". In fact, five of Otterdahl's six throws inside the discus cage surpassed the previous NDSU record mark. Ranked first on The Summit League's performance list in 2018, Otterdahl now boasts the seventh-best discus mark in the NCAA this season as well.

Abire became the league's first female student-athlete since 2015—and the first ORU competitor since 2008—to receive Outdoor Athlete of the Week recognition in back-to-back weeks. The sophomore from Nigeria accomplished the feat thanks to her performance in the women's triple jump event in Fayetteville, Ark. Competing against the likes of three SEC schools and one Big Ten school, Abire leapt to a second-place finish with a personal-best jump of 42' 3.5" (12.89m). In addition to leading the league this season with that mark, Abire is also tied at No. 27th in the NCAA.

Payton Otterdahl, NORTH DAKOTA STATE  

Jr. // Rosemount, Minn.    

  • Competed in the discus and hammer throw events at the South Dakota Invitational April 11
  • Won the men's discus with a personal and school record (193' 9", 59.06m)
  • Ranks No. 1 on the league's performance list and No. 7 in the NCAA this season
  • Secured a fourth-place finish in the men's hammer with a personal-best 197' 5" (60.18m) throw
  • In the hammer event, ranks fourth in the league and 84th in the NCAA
  • Second-career Summit League Outdoor Athlete of the Week honor

Also Nominated: Israel Nelson (Oral Roberts), Colton Bender (South Dakota State), Joe Reagan (South Dakota), Nick Olson (Western Illinois)

Previous Winners: Payton Otterdahl, North Dakota State (March 20) // Matt Neururer, North Dakota State (March 27) // Chris Nilsen, South Dakota (April 3) // Austin Simpson, Oral Roberts (April 10)


So. // Delta, Nigeria

  • Competed in the long and triple jump events at the John McDonnell Invitational April 14
  • Registered a personal-best, second-place mark of 42' 3.5" (12.89m) in the triple jump
  • Tops in The Summit League this season in the triple jump and tied for 27th in the NCAA
  • Recorded a first-place finish in the long jump with a wind-aided mark of 20' 7.25" (6.28m)
  • Ran a leg as a member of the 4x100-meter relay team (46.74 – 3rd place)
  • Second-career Summit League Outdoor Athlete of the Week honor

Also Nominated: Stephanie Ahrens (Omaha), Lexi O'Connell (Fort Wayne), Lauren Gietzen (North Dakota State), Kasie Vollmer  (South Dakota State), Shanice Cannigan (South Dakota), Michaela Busch (Western Illinois)

Previous Winners: Alyssa Olin, NDSU (March 20) // Macy Denzer, North Dakota State (March 27) // Rachel King, South Dakota State (April 3) // Mercy Abire, Oral Roberts (April 10) 


Through 35 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 100,000 at eight institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University with the University of North Dakota becoming an official member on July 1, 2018. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced nine NCAA Champions along with over 90 Academic All-Americans, nearly 100 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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