A pair of South Dakota college track stars are among the honorees of the Summit League.
South Dakota State’s Trent Lusignan and North Dakota State’s Casey Orgon captured The Summit League Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year honors, while Kansas City’s Courtney Frerichs and South Dakota’s Bethany Buell, the NCAA pole vault champion, garnered the women’s awards, as voted on by the league’s head coaches.
Lusignan became the first South Dakota State track and field athlete to collect individual honors with his Men’s Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year selection. The sophomore was a two-time league champion at the Outdoor Track and Field Championships with his wins in the 5,000 meters (14:29.42) and 10,000 meters (30:10.47). He finished the regular season atop the league in both events with season-best times of 14:13.11 in the 5k and 29:40.56 in the 10k. The March 26th Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week selection qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary Round and finished 41st in the 10k (32:37.44).
Buell, a two-time USTFCCCA outdoor first team All-American, garnered her second-straight Women’s Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year honor, after winning the 2013 NCAA national pole vault title. The St. Louis, Mo., native became the first female to win the Field Athlete of the Year award twice and is the second female track and field athlete overall to win the league’s top honor in back-to-back seasons. The junior won the national title by clearing 14’7.25″ (4.45m), tying the NCAA DI Championship meet record and helping her team tie for an 18th-place finish, an all-time league-best. Buell also became the league’s first female track and field NCAA Champion and South Dakota’s first NCAA DI Champion. She is the second female national champion in league history, while earning the league’s 10th overall national title and the fifth championship in the last two years. The April 2nd Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week selection finished the regular season atop the nation in the pole vault (14’7.5″/4.46m) after holding onto the top spot for eight-straight weeks.