SIOUX FALLS – The Summit League has announced the preseason outdoor track and field rankings with the South Dakota State men three points behind the league favorite and the women sitting fourth.
The men’s team gathered 20 points and two first-place votes, three points and one first-place vote behind North Dakota State (23 points, three first-place). The women tallied 33 points and are behind North Dakota State (47 - 5 first-place votes), South Dakota (44 - 2), and Oral Roberts (38).
Individually, seniors Kyle Burdick, Rachel King and Kasie Vollmer, along with sophomore Trent Francom, were nominated as SDSU’s preseason athletes to watch.
It is just the second time since the outdoor preseason poll began that the Jackrabbit men are runner-up favorites entering the outdoor season (last time in 2017, tied for second) - their best outdoor preseason ranking. They picked up their most first-place votes ever and one more point than they did in 2017.
The Jacks have never finished the outdoor season worse than they were projected, including four times where they finished better than projected. The squad is aiming for its third consecutive, fourth overall, runner-up or better finish in the championships on May 10-12 in Macomb, Ill.
The women are projected fourth for the first time since 2014, fourth time ever in the league. Prior to this preseason, the women had a four-year streak where they were projected third – finishing in that spot three of the four years (2018 was fourth place).
The last time the women were projected fourth (2014), they finished runner-up with 193 points behind NDSU (246) and ahead of South Dakota (169). They have also finished fourth (2013) and fifth another time (2012). SDSU has finished where they were preseason polled, or better, in all but three rankings (2010, 2012, 2018) with two times finishing better (2011, 2014).
• Kyle Burdick, Sr., Rapid City, S.D., Distance
Summit League’s Indoor Track MVP (2019). ... Scored 30 points in the 2019 indoor championships – winning three events (mile, 3,000m, 5,000m). ... Won the 1,500m, finished second in the 10,000m and third in the 800m at the 2018 league outdoor championships. ... Two-time Outdoor Championship MVP (2017, 2018). ... 2017 league’s Track Athlete of the Year. ... 10-time All-League (XC 2016 1st-Team, 2017 1st-Team, 2018 1st-Team, ITF 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, OTF 2016, 2017, 2018). ... Has seven personal-best marks in the school’s top 10 (IN: 1,000m (1st, 2019), Mile (2nd, 2019), 3,000m (2nd, 2018), 5,000m (4th, 2019), OUT: 800m (T-8th, 2017), 1,500m (3rd, 2017), 5,000m (3rd, 2017). ... NCAA All-American in the 1,500m in 2017 (second-team). ... Five-time Preseason Athlete to Watch (XC 2018, ITF 2018, 2019, OTF 2018, 2019).
• Trent Francom, So., Huron, S.D., Pole Vault
Finished runner-up in the 2019 indoor championships. ... Third in his first outdoor championships (2018). ... Only Jackrabbit to breach the 17-foot mark, reaching it twice in 2018 outdoors and once in 2019 indoors. ... The first male Jack to qualify for the NCAA West Prelims (only Amy Leiferman in 2015 made pole vault in the West Prelims, Tyler Schiferl made Midwest Regionals in 2009). ... All-League (ITF 2018, OTF 2018). ... Holds both the indoor and outdoor school records in the pole vault.
• Rachel King, Sr., St. Michael, Minn., Distance
First Jackrabbit female at the NCAA DI Outdoor Championships in the track events (3,000S) - finished with NCAA All-American Honorable Mention. ... Won two events in the 2019 indoor championships (3,000m and 5,000m) – resetting her school record in the 3,000m. ... Posted five individual school-record marks (IN: Mile, 3,000m, 5,000m, OUT: 3,000m steeplechase, 5,000m), moved to second all-time in the 1,500m, and was a part of the DMR school record in her career. ... Won the 3,000m steeplechase and took second in the 1,5000m at the 2018 league outdoor championships. ... Has been named indoor Track Championship MVP (2018) and Track Athlete of the Year (2017) each once ... no female outdoor post-season or yearly awards have been received by Jackrabbits yet. ... 10-time All-League (XC 2015 1st-Team, 2016 1st-Team, 2017 1st-Team, 2018 1st-Team, ITF 2017, 2018, 2019, OTF 2014, 2016, 2018). ... Six-time Preseason Athlete to Watch (XC 2016, 2018 ITF 2018, 2019, OTF 2018, 2019).
• Kasie Vollmer, Sr., Savage, Minn., Throws
Did not compete in 2019 indoors. ... Won the outdoor Summit League discus (2018), runner-up in 2017. ... Two-time All-League (OTF 2017, 2018). ... Two-time qualifier for the NCAA West Prelims in the discus (2017, 2018). ... Holds school record in the outdoor discus (2017) while being No. 8 all-time in the indoor shot put (2018).
2019 SUMMIT LEAGUE MEN’S OUTDOOR
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
Team Score (First-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
The Jacks will open up their outdoor campaign in the last weekend of March (29-30). The teams plan to split across the country at four meets – the San Francisco State Distance Carnival, Stanford Invitational, Drake Invitational and ORU Invitational.