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The Summit League Outdoor Track and Field Championships preview -- track events

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 05/12/2011 12:29:58
BROOKINGS, S.D. —  The 2011 Summit League Outdoor Track and Field Championships, hosted by South Dakota State University, kick off today at the Sanford Health Sports Complex’s Lillibridge Track in Sioux Falls, S.D.

WOMEN’S SPRINTS AND HURDLES
The short sprints display young talent in the league. North Dakota State’s freshman duo of Antoinette Goodman and Deborah John are serious title contenders in both the 100 meters and the 200 meters. Goodman won the 200 meters at the Indoor Championships earlier this year, while John won the 60 meters.

Cornisha Wilkerson of Oral Roberts returns to defend her titles in the 100 and 200 meters. She enters the Championships with the top seed in the 100 meters and the no. two time in the 200 meters.

The sprinters face NDSU veteran Whitney Carlson who owns the top 100-meter hurdle time in the league. She is also the two-time defending 400-meter hurdle champion and heavily favored for a third title.

Nikki Klier of Western Illinois won the 400 meters at the Indoor Championships and owns the top time entering the Championships.

Four-time Summit League 400-meters champion Christian Day of Southern Utah provides tough competition to Klier.

Southern Utah carries the top 4x100-meter relay time into the Championships after a runner-up finish to Oral Roberts a year ago.

NDSU is the favorite to win the long sprints relay. The Bison won the event at each Outdoor Championships since joining the league in 2008.

STUDENT-ATHLETES TO WATCH:
Whitney Carlson, North Dakota State, Senior
Season bests: 13.87 (100-meter hurdles, no. one Summit), 59.62 (400-meter hurdles, no. one Summit), 24.57 (200 meters, no. four Summit)
Three-time Summit League Championships MVP
2009 & 2010 Summit League Outdoor 400-meter hurdles champion
2010 Summit League Outdoor 100-meter hurdles champion
2010 Summit League Indoor 200 meters and 60-meter hurdles champion

Christina Day, Southern Utah, Senior
Season best: 55.13 (400 meters, no. three Summit)
Four-time Summit League Champ 400-meter champion
2009 Summit League Outdoor 4x100-meter relay champion

Antoinette Goodman, North Dakota State, Freshman
Season bests: 23.74 (200 meters, no. one Summit), 11.90 (100 meters, no. two Summit) 2011 Summit League Indoor 200-meter champion
2011 Summit League Indoor 60 meters, third place

Deborah John, North Dakota State, Freshman
Season bests: 11.94 (100 meters, no. three Summit), 13.97 (100-meter hurdles, no. three Summit), 4421 points (heptathlon, no. four Summit)
2011 Summit League Indoor 60-meter and 60-meter hurdles champion

Nikki Klier, Western Illinois, Senior
Season best: 54.64 (400 meters, no. one Summit)
2011 Summit League Indoor 400-meter champion

Ashley Tingelstad, North Dakota State, Sophomore
Season bests: 56.00 (400 meters, no. six Summit), 12.17 (100 meters, no. eight Summit) 2010 Summit League Outdoor 400-meter champion and 200-meter runner-up

Cornisha Wilkerson, Oral Roberts, Sophomore
Season bests: 11.84 (100 meters, no. one Summit), 24.30 (200 meters, no. two Summit) 2010 Summit League Outdoor 100-meter and 200-meter champion
2010 Summit League Outdoor Newcomer of the Championship
2011 Summit League Indoor 4x400-meter relay champion

Other Notables:
Kylie Frandsen, Southern Utah, Senior: no. two 400-meter hurdles, no. seven 100-meter hurdles
Brittany Garner, South Dakota State, Senior: no. four 100 meters
Shaye Maurer, Southern Utah, Sophomore: no. two 100-meter hurdles, no. five 100 meters, no. five 400-meter hurdles
Whitney Mills-Doyeto, Oral Roberts, Senior: no. five 200 meters
Brittany Page, North Dakota State, Junior: no. two 400 meters, no. eight 200 meters
Jasmine Paicely, Southern Utah, Junior: no. three 400-meter hurdles
TK Whitfield, Oral Roberts, Junior: no. three 200 meters, no. four 400 meters

MEN’S SPRINTS AND HURDLES
SDSU’s Luke Leischner and Oral Roberts’ Jeffery Gibson fought for the 400-meter win at each of the last two conference championships. Most recently at the Indoor Championships, Gibson nipped Leischner by .01 seconds. Leischner defends his Outdoor Championships title from a year ago on home turf.

Oral Roberts’ sprinter Marvin Bonde has yet to compete this season but comes back to the Outdoor Championships to defend his 100- and 200-meter titles. NDSU underclassmen Kevin Jackson and Donte Smart look for a spot atop the podium.

The gradation of last season’s Outdoor Championships Track MVP Anthony Boyer of UMKC leaves the hurdle race wide open to new champions. Jackson, alone with teammate Matt Tetzlaff, the Indoor Championships 60-meter hurdle champion, are in line to compete for those titles.

NDSU looks to defend its 4x100-meter relay title and enters the meet with the top-seeded time in the event.

Oral Roberts enters the Championships with the no. one 4x400-meter relay time, an impressive 3:07.71 and are poised to repeat their Indoor Championships title in the event, but not without contention from defending champions, SDSU.

STUDENT-ATHLETES TO WATCH:
Kevin Jackson, North Dakota State, Sophomore
Season bests: 10.62 (100 meters, no. one Summit), 52.41 (400-meter hurdles, no. two Summit), 21.58 (200 meters, no. three Summit), 14.60 (110-meter hurdles, no. three Summit) 2010 Summit League Indoor 200-meter champion
2010 Summit League Outdoor 100-meter and 200-meter runner-up
2011 Summit League Indoor 200-meter runner-up

Luke Leischner, South Dakota State, Junior
Season bests: 21.56 (200 meters, no. two Summit), 47.37 (400 meters, no. two Summit), 10.83 (100 meters, no. four Summit)
2010 Summit League Outdoor 400-meter and 4x400-meter relay champion
2011 Summit League Indoor 400-meter runner-up

Jeffery Gibson, Oral Roberts, Sophomore
Season bests: 47.18 (400 meters, no. one Summit), 51.91 (400-meter hurdles, no. one Summit), 21.87 (200 meters, no. five Summit)
2010 & 2011 Summit League Indoor 400-meter and 4x400-meter relay champion
2010 Summit League Outdoor 400-meter runner-up

Brandon Williams, Oral Roberts, Junior
Season bests: 21.64 (200 meters, no. four Summit), 48.06 (400 meters, no. four Summit) 2009 Summit League Outdoor 400-meter champion
2011 Summit League Indoor 4x400-meter relay champions and 400-meter third place

Donte Smart, North Dakota State, Freshman
Season bests: 10.64 (100 meters, no. one Summit), 47.76 (400 meters, no. three Summit), 22.09 (200 meters, no. eight Summit)
2011 Summit League Indoor 60-meters and 4x400-meter relay runners-up
2011 Summit League Indooor Newcomer of the Championship

Matt Tetzlaff, North Dakota State, Sophomore
Season bests: 14.22 (110-meter hurdles, no. one Summit), 53.07 (400-meter hurdles, no. three Summit)
2011 Summit League Indoor 60-meter hurdles champion
2010 Summit League Outdoor 110 meters and 400-meter hurdles, third place

Other Notables:
Marvin Bonde, Oral Roberts, Senior
Clive Chafausipo,  Oral Roberts, Junior: no. one 200 meters
Kodai Kusano, Southern Utah, Junior: no. two 110-meter hurdles, no. seven 400-meter hurdles
Kevin Luce, Oakland, Senior: no. five 110-meter hurdles, no. eight 400-meter hurdles
Preston Myers, Southern Utah, Freshman: no. three 100 meters

WOMEN'S MIDDLE-DISTANCE AND DISTANCE
Three-time 800-meter conference champion Christine Schmaltz of NDSU returns for another go at a title. Her league-leading season-best time is five seconds faster than the no. two time held by teammate Faith Kruchowksi. Both are viable contenders for titles in the 800 meters and the 1,500 meters.

Southern Utah’s Diana Medina owns the top-league time in the 1,500 meters. Kruchowski and Schmaltz enter the Championships with the no. two and no. three times in the event, respectively.

Medina and Oakland’s Lia Jones enter the Championships with the top-two times in the 5,000 meters. Jones owns the top seed but Medina already owns one conference title.

Steffi Minson of Southern Utah is the top contender for the 3,000-meter steeplechase. She finished third at last year’s Championships. She owns the second-fastest time in the league prior to the Championships.

Summit League Indoor Championship Track MVP Kristen Radcliff from Oral Roberts competes for her first conference title. She enters the weekend with the no. three time in the league.

Only three runners in the league ran the 10,000 meters this season. The top spot in the 10,000 meters is anyone’s race. The runner to watch could be Jamie Smith of Southern Utah. Smith owns the fifth-fastest 5,000-meter time in the league and won The Summit League Cross Country Championship in 2010.

STUDENT-ATHLETES TO WATCH:
Christine Schmaltz, North Dakota State, Senior
Season bests: 2:05.81 (800 meters, no. one Summit, no. 21 NCAA), 4:31.52 (1,500 meters no. three Summit), 55.96 (400 meters, no. five Summit)
Three-time Summit League 800-meter champion
2011 Summit League Indoor distance medley champion and mile-run runner-up

Diana Medina, Southern Utah, Junior
Season bests: 4:30.41 (1,500 meters, no. one Summit), 16:44.81 (5,000 meters, no. two Summit)
2010 Summit League Indoor 5,000-meter champion, 3,000-meter runner-up
2009 Summit League Outdoor 5,000-meter champion and 1,500-meter runner-up
2009 Summit League Cross Country runner-up

Lia Jones, Oakland, Sophomore
Season best: 16:29.34 (5,000 meters, no. one Summit)
2010 Summit League Indoor mile runner-up
2010 Summit League Cross Country, fourth place

Kristen Radlciff, Oral Roberts, Junior
Season bests: 10:54.57 (3000-meter steeplechase, no. three Summit), 4:37.39 (1,500 meters, no. seven Summit)
2011 Summit League Indoor Track MVP, 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter runners-up

Faith Kruchowski, North Dakota State, Sophomore
Season bests: 2:10.45 (800 meters, no. two Summit), 4:31.51 (1,500 meters, no. two Summit)
2011 Summit League Indoor distance medley relay champion
2011 Summit League Indoor 800 meters, third place

Jamie Smith, Southern Utah, Sophomore
Season best: 17:08.15 (5,000 meters, no. five Summit)
2010 Summit League Cross Country champion

Other Notables:
Kirsten Bradford, Southern Utah, Junior: no. four 5,000 meters, no. five 1,500 meters
Sara Lieblein, Oakland, Senior: no. three 5,000 meters
Chelsea Lynes, Western Illinois, Freshman: no. three 800 meters, no. four 1,500 meters
Felicia Mondry, IPFW, Senior: no. one 3,000-meter steeplechase

MEN'S MIDDLE DISTANCE and DISTANCE
The Outdoor Championships should see one of the best distance fields in recent conference history. Cameron Levins of Southern Utah returns to the Championship after three-consecutive redshirt seasons. He last appeared at a conference meet at the 2010 Indoor Championships.

The Canadian-native won the Canadian Cross Country Championships and qualified for his national squad to compete at the World Championships last spring. Levins owns one of the top 5k times in the country and provides tough competition in the distance events at the Championships.

Eric Stroh of North Dakota State could be the only runner to beat out Levins. He owns three-consecutive conference titles in the 800 meters and enters the Championships with the top time in the conference.

In the 10,000 meters, UMKC’s Cosmas Ayabei is the favorite after he won both long events at the Indoor Championships, as well as the 2010 Summit League Cross Country Championship.

Zack Jones of Oakland took runner-up to Ayabei at the Cross Country Championships and won a conference 5k title at the 2010 Indoor Championships.

Top-rated Kevin Sandall of Southern Utah also looks to add a second conference title in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. He won his first at the 2009 Championships and enters this season’s Championships with the best time in the league by just over one second. SDSU’s Greg Vollmer comes in a close second place.

STUDENT-ATHLETES TO WATCH:
Cameron Levins, Southern Utah, Junior
Season bests: 3:45.38 (1,500 meters, no. one Summit), 13:44.23 (5,000 meters, no. one Summit, no. 19 NCAA), 1:51.48 (800 meters, no. four Summit)
2011 Canadian National Cross Country Champ & IAAF World Cross Country Championships Qualifier
2010 Summit League Indoor mile and 3,000-meter champion 
2009 Summit League Cross Country champion

Eric Stroh, North Dakota State, Senior
Season bests: 1:49.65 (800 meters, no. one Summit), 3:49.53 (1,500 meters, no. two Summit)
Three-time Summit League 800-meter champion
2011 Summit League Indoor distance medley relay champion

Cosmas Ayabei, UMKC, Sophomore
Season bests: 29:25.29 (10,000 meters, no. one Summit), 14:43.38 (5,000 meters, no. four Summit)
2011 Summit League Indoor 3000-meter and 5,000-meter champion
2011 Summit League Indoor Track MVP
2010 Summit League Cross Country champion
2009 Summit League Cross Country Championship, third place
2009 Summit League Cross Country Newcomer of the Championship

Zack Jones, Oaklad, Senior
Season bests: 14:38.19 (5,000 meters, no. three Summit), 30:01.49 (10,000 meters, no. three Summit)
2010 Summit League Indoor 5,000-meter champion
2010 Summit League Cross Country runner-up

Jake Schneller, South Dakota State, Junior
Season bests: 3:52.07 (1,500 meter, no. three Summit), 1:51.68 (800 meter, no. five Summit) 2011 Summit League Indoor 800-meter runner-up
2010 Summit League Outdoor 4x400-meter relay champion and 800-meter runner-up

Moses Heppner, North Dakota State, Sophomore
Season bests: 1:50.53 (800 meters, no. two Summit), 3:52.60 (1500 meters, no. four Summit) 2010 Summit League Outdoor 1,500-meter runner-up
2011 Summit League Indoor distance-medley relay champion, mile runner-up

Michael Krsnak, South Dakota State, Junior
Season bests: 14:24.32 (5,000 meters, no. two Summit), 29:40.87 (10,000 meters no. two Summit)
2011 Summit League Indoor 3,000-meter runner-up
2010 Summit League Cross Country, third place

Kevin Sandall, Southern Utah, Senior
Season-bests: 9:04.98 (3,000-meter steeplechase, no. one Summit), 14:58.32 (5,000 meters, no. seven Summit)
2009 Summit League Outdoor 3,000-meter steeplechase champion

Other Notables:
Alec Espeland, North Dakota State, Freshman: no. three 800 meters, no. eight 1,500 meters
Marshall Kambestad, South Dakota State, Senior: no. five 5,000 meters
Greg Vollmer, South Dakota State, Junior: no. two 3,000-meter steeplechase

   
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