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May 12, 2018 07:03 PM

T&F: Coyotes Women Make History, Win First Summit Title

Tulsa, OK

For the first time since joining the Summit League, the South Dakota women’s track and field team is bringing home a Summit League Championship title after three days of competition at the ONEOK Sports Complex.

South Dakota head coach Lucky Huber garnered Summit League Coach of the Year honors as his Coyotes totaled 263 points to tie North Dakota State for the team title. The Coyotes finished third in the men’s team race with 201.5 points.

Senior Shanice Cannigan and junior Joe Reagan each earned the Most Outstanding Performer awards as voted upon by the league’s head coaches.

Cannigan swept the 100-meter and 400-meter hurdles for the first time in her career, tallying 27.5 points across five events as the top point-scorer at the meet. Cannigan broke her own school record in the 100 hurdles with a time of 13.43 seconds. She clocked 1:01.65 to win the 400 hurdles. Cannigan also took fourth in the high jump on Friday, eighth in the long jump and anchored the Coyotes’ 4x400-meter relay.

Reagan was the top point scorer on the men’s side, accounting for 25 points across four events. He captured his first individual Summit title by winning the 200 meters in 21.00 seconds, the second-fastest time in USD history. Reagan finished runner-up in the long jump on Friday, placed fourth in the 100 meters and ran the second leg of the Coyotes’ 4x100-meter relay.

History was made in the 100 meters as senior Gawain Williams became the first Summit League athlete to win four titles in the event. He is the fourth male in Summit history to win four titles in any single event. Williams completed his four-for-four by tying his personal best 10.26 seconds on Saturday to win. The time ranks Williams 35th in the nation this season. Williams also clocked a personal best 21.12 seconds for runner-up in the 200 meters.

Sophomore Chris Nilsen vaulted over 19 feet for the second-straight week, winning the men’s pole vault in a championship meet record of 19-0 ¼. Sophomore Ethan Bray also vaulted above the old meet record after clearing a personal best of 18-3 ¾. The height ranks Bray eighth nationally. Redshirt-junior Jake David and sophomore Nick Johnson placed fourth and fifth, respectively.

Capturing his third-straight title in the 400 hurdles, senior Jay Cooper clocked 52.78 seconds to seal the victory. Senior Tomas Kamenik finished seventh.

The Coyotes racked up 25 points in the women’s 5,000 meters, led by junior Megan Billington’s second title of the meet. Billington clocked 17:08.16 to complete the distance sweep. Freshman Laura Nelson earned all-Summit honors in third place with a time of 17:30.33. Junior Madeline Huglen placed fourth, freshman Jonna Bart took sixth and senior Erin Wetzstein was eighth.

Senior Lindsay Joyce became the first Coyote to win the 1,500-meter run. She outkicked the competition down the home stretch to win in 4:30.17. Huglen placed fourth. Joyce added a seventh-place finish in the 800 meters.

After winning the same event indoors, junior Eldon Warner leaned across the finish line to tie for first in the 800 meters. Warner clocked 1:54.72 in the event.

South Dakota tallied 14 event champions during the weekend. Billington captured the 10,000 meters, junior Lara Boman won the hammer throw and sophomore Helen Falda took gold in the pole vault on day one. Junior Ben Hammer was victorious in the discus and sophomore Zack Anderson defended his high jump title on day two.

Cannigan led a domination of the two women’s hurdle races on Saturday. South Dakota swept the podium in the 400-meter hurdles with junior Alanisse Williams taking second in 1:03.55 and junior Haley Bruggeman placed third in 1:03.69. Sophomore Carmen Bermudez was eighth. The Coyotes also racked up 25 points in the 100 hurdles with sophomore Britny Kerr finishing runner-up in a personal best 13.77 seconds behind Cannigan. Bermudez placed fifth, Williams took seventh and senior Ashley Thompson Ballew placed eighth.

Thompson earned all-Summit honors with a runner-up finish in the triple jump, leaping 42-7 ½. Kerr placed eighth.

Warner added a runner-up finish in the 1,500 meters, earning all-Summit honors by clocking 3:50.03. Junior Nate Wendt finished fifth.

Sophomore Samara Spencer placed second in the 100 meters with a personal best of 11.62 seconds. Spencer moves to second in school history with the mark. Sophomore Tasheka Gordon took fourth in a personal best 11.78 seconds.

Both Spencer and Gordon ran on the Coyotes’ runner-up 4x100-meter relay, joined by junior Karina Dufoe and senior Brooke Ireland. The relay earned all-Summit honors with a season best time of 46.08 seconds.

The men’s 4x100-meter relay also finished runner-up with a time of 40.70 seconds. Freshman Conor Penington, Reagan, senior Jack Thony and Williams made up that relay.

Ireland and junior Mallory Fine placed fourth in the 400 meters and 800 meters, respectively.

Senior Brice Cowman and junior Hunter Paulsen took sixth and seventh, respectively, in the 5,000 meters.

Gordon and Dufoe added points in the 200 meters after placing sixth and seventh, respectively.

Sophomore Dennis Parsley took sixth in the 110-meter hurdles, while Cooper finished eighth.

Juniors Ben Hammer and Lara Boman placed sixth and seventh, respectively, in the men’s and women’s shot put competitions.

As the meet came to a close, the Coyote women held a four-point advantage entering the 4x400-meter relay, one of NDSU’s strongest events. Fine, Ireland, freshman Danielle Thompson and Cannigan finished the race in third in 3:47.49 to hold onto the tie with the Bison for the team title.

Next on the schedule for the Coyotes is the NCAA West Preliminary held in Sacramento, California, from May 24-26. The NCAA will announce first round qualifiers next week.

Courtesy: GoYotes.com

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