USD Women, SDSU Men repeat, again, as Cross Country Summit League Champions

The South Dakota women and the South Dakota State men claimed the 2018 Summit League Cross Country Championship title. The USD women earned its  fifth-consecutive title, while the SDSU men won its third-consecutive. Photo courtesy of Mark Kuhlmann of the University of Nebraska Omaha.
The South Dakota women and the South Dakota State men claimed the 2018 Summit League Cross Country Championship title. The USD women earned its fifth-consecutive title, while the SDSU men won its third-consecutive. Photo courtesy of Mark Kuhlmann of the University of Nebraska Omaha.

By: Aubrie Laufenberg

Women's Results | Men's Results | Photo Gallery

OMAHA, Neb.–South Dakota's women, ranked No. 4 in the Midwest Region, and South Dakota State's men, ranked No. 11 in the Midwest, captured The Summit League Cross Country Championships Saturday at Miracle Hill Golf and Tennis in Omaha, Neb.

The Coyote women totaled 51 points for their fifth-consecutive Summit League crown, ahead of North Dakota State's 52 points. South Dakota State (61), North Dakota (92) and Purdue Fort Wayne (146) round out the top five of the standings.

The Jackrabbit men accumulated a total of 23 points for their third-consecutive championship title. North Dakota State's 60 points secured second place as South Dakota (83) placed third. Purdue Fort Wayne (99) claimed fourth place as Western Illinois and North Dakota tied for fifth with 148 points.

Top Performers

Purdue Fort Wayne's Emma Rafuse ran away with the title with a Summit League record 6K time of 20:32.92. Last year's Newcomer of the Championship, NDSU's Kelby Anderson (20:41.46) and last year's female champion Rachel King (21:04.55) finished second and third. USD's Megan Billington (21:08.45) and NDSU's Annika Rotvold (21:24.30) rounded out the top five.

South Dakota's Eldon Warner claimed the title with an 8K time of 24:58.59. SDSU's Chase Cayo (25:12.15), the 2017 Championship MVP, finished second followed by teammate Kyle Burdick (25:17.90) who took third. NDSU's Elliott Stone (25:22.64) and SDSU's Micah Mather (25:25.02) completed the top five.

Rafuse and Warner captured the Women's and Men's Championship MVP accolades with their victories. SDSU's Ellie Friesen, who finished 18th (22:12.25), claimed Women's Newcomer of the Championship. Teammate Joseph Minor-Williams was the Men's Newcomer of the Championship after his eighth-place finish with a time of 25:38.55.

The Summit League Honors

Women's All-League Teams:

First Team

Emma Rafuse – Purdue Fort Wayne

Kelby Anderson – North Dakota State

Rachel King – South Dakota State

Megan Billington - South Dakota

Annika Rotvold – North Dakota State

Emily Donnay – South Dakota State

Madeline Huglen – South Dakota

Second Team

Jen Dufner – North Dakota State

Emily Johnson – Omaha

Jonna Bart – South Dakota

Lydia Kantonen – North Dakota

Brynnan Covington – North Dakota State

Madison Overby – North Dakota

Kianna Stewart – South Dakota

Championship MVP

Emma Rafuse – Purdue Fort Wayne

Newcomer of the Championship

Ellie Friesen – South Dakota State


Men's All-League Teams:

First Team

Eldon Warner – South Dakota

Chase Cayo – South Dakota State

Kyle Burdick – South Dakota State

Elliott Stone – North Dakota State

Micah Mather – South Dakota State

Lukas Nelson – South Dakota State

Gabe Peters – South Dakota State

Second Team

Joseph Minor-Williams – South Dakota State

Tom Breuckman – South Dakota State

Merga Gemeda – South Dakota

Camron Roehl – North Dakota State

Connor Danielson – North Dakota

Logan Kitchen – Purdue Fort Wayne

Michael Schwinghamer – South Dakota State

Championship MVP

Eldon Warner – South Dakota

Newcomer of the Championship

Joseph Minor-Williams – South Dakota State

Final Standings



1st place – South Dakota (51)

1st place – South Dakota State (23)

2nd place – North Dakota State (52)

2nd place – North Dakota State (60)

3rd place – South Dakota State (61)

3rd place – South Dakota (83)

4th place – North Dakota (92)

4th place – Purdue Fort Wayne (99)

5th place – Purdue Fort Wayne (146)

T-5th place – Western Illinois (148)

6th place – Omaha (153)

T-5th place – North Dakota (148)

7th place – Western Illinois (192)

7th place – Oral Roberts (210)

8th place – Oral Roberts (231)




  • South Dakota women's one-point victory over North Dakota State ties for smallest victory margin in league history. Purdue Fort Wayne and Southern Utah (67) split a share of the championships by beating South Dakota State (68) back in 2007.
  • Rafuse's finishing time of 20:32.92 not only broke the league record, but was a personal-best and new school record by nearly 12 seconds for the Mastodon women's 6K.
  • Warner's victory today is the first individual title for the Coyotes on both the men's and the women's side.
  • Heading into the championship, USD's women's four-straight conference titles ranked seventh among active conference title streaks

Up Next

All eight of the league teams head to the NCAA Regionals on Friday, Nov. 9. Purdue Fort Wayne will travel to Terre Haute, Ind., to compete in the NCAA Great Lakes Regional, while North Dakota, North Dakota State, Omaha, Oral Roberts, South Dakota, South Dakota State and Western Illinois head to Peoria, Ill., for the NCAA Midwest Regional.

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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.