Lillejord, Throwers Lift Bison Men on First Day of Summit Championships
Release: February 24, 2013
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VERMILLION, S.D. - North Dakota State junior Andy Lillejord and the Bison throwers made big contributions to the NDSU men's track & field team's chase for a fifth Summit League indoor title in six years on Sunday.
Lillejord, a junior from Jamestown, N.D., claimed runner-up finishes in the pole vault and long jump - two events that ran concurrently on the first day of the Summit League Indoor Championships inside the DakotaDome - after he had already built a comfortable first-day lead in his attempt to defend his league heptathlon title from a year ago.
NDSU scored 52 points for second place in the men's team race through the first five events. South Dakota totaled 59 points to hold a seven-point edge over the Bison after the first day of competition.
Lillejord cleared a season-best 16-09.25 (5.11m) in the pole vault for second place. If not for a 24-foot effort on the final jump by South Dakota's Jeff O'Connell, Lillejord would have claimed the league long jump title with his mark of 23-08.75 (7.23m).
In the heptathlon, Lillejord posted the top performance in three of the first four events, running 6.96 seconds in the 60m, jumping 23-04.50 in the long jump and throwing a lifetime-best 42-06.00 in the shot put. He scored 3,099 points on the first day to build a comfortable 329-point lead heading into the final three events on Monday.
The Bison men scored big in the weight throw, placing all four of their entries in the top five to tally 23 team points. Defending champion Casey Orgon settled for a second-place finish, but posted the second-best throw of his career at 63-05.00 (19.33m). Senior Blake Elsen earned All-Summit League honors in third place with a mark of 60-05.75 (18.43m) that ranks No. 3 all-time at NDSU.
Redshirt freshman Brandt Berghuis entered the meet ranked No. 10 in The Summit League in the weight throw, but recorded a 67-inch personal-best on his sixth and final throw to steal fourth place. Berghuis' mark of 59-04.25 (18.09m) ranks him No. 6 in NDSU history. Junior Trevor Berner placed fifth at 58-06.00 (17.83m).
Redhshirt freshmen Brock Larson and Alex Koppy joined Lillejord in the pole vault scoring at fourth and sixth place, respectively. Freshman Colin Paarmann recorded a season-best long jump of 21-08.25 (6.61m) for ninth place.
In preliminary action, the Bison qualified a slew of runners to Monday's finals. Hurdlers Matt Tetzlaff (8.11) and Parker McKittrick (8.24) posted the top two times in the 60m hurdles. McKittrick's time was a personal best. Despite running the event for the first time this season, Paarmann qualified for the 60m hurdles final as well.
Moses Heppner and Alec Espeland each earned automatic qualifying spots in the 800m final by virtue of their prelim performances today. Heppner recorded the fastest prelim time at 1:58.26. Sophomore Jerome Begin and freshman Alex Neumiller claimed spots in the 400m final, and Begin also qualified for the 200m final.
The Summit League Indoor Championships will resume with the heptathlon 60m hurdles at 9:30 a.m. on Monday. Field events begin at 11:30 a.m. with the women's triple jump, and running events kick off at 1:00 p.m.