The University of South Dakota and South Dakota State track and field teams placed high in The Summit League Outdoor Track and Field Preseason Polls released on Wednesday.

The Coyote men and women are both picked to finish second in the league behind North Dakota State. The Bison men received three first place votes and 15 points, followed by USD with two first place votes and 14 points.  The Jackrabbits are third with 10 points.

In the women's poll, NDSU is first with five first place votes and 35 points.  The Coyotes came in second 32 points and two first place votes with SDSU picked fourth with 25 points.

The South Dakota men, who won the indoor title last weekend, return a league-high five champions from last year’s outdoor championships in Kyle McKelvey (shot put), Cody Snyder (discus), Peter Chapman (pole vault), Jeff Mettler (3,000-meter steeplechase) and Chris Nielsen (200-meters).

The Coyote women are led by three returning league champions in Bethany Firsick, Megan Glisar and Meghan Dennis and national championship qualifier Emily Grove. Firsick and Grove finished first and seventh respectively in the pole vault at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships last June, while Glisar finished sixth in the high jump and Dennis finished 20th in the javelin at the same meet.

The SDSU men finished third overall at last year’s Summit League Outdoor Track and Field Championships where Trent Lusignan won both the 5,000- and 10,000-meter runs. He was named the 2013 Summit League Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year. The Jackrabbits ended the conference meet with a thrilling win in the 4x400-meter relay. The team of Justin Carson, Levi Winkels, Jared Foote and Luke Leischner won the race with their final time of 3:14.63.

The women placed fourth overall at last year’s conference meet. Mary Wirth is returning for the Jackrabbits after redshirting last year. She won back-to-back high jump titles in 2011 and 2012.


South Dakota State University