NDSU Menís Track & Field Geared Up for Summit League Indoor Championships
Release: February 21, 2013
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Championship season has arrived for the North Dakota State men's track & field team, which means the Bison will spend Sunday and Monday in Vermillion, S.D., attempting to bring back the school's fifth Summit League indoor title in six seasons.
The University of South Dakota will host the 2013 Summit League Indoor Championships inside the DakotaDome on Feb. 24-25.
The Bison took third in the team race last season - the only time NDSU hasn't claimed the indoor team title since joining The Summit League for the 2007-08 season. Southern Utah and Oral Roberts topped NDSU in 2012, but both have since departed the league.
The 2013 team race figures to feature NDSU, South Dakota State and host South Dakota. NDSU's hopes for the team title may depend on several events where the Bison have the potential to place multiple competitors, including the 800m, pole vault, weight throw and heptathlon.
With seniors Moses Heppner and Travis Fitzke, junior Alec Espeland, and freshman Dalton Herding, NDSU owns four of the five fastest Summit League athletes in the 800m this season. Heppner leads the league with his time of 1:51.36 at the Bison Open on Feb. 9. Fitzke was third and Espeland was eighth in the 800m at last season's conference meet.
Senior Jesse Morrow leads a promising crew of Bison pole vaulters. Morrow is No. 2 in The Summit League this season after clearing 17-01 (5.21m) on Feb. 9, and junior Andy Lillejord is fourth in the conference at 16-02. Brock Larson is fifth in the league with a vault of 16-00.75.
Casey Orgon, Trevor Berner and Blake Elsen - ranked Nos. 2, 3, and 5 in the conference, respectively - figure to contribute big points in the weight throw. Redshirt freshman Brandt Berghuis is currently third in the league in the shot put.
The heptathlon will once again be a strong point for the Bison, with Lillejord the favorite to defend his 2012 conference title. Senior Ryan Jenson, fourth in the heptathlon at the conference meet a year ago, enters this weekend with the second-best score in the league. Redshirt freshmen Alex Koppy and Kellen Plutowski figure to add points for the Bison as well.
Other Bison athletes to keep an eye on this weekend include sophomore sprinter Jerome Begin and hurdlers Matt Tetzlaff and Parker McKittrick. Begin is ranked among the top three in the league in the 200m and 400m. Tetzlaff owns the fastest time in The Summit League this season in the 60m hurdles, and McKittrick is coming off a 60m hurdles personal-best on Feb. 9 that ranks him sixth in the league.
GoBison.com will have complete updates at the conclusion of each day of competition, as well as video highlights throughout the meet. Live updates on placing and team scoring can be found on Twitter at @NDSUTrackField.
Here's a breakdown of the men who will lead North Dakota State's pursuit of a conference title this weekend:
Andre Martin, Jr. - joined the NDSU track & field team after completing football season in January
Brandt Berghuis - top shot putter for the Bison this season and No. 3 in the conference
Trevor Berner - junior college transfer who is No. 3 in the league in the weight throw