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ORU Outdoor Track Picked Third in Preseason Poll

ORU Outdoor Track Picked Third in Preseason Poll

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. –The Oral Roberts track and field teams were each picked to finish third during the outdoor season, it was announced with the release of The Summit League's Outdoor Track and Field preseason poll, Friday.

Additionally, Brad Dormeus, Emmanuel Mwewa and Jaden Purnell were named as athletes to watch on the men's side, while Makayla Linebarger and Sasha Wells earned the distinction on the women's side.

The Bison women have captured a league-record, 11-consecutive championship titles and were the top pick in the 2019 preseason poll with 47 points and five of the seven first-place votes. The South Dakota Coyotes were selected to finish second with 44 points and the remaining two first-place votes. Oral Roberts came in third with 38 total points, while South Dakota State (33), North Dakota (32), Omaha (20), Western Illinois (18) and Purdue Fort Wayne (13) round out the women's poll.

On the men's side, North Dakota State took the No. 1 ranking with 23 points and three of the five first-place votes. South Dakota State was a close second with 20 total points and two first-place votes. South Dakota and Oral Roberts tied for the No. 3 spot with 19 points, while North Dakota (11) and Western Illinois (8) complete the men's poll.

2019 SUMMIT LEAGUE MEN'S OUTDOOR PRESEASON POLL

 

Team

Score (1st place votes)

1.

North Dakota State

23 (3)

2.

South Dakota State

20 (2)

T3.

South Dakota

19

T3.

Oral Roberts

19

5.

North Dakota

11

6.

Western Illinois

8


2019 SUMMIT LEAGUE WOMEN'S OUTDOOR PRESEASON POLL

 

Team

Score (1st place votes)

1.

North Dakota State

47 (5)

2.

South Dakota

44 (2)

3.

Oral Roberts

38

4.

South Dakota State

33

5.

North Dakota

32

6.

Omaha

20

7.

Western Illinois

18

8.

Purdue Fort Wayne

13

 

MEN'S OUTDOOR PRESEASON ATHLETES TO WATCH LIST

All notes/bullet points meant to reflect outdoor track & field accomplishments only

Payton Otterdahl | North Dakota State | Senior | Throws

  • Owned the nation's top shot put mark among all collegiate athletes at the league championships last season
  • Placed tenth in both the shot put and discus at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., earning second-team All-America honors
  • Ranked 18th in the world in the shot put all of last season

Alex Bartholomay | North Dakota State | Sophomore | Distance

  • Placed fifth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, sixth in the 1,500-meter and eighth in the 5,000-meter at the 2018 league outdoor championships
  • Clocked a season-best 1,500-meter time (3:53.99) at the Mt. SAC Relays
  • Ran a personal-best (9:31.07) in the steeplechase at the league meet

Kyle Burdick | South Dakota State | Senior | Distance

  • Summit League Track Athlete of the Year (2017)
  • Summit League Championship Track MVP (2017, 2018)
  • Won the 1,500-meter, finished second in the 10,000-meter and third in the 800-meter at the 2018 league outdoor championships

Trent Francom | South Dakota State | Sophomore | Pole Vault

  • Became the first Jackrabbit to vault over 17 feet
  • Placed third in the pole vault at the league championships last season
  • Owns the school record in the event with a height of 17-02.75 which he achieved at the Drake Relays

Chris Nilsen | South Dakota | Junior | Pole Vault

  • Two-time league pole vault champion (2017, 2018)
  • NCAA pole vault champion (2018) with a vault of 19-1.5 to break a 22-year-old NCAA Championships meet record
  • Four-time All-America honoree
  • Two-time USTFCCCA Midwest Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year (2017, 2018)
  • Summit League Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year (2018)

Jack Durst | South Dakota | Freshman | Jumps

  • Was the 2018 Kansas Class 6A State Champion in the high jump
  • Holds the Shawnee Mission West school record in the high jump with a clearance of 6-10
  • Captured the AAU Junior Olympic National Championships with a high jump of 6-10.75

Brad Dormeus | Oral Roberts | Freshman | Sprints

  • Started his collegiate career being named the Summit League Indoor Newcomer of the Championship
  • Indoor All-League honors in the 200-meter, 400-meter and 4x400
  • Broke the indoor league meet record at the championships in the 400-meter (46.65)

Emmanuel Mwewa | Oral Roberts | Senior | Sprints

  • Champion in the 400-meter at the 2018 league championships
  • Was a member of the 4x100 relay that placed third at the league championships

Jaden Purnell | Oral Roberts | Senior | Jumps

  • Advanced to the 2017 NCAA Championships in the triple jump and finished 19th
  • 2017 USTFCCCA All-America Honorable Mention in the triple jump
  • 2018 All-League honoree in the long jump and triple jump

Chris Evenson | North Dakota | Sophomore | Throws

  • Finished third in the discus at the 2018 Big Sky outdoor conference championships
  • Advanced to the West Preliminary Round in 2018
  • Finished 42nd at the NCAA regional in the discus

Jack Vetsch | North Dakota | Freshman | Jumps

  • Began his collegiate career with an eighth-place finish in the heptathlon at the 2019 indoor league championships
  • His final score of 4,528 points ranks him second all-time in the UND record book

Josh Kirby | Western Illinois | Junior | Hurdles

  • All-League honoree (2017, 2018)
  • Placed third in the 110-meter hurdles and fifth in the 400-meter hurdles at the 2018 championships
  • Set a personal record in the 110-meter hurdles (14.62) at the league championships last season

 

WOMEN'S OUTDOOR PRESEASON ATHLETES TO WATCH LIST

All notes/bullet points meant to reflect outdoor track & field accomplishments only

Bailey Retzlaff | North Dakota State | Junior | Throws

  • NCAA West Preliminary qualifier in the shot put, discus and hammer
  • Runner-up in both the shot put and discus and finished sixth in the hammer throw at the 2018 league championships
  • Finished 14th in the shot put at the 2018 NCAA West Preliminary, missing a trip to the NCAA Championships by two places

Kelby Anderson | North Dakota State | Redshirt-Freshman | Distance

  • Competed unattached in one meet as a redshirt
  • Won the 1,500-meter in 4:36.50 at the NDSU Tune-Up

Megan Billington | South Dakota | Senior | Distance

  • 2018 outdoor champion in the 5,000-meter and the 10,000-meter
  • Clocked a 16:57.55 in the 5,000-meter at Howard Wood Dakota Relays to rank fifth in USD program history
  • Owns the USD facility record in the 5,000-meter

Makayla Linebarger | Oral Roberts | Sophomore | Pole Vault

  • Placed seventh at the 2018 league outdoor championships
  • Vaulted a personal-best 12-3.5 to claim the pole vault title at last season's Tulsa Duels

Sasha Wells | Oral Roberts | Sophomore | Hurdles/Sprints

  • All-League honoree (2018)
  • Finished second in 100-hurdles at the 2018 league championships
  • Competed at the IAAF World U20 Championships and ran the 100-hurdles where she placed 25th in the preliminaries

Rachel King | South Dakota State | Senior | Distance

  • 2018 NCAA All-America Honorable Mention
  • Broke the 3,000-meter school record at the NCAA West Preliminaries last season
  • Won the 3,000-meter steeplechase and took second in the 1,5000-meter at the 2018 league outdoor championships

Kasie Vollmer | South Dakota State | Senior | Throws

  • 2018 league champion in the discus with an NCAA West Preliminary qualifying throw
  • Finished runner-up in the discus at the 2017 championships
  • Won four events and placed in the top three in another three throughout the course of last season

Erica Benson | North Dakota | Sophomore | Jumps

  • Finished fifth in the high jump at the 2018 Big Sky Conference Outdoor Championship
  • Jumped a personal-best 5-5.75 in the high jump at the Beach Pacific Coast Intercollegiate last season

Molli Detloff | North Dakota | Senior | Throws

  • Was named the Big Sky Outdoor MVP for two straight years
  • Has made three straight appearances at the NCAA West Preliminary Round
  • Became the first Division I All-American in UND program history with a 12th-place finish in the hammer throw at the NCAA Outdoor Championships

Stephanie Ahrens | Omaha | Senior | Jumps

  • Three-time league outdoor champion in the high jump (2016, 2017, 2018)
  • NCAA West Regional Qualifier in the high jump (2017, 2018)
  • First Omaha athlete in the Division I era to qualify for the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships

Michaela Busch | Western Illinois | Junior | Jumps

  • Broke the school record for the outdoor heptathlon last season
  • Achieved career-best performances in the 800-meter, 100-meter hurdles, high jump, javelin throw and heptathlon during the 2018 league championships
  • Finished fourth at last year's championships in the heptathlon

Bo Brasseur | Western Illinois | Junior | Sprints

  • Clocked a personal-best time in the 200-meter at the 2017 league championships
  • Was a member of the 4x400 relay team that placed fifth at the 2018 outdoor league championships

Emma Rafuse | Purdue Fort Wayne | Senior | Distance

  • 2018 Summit League Outdoor Championships competitor in the 1,500-meter and the 5,000-meter, where she clocked season-best times
  • Personal-best 800-meter (2:15.15) at the 2017 league championships

For the latest information on ORU Track and Field, follow the Golden Eagles on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, or go to www.ORUAthletics.com.  Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading two mobile apps, ORU Golden Eagles Live and ORU Front Row, available on the App Store and Google Play.

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