The past couple weeks I have taken a look back and have done a year in review for the South Dakota State athletic teams in 2019-2020. Today, I take a look at cross country, equestrian and golf.
It was another successful season for the SDSU men’s cross country team as they won their fourth-straight Summit League championship.
The catalyst of the team was sophomore Joseph Minor-Williams who won Summit League Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year. Minor-Williams came in first place at the Summit League Cross Country Championship with a time of 24 minutes and 43.6 seconds.
SDSU saw their best finish ever at the NCAA Midwest Regional as they finished in fourth place. Head coach Rod DeHaven was honored with the Summit League Coach of Year Award for the fourth-straight season. It was the eighth time in his career that DeHaven has won the award which is the second-most in Summit League history.
Minor-Williams won two Summit League Athlete of the Week awards and junior Micah Mather won one. Mather finished in 23rd place at the NCAA Midwest Regional. With those two both coming back, I would expect the Jackrabbits to five-peat as Summit League Champions for the Jackrabbit men.
Anna Donnay led the way for the SDSU women’s cross country team this season. She came in second at the Summit League Championships and the Jacks took third place in the Summit League.
Donnay finished 10th overall at the Midwest Regional, which tied the highest finish for a Jackrabbit at a regional in school history. SDSU finished in 16th place as a team at the regional.
Donnay was only a junior this past season and will be back next year for SDSU. Ellie Friesen and Cailee Peterson finished 69th and 94th, respectively at the Midwest Regional. Friesen finished 13th at the Summit League Championships.
Both Friesen and Peterson were sophomores last season, so they will be back along with Donnay. With those three coming back, the Jackrabbits should be in contention to win the Summit League Championship next season.
It was a tough year for the SDSU equestrian team as they went 0-9 in the regular season.
The Jacks faced a tough schedule though as they faced five top-10 teams. They fell to No. 8 TCU in their season opener and lost 17-3. SDSU then took on No. 4 Oklahoma State and lost 13-7.
In their conference opener, the Jacks lost to University of Tennessee Martin 9-8. SDSU fell to No. 10 Deleware State 13-7 and No. 5 South Carolina 15-5. The Jacks had just one home meet this season. They lost to University of California Davis 10-9.
SDSU was pretty even as far as how many women they had in each class. They had seven seniors, seven juniors, eight sophomores and their biggest class was freshman as they had 14. I would expect the Jacks to bounce back next year.
The Jacks looked like they were rising as an equestrian program when they went 5-7 in 2017-2018. They beat the No. 2 seed Baylor in the United Equestrian Conference Championships and their reining squad advanced to the quarterfinals of the National Collegiate Equestrian Association Championships. SDSU went on to go 1-8 in 2018-2019. It will be interesting to see where this squad goes.
SDSU women’s golf was just finding their stride and then the rest of the season was canceled.
They came in first place out of 14 teams at the Jackrabbit Invitational in Boulder City, Nev. Teresa Tosacan tied for second with a 219 in the tournament and Mia Seeman finished in fourth with a 220. SDSU had success in Boulder City earlier in the year as they came in fourth out of 18 teams at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown. Toscano finished tied for third and Seeman tied for 11th.
SDSU had one other top-five finish as they came in fifth place out of 17 teams at the Aggie Invitational in Las Cruces, N.M. Toscano finished tied for third place overall in that tournament as well. Toscano finished in the top 10 in four of the five tournaments the Jackrabbits played in.
Unfortunately Toscano was a senior, so she will be leaving the team. Seeman was a sophomore last season, so she will be the one who will have to step up and replace Toscano as the Jacks top golfer.
The Jackrabbit men’s golf team had a very difficult season. They placed in the bottom half in all but one of the seven tournaments they participated in.
It was a bit of a rebuilding year for the Jacks though as they only had one senior. The other nine golfers on the roster were either sophomores or freshmen.
SDSU’s best performance in a tournament came at the Prairie Club Invitational in Valentine, Neb. where they came in third out of seven teams. Harry Duggan led the way for the Jacks, tying for fourth place with 218. SDSU tied for seventh place in the Jackrabbit Invitational in Boulder City, Nev. Jonah Dohrer tied for seventh place with a 215.
With all but one golfer returning next season, I would expect the Jacks to bounce back at least a little bit after the young golfers got a year of experience under their belt.