Bison Men Look to Regain Summit Indoor Crown in 2013
Release: January 10, 2013
The North Dakota State men's track & field team has won four of a possible five Summit League indoor titles since joining the conference in 2007. Southern Utah, now departed from the league, unseated the Bison as league champs in 2012 to give NDSU its lone blemish of the past half-decade.
With a healthy mix of veterans and incoming freshmen, NDSU hopes to regain the throne in 2013.
NDSU returns a pair of champions from the 2012 Summit League Indoor Championships in senior Casey Orgon (weight throw) and junior Andy Lillejord (heptathlon). Orgon, the school record holder in the weight throw at 63-06.00, is currently ranked No. 5 in the nation in the event.
Lillejord was the Summit League runner-up in the heptathlon as a freshman in 2011 and improved his score to a personal-best 5,517 points to win the title at last year's conference meet.
The multi-events look to be a strong point for the Bison again in 2013, as Ryan Jenson and Beau Gagnon - owners of the fourth- and fifth-highest heptathlon scores in the league last season - return with one more year of experience to join Lillejord.
Senior Travis Fitzke, the NDSU school record holder in the mile and 3,000m, returns for his final season of indoor eligibility. Fitzke was the conference runner-up in the mile and third-place finisher in the 800m in 2012. Alec Espeland and Kole Seiler are both back after recording sub-1:54 indoor 800m times in 2012.
Brendan Skime, Brett Kelly, Grady Anderson and Moses Heppner will contend in the distance events after participating in cross country this fall.
Junior Donte Smart returns to lead the Bison in the sprints after posting the team's fastest times in the indoor 60m, 200m, 300m and 400m in 2012. Smart ranks in the top eight all-time at NDSU in the 60m, 200m and 300m. Senior Lee Dhein and junior Nate Mattson are expected to be contributors in the short sprints as well.
The Bison return a wealth of experience in the hurdles, led by senior Matt Tetzlaff. Tetzlaff owned the fastest 60m hurdles time in The Summit League last season at 7.95 seconds - a mark that ranks fifth in NDSU school history. Other Bison returning with experience in the hurdles include sophomores Parker McKittrick and Jerome Begin.
Lillejord is the team's top returning long jumper and pole vaulter, but close behind in the vault is senior Jesse Morrow who placed seventh at The Summit League Championships in 2012 and cleared 16-04.75 earlier in the season.
Senior Blake Elsen and junior college transfer Trevor Berner should join Orgon as contributors in the throwing events. Both already rank among the NDSU all-time top 10 in the weight throw.
North Dakota State will host the Bison Classic in the brand new Shelly Ellig Track & Field Facility this weekend, beginning with the first four events of the men's heptathlon at 3:45 p.m. on Friday. Running events are slated to begin at noon on Saturday.