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Six Coyotes earn all-league at Summit Championships

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FARGO, N.D. (USD) — North Dakota State edged South Dakota 45-48 to end the Coyotes’ string of five-straight titles on Saturday at the Summit League Championships hosted at the Rose Creek Golf Course. South Dakota’s men finished third with 74 points.

Six Coyotes, four women and a pair of men, took home all-Summit League honors at the championship meet.

Juniors Abby Ripperda and Jonna Bart raced to first-team performances to pace the Coyotes. Ripperda placed fourth to earn all-league honors for the first time. She crossed the finish line in 21 minutes, 24.7 seconds, for 6,000 meters. Bart improved from second team a year ago to garner first-team accolades. She finished strong, recording a personal best time of 21:29.2.

Sophomore Merga Gemeda and freshman Clayton Whitehead worked together on the course to pick up second-team honors on the men’s side. Gemeda finished eighth with an 8,000-meter time of 25:12.9. He earns a spot on the second team for the second consecutive season. Whitehead crossed the finish in 25:13.8 for 10th place. Whitehead also earned the Summit League’s Newcomer of the Championship award as the first true freshman to cross the finish line.

The women’s second-team honorees included senior Kianna Stewart and junior Kelsi Kearney. Stewart finished in 10th place to earn all-league honors for the third-straight season. She clocked a time of 21:50.3. Kearney recorded a season-best time of 21:51.8 to take 11th. Kearney earns all-league honors for the first time of her career.

Junior Laura Nelson was the final scorer on the women’s side in 18th place. She completed the course in 22:12.7. South Dakota’s pushers on Saturday were sophomore Maddie Lavin in 21st place and freshman Helen Gould in 31st. Lavin clocked a personal best 22:27.2, while Gould crossed the finish line in a season-best 22:55.7.

A trio of freshmen rounded out the men’s scorers. Finishing in the first spot off the podium, freshman Alec Atwood clocked a season-best 25:34.2 for 15th place. Freshmen duo Charlie Babcock and Braden Peters ran together down the final stretch to finish 22nd and 23rd. Babcock clocked 26:14.1 while Peters finished in 26:16.2.

Senior Abdinasir Abdi and junior Seth Iverson were pushers for the Coyote men in the race. Abdi clocked 26:20.4 to take 25th. Iverson finished 29th with a time of 26:38.4.

South Dakota returns to the starting line on Friday, Nov. 15, for the NCAA Midwest Regional in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

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