TULSA, Okla. (USD) — For the first time since 2008, South Dakota women’s track and field has swept the indoor and outdoor team conference titles. The Coyote women captured the trophy at the conclusion of the three-day Summit League Championships held at ONEOK Sports Complex.
South Dakota totaled 243 points in the women’s team race to runner-up North Dakota State’s 225. The Coyote men tallied 163 points for third place. North Dakota State won the men’s title with 241.5 points and runner-up South Dakota State tallied 205.
The women’s 4×100-meter relay set the tone for the final day of the league meet by setting a Summit League Championship record and South Dakota school record in the first running event of the day. Sophomore Erin Kinney, sophomore Jacy Pulse, freshman Caelyn Valandra-Prue and sophomore Sara Reifenrath clocked 44.99 seconds.
Reifenrath went on to earn four gold medals on the day, finishing one point shy of Track Championship MVP honors. She took first in the 400 meters in 53.66 seconds and captured the 200 meters in a record-breaking time of 23.20 seconds. She broke both the league meet record and the USD program record for the 200 meters, improving both for the second-straight day after posting a 23.30-second preliminary time. She capped off her day by anchoring the 4×400-meter relay to another gold.
The women’s 4×400 relay of Pulse, third-year sophomore Madison Jochum, Valandra-Prue and Reifenrath led wire to wire to successfully defend their Summit title. The quartet combined for a time of 3:43.65.
It was a record-breaking day for sophomore Demar Francis, snagging three gold medals and shattering two longtime school records. He became the first Coyote to clock a sub-46 time in the 400 meters, winning the one-lap race in 45.79 seconds. He blew past the school record of 46.06 seconds that has been held by Lionel McPhaull since 1997. The time also broke his own championship meet record from a year ago. Francis followed that up by winning the 200 meters in a personal best 20.65 seconds, breaking a 20-year-old school record of 20.77 previously held by Tom Green (2002).
Pulse captured her first individual Summit title, winning the 400-meter hurdles in a personal best 59.58 seconds. The time ranks second in USD program history. South Dakota has won three of the last four titles in the women’s 400 hurdles. Pulse also garnered all-Summit honors in the 100 meters, placing third in 11.95 seconds.
Third-year sophomore Dylan Kautz tallied a pair of golds on the day. He captured his first Summit 100-meter title with a time of 10.50 seconds. He also joined Francis on the gold medal 4×100-meter relay. Kautz collected all-league accolades in the 200 meters, placing third with a personal best time of 21.24 seconds.
The men’s 4×100-meter relay went back-to-back in capturing Summit meet titles. The quartet of freshman Ken-Mark Minkovski, Francis, third-year sophomore Ardell Inlay and Kautz clocked a season-best 40.02 seconds to win.
Fourth-year junior Jessie Sullivan successfully defended his Summit discus title. He launched a winning throw of 175-9 (53.56m). Fifth-year senior Matt Slagus took sixth place in 164-11 (50.28m).
The Coyotes racked up 33 points in the women’s pole vault with six place-winners, including a top-four sweep. Sophomore Jaidyn Garrett captured the Coyotes’ ninth-straight title in the women’s pole vault. Garrett and freshman Marleen Mülla both cleared 13-3 ¾ (4.06m), with Garrett earning the gold based on attempts. Fifth-year junior Landon Kemp earned all-Summit honors with a third-place finish in 12-10 (3.91m). Sophomore Cassidy Mooneyhan took fourth, fourth-year junior Deidra Marrison was sixth and fourth-year junior Josephina Wright tied for seventh.
Fourth-year junior Jack Durst extended USD’s streak of outdoor high jump titles to seven in a row. A two-time indoor champion, he won his first outdoor title with a leap of 6-9 ¾ (2.08m). Third-year sophomores Marshall Faurot and Ethan Heitman also scored for USD. Faurot took fourth in 6-6 (1.98m) and Heitman was eighth in 6-4 (1.93m).
Kinney earned all-league recognition in both sprints. She finished runner-up in the 100 meters in 11.84 seconds and took third in the 200 meters in 23.88 seconds. This marked the first time USD’s had two on the podium in both events.
Fourth-year junior Merga Gemeda became the first Coyote since 2015 to earn all-league recognition in the 5,000 meters. Gemeda finished runner-up with a clocking of 14:55.49.
Faurot finished runner-up in the men’s pole vault with a clearance of 16-4 (4.98m) to earn all-Summit honors. Freshman Spencer Buley took fourth with a vault of 15-10 (4.83m).
Third-year sophomore Meredith Clark and fourth-year junior Josephine Starner both earned a spot on the podium in the women’s shot put. Clark placed second in 48-1 ¾ (14.67m) and Starner took third in 47-9 (14.55m).
Fifth-year senior heptathlete Holly Gerberding capped off her busy weekend with all-Summit accolades in the 400-meter hurdles. She crossed the finish line in 1:00.54 for third, just six-hundredths of a second off her season best.
Following up yesterday’s all-league performance in the long jump, freshman Jayden Green placed third in the triple jump with a personal best mark of 47-9 ¾ (14.57m). The mark moves him to 10th in USD program history. Durst added a seventh-place finish in the triple jump with a leap of 43-6 (13.26m).
Third-year sophomore Hugo Morvan received all-league honors in the 110-meter hurdles for the second consecutive season. He placed third with a time of 14.46 seconds. Sophomore Tre Young took seventh in 14.90 seconds.
Sophomore Abreille Jirele placed fourth in the 1,500 meters with a clocking of 4:29.53. She came back to finish sixth in the 5,000 meters, helping the Coyotes clinch the team title prior to the 4×400-meter relay. Fifth-year junior Abby Ripperda joined her in that 5,000 meters with a fifth-place finish in 17:45.08.
Fourth-year junior Haley Arens closed in with a fourth-place finish in the 800 meters with a time of 2:11.85 and third-year sophomore Madison Jochum took fifth in 2:12.40. Third-year sophomore Ella Byers tallied a pair of eighth-place finishes in the 800 meters and the 1,500 meters. All three qualified for the finals with new personal bests in the preliminaries. Byers had the fastest qualifying time of the group with a 2:08.25, while Arens and Jochum both clocked 2:10.24.
Freshman Averi Schmeichel scored in both hurdle races, placing fifth in the 400 hurdles in 1:02.07 and sixth in the 100 hurdles in 14.26 seconds.
In addition to her pair of relay gold medals, Valandra-Prue placed fifth in the open 400 meters with a time of 55.84 seconds.
Freshman Anna Robinson placed sixth in the 400 meters, clocking 56.84 seconds. She also took eighth in the 200 meters.
The men’s 4×400-meter relay of fifth-year senior Kallo Arno, sophomore Luke Olson, third-year sophomore Brendan Scott and third-year sophomore Braden Peters took sixth in 3:22.38.
Redshirt-freshman Lauren Meyer placed seventh in the triple jump with a leap of 38-11 ½ (11.87m).
Inlay, a member of the championship 4×100-meter relay, battled through a leg injury to score a point in the finals both the 100 and 200 meters.
Select members of the Coyote track and field team return to action May 25-28 at the NCAA West Preliminary in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Summit League Championships Women’s Point Scorers
1. 4x100m Relay, Erin Kinney, Jacy Pulse, Caelyn Valandra Prue, Sara Reifenrath, 44.99 seconds
1. Sara Reifenrath, 200 meters, 23.20 seconds
3. Erin Kinney, 200 meters, 23.88 seconds
8. Anna Robinson, 200 meters, 25.09 seconds
1. Sara Reifenrath, 400 meters, 53.66 seconds
5. Caelyn Valandra-Prue, 400 meters, 55.84 seconds
6. Anna Robinson, 400 meters, 56.84 seconds
1. Jacy Pulse, 400 hurdles, 59.58 seconds
3. Holly Gerberding, 400 hurdles, 1:00.54
5. Averi Schmeichel, 400 hurdles, 1:02.07
1. 4x400m Relay, Jacy Pulse, Madison Jochum, Caelyn Valandra-Prue, Sara Reifenrath, 3:43.65
1. Jaidyn Garrett, pole vault, 13-3 ¾ (4.06m)
2. Marleen Mülla, pole vault, 13-3 ¾ (4.06m)
3. Landon Kemp, pole vault, 12-10 (3.91m)
4. Cassidy Mooneyhan, pole vault, 12-10 (3.91m)
6. Deidra Marrison, pole vault, 12-4 (3.76m)
t-7. Josephina Wright, pole vault, 11-4 ¼ (3.46m)
1. Danii Anglin, high jump, 5-10 ½ (1.79m)
3. Carly Haring, high jump, 5-9 ¼ (1.76m)
1. Helen Gould, 3,000m steeplechase, 10:45.11
2. Erin Kinney, 100 meters, 11.84 seconds
3. Jacy Pulse, 100 meters, 11.95 seconds
2. Lydia Knapp, hammer throw, 205-9 (62.71m)
4. Meredith Clark, hammer throw, 179-1 (54.58m)
5. Kenzie Campbell, hammer throw, 172-8 (52.63m)
2. Meredith Clark, shot put, 48-1 ¾ (14.67m)
3. Josephine Starner, shot put, 47-9 (14.55m)
2. Lydia Knapp, discus, 160-11 (49.05m)
3. Meredith Clark, discus, 158-6 (48.31m)
3. Abby Ripperda, 10,000 meters, 37:25.06
3. Holly Gerberding, heptathlon, 4,956 points
5. Liberty Justus, heptathlon, 4,852 points
4. Abrielle Jirele, 1,500 meters, 4:29.53
8. Ella Byers, 1,500 meters, 4:37.41
4. Haley Arens, 800 meters, 2:11.85
5. Madison Jochum, 800 meters, 2:12.40
8. Ella Byers, 800 meters, 2:18.81
5. Abby Ripperda, 5,000 meters, 17:45.08
6. Abrielle Jirele, 5,000 meters, 17:51.58
5. Lydia Knapp, javelin, 140-6 (42.82m)
7. Josephine Starner, javelin, 134-1 (40.88m)
6. Averi Schmeichel, 100 hurdles, 14.26 seconds
7. Lauren Meyer, triple jump, 38-11 ½ (11.87m)
8. Holly Gerberding, long jump, 19-0 ¾ (5.81m)
Summit League Championships Men’s Point Scorers
1. Demar Francis, 400 meters, 45.79 seconds
1. 4x100m Relay, Ken-Mark Minkovski, Demar Francis, Ardell Inlay, Dylan Kautz, 40.02 seconds
1. Jack Durst, high jump, 6-9 ¾ (2.08m)
4. Marshall Faurot, high jump, 6-6 (1.98m)
8. Ethan Heitman, high jump, 6-4 (1.93m)
1. Jessie Sullivan, discus, 175-9 (53.56m)
6. Matt Slagus, discus, 164-11 (50.28m)
1. Dylan Kautz, 100 meters, 10.50 seconds
8. Ardell Inlay, 100 meters, 12.05 seconds
1. Demar Francis, 200 meters, 20.65 seconds
3. Dylan Kautz, 200 meters, 21.24 seconds
8. Ardell Inlay, 200 meters, 24.61 seconds
2. Merga Gemeda, 5,000 meters, 14:55.49
2. Jessie Sullivan, hammer throw, 209-4 (63.80m)
3. Matt Slagus, hammer throw, 205-11 (62.76m)
7. Kaden Elder, hammer throw, 193-11 (59.11m)
2. Marshall Faurot, pole vault, 16-4 (4.98m)
4. Spencer Buley, pole vault, 15-10 (4.83m)
3. Jayden Green, triple jump, 47-9 ¾ (14.57m)
7. Jack Durst, triple jump, 43-6 (13.26m)
3. Jayden Green, long jump, 23-2 ½ (7.07m)
5. Sage Hagen, long jump, 23-0 (7.01m)
7. Ken-Mark Minkovski, long jump, 22-7 ¾ (6.90m)
3. Hugo Morvan, 110 hurdles, 14.46 seconds
7. Tre Young, 110 hurdles, 14.90 seconds
4. Wyatt Lubarski, decathlon, 6,483 points
5. Jessie Sullivan, shot put, 58-1 ¼ (17.71m)
6. Tristan Gray, 57-7 ½ (17.56m)
5. Merga Gemeda, 10,000 meters, 31:50.53
8. Charlie Babcock, 10,000 meters, 32:05.64
6. 4x400m Relay, Kallo Arno, Luke Olson, Brendan Scott, Braden Peters, 3:22.38
7. Kaden Elder, javelin, 169-3 (51.59m)