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Sioux Falls to host spring championships

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 01/26/2011 14:16:06
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SIOUX FALLS — South Dakota State University, in conjunction with the Sioux Falls Sports Authority, will serve as hosts for the 2011 Summit League outdoor track and field and baseball championships.

"We are excited to bring our outdoor track and field and baseball league championships to Sioux Falls," Commissioner Tom Douple said. "We've enjoyed tremendous success hosting our basketball tournament in Sioux Falls the past two years and we fully anticipate the city will get behind these championships, as well."

The Summit League Outdoor Track and Field Championships will take place May 12-14 at the Sanford Health Sports Complex's Lillibridge Track, which is the home track for the University of Sioux Falls and is located at the intersection of Cliff Avenue and 69th Street.

Sioux Falls Stadium will be the site of the Summit League Baseball Championship, which will run May 26-28. Sioux Falls Stadium will be the first off-campus facility to host the Summit League Baseball Championship and is the home field for the Sioux Falls Pheasants, who compete in the independent American Association.

"We appreciate our relationship with the Sports Authority in securing the facilities for these championship events," SDSU Athletic Director Justin Sell said. "This will be another good opportunity to showcase our student-athletes in Sioux Falls, which is an important market for us."

SDSU previously hosted the 2009 and 2010 Summit League Women's Soccer Championship in Brookings.

"The Sports Authority is proud to further enhance our relationship with The Summit League and we look forward to hosting these two first-class events in our city for the first time," executive director Mike Sullivan said. The Sports Authority will again host the Summit League Basketball Championships March 5-8 at the Sioux Falls Arena.

More than 350 student-athletes are expected to compete in the track and field championships as seven men's squads and eight women's teams will vie for titles in the three-day event. North Dakota State is the defending champion in both the men's and women's divisions.

"We are looking forward to hosting the Summit League Track and Field Championships in Sioux Falls," South Dakota State head track and field coach Rod DeHaven said. "It will feature some of the top athletes in Division I track and field, and our student-athletes are anxious for the opportunity to compete for Summit League championships on South Dakota soil."

The top four teams in the Summit League standings will advance to the conference baseball tournament. The tournament will follow a double-elimination format with two games played on the opening day, three games on the second day and up to two games to decide the championship and an automatic bid to NCAA postseason play on the third and final day.

"Our baseball program is excited to have the opportunity to play our conference tournament at Sioux Falls Stadium," SDSU baseball coach Ritchie Price said. "I know our players are looking forward to the atmosphere of playing in a professional stadium and getting the chance to earn an NCAA Tournament berth here in South Dakota."

The Jackrabbits earned the right to host the baseball tournament after earning a share of their first Summit League regular season title and securing the top seed for the 2010 Summit League Championship.

Now in its 29th year, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of over 125,000 at 10 member institutions: Centenary College of Louisiana, IPFW (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis), UMKC (University of Missouri-Kansas City), North Dakota State University, Oakland University, Oral Roberts University, South Dakota State University, Southern Utah University and Western Illinois University. The Summit League has two associate members in the University of South Dakota, who will begin full Summit League membership in 2011-12 and currently serves as an associate member for swimming and diving, and Eastern Illinois University, which currently competes in swimming and diving and will join in men's soccer in 2011. To learn more visit, www.thesummitleague.org.

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