VERMILLION, S.D. (KWSN) – Both South Dakota men’s and women’s track teams were picked to place second at the Summit League Outdoor Track and Field Championships, according to the preseason coach’s poll released by the Summit League on Thursday.
The Coyote men, who won the Summit League Indoor Championships last month, tallied 33 points and three of the seven first-place votes. North Dakota State won the poll, edging USD with 34 points. Kansas City placed third with 23 points, South Dakota State was fourth with 22, and Western Illinois was fifth with 18.
On the women’s side, South Dakota received one of the nine first-place votes cast while receiving 55 points. All eight other first-place votes went to North Dakota State, who was picked to defend the championship with 64 points. Omaha (52), South Dakota State (40), and Kansas City (39) rounded out the top-five.
The teams bring back a combined four champions in seven events, both of last season’s Newcomer of the Year winners and the women’s Athlete of the Year. For the men, Jeff Mettler, who won the 3,000 and mile at the indoor championships, returns after winning the steeplechase a year ago. The men also return thrower Kyle McKelvey, who was named the men’s Newcomer of the Year at the championships last year.
The women welcome back the other three champions and a trio of national championship qualifiers. Two won multiple championships a year ago: Analisa Huschle, won the 100-meters, 200 and triple jump last year, while Alexa Duling, won 100- and 400-meter hurdles champion. Huschle also was named Newcomer of Year, while Duling earned league Athlete of the Year honors and qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 400 hurdles last May.
In field events, pole vaulter Bethany Buell will attempt to repeat as Summit League champion. Buell, who finished sixth at the NCAA Indoor Championships last weekend, and teammate Emily Grove both competed at the outdoor championships last season, finishing third and sixth respectively.
The league championships will run from May 9-11 in Muncie, Ind. The Coyotes will open their season at the Arizona State Invitational in Phoenix on March 22.
Courtesy: Jarrod Tell - USD Sports Information