Big start for Bison indoor track & field season

Rodin named back-to-back athlete of the week

The North Dakota State University Bison men’s and women’s track & field teams opened the indoor portion of their season with a sizzling start. Over the past two weekends, the Bison have competed in the Bison Team Cup and in the South Dakota State University Jim Emmerich Alumni Invitational and collected 18 individual titles and numerous runner-up and third-place finishes. In the Bison Team Cup, the women captured the first-place team title while the men finished in second place with 109 points behind the champion Jackrabbits who scored 122. Meanwhile, in the Jim Emmerich Alumni Invitational, both teams finished second.

            In the Bison Team Cup, held at the Shelly Ellig Indoor Track and Field Facility, the women collected eight individual champions. Sydney Arndt (60m hurdles), Julia Gherardi (pole vault), Nell Graham (600m), Kendra Kelley (60m), Kate Leblanc (800M), Grace Link (mile), Angel Pratt (200M) and Meredith Spiers (weight throw) all earned individual titles.

NDSU sprinter Kendra Kelley (#5) runs in 60m finals at the Bison Team Cup at the Shelly Ellig Indoor Track and Field Facility. Kelley won the event witha time of 7.57. To Kelley’s right is teammate Jasmine Williams (#6) who finished fourth. Photo Credit | Hayden Austin – the Spectrum

NDSU’s Grace Emineth won both the long and triple jumps to become the meet’s only multi-Titleist. Emineth’s indoor personal-best winning long jump mark of 20-00.25 (6.10m) ranks her third all-time at NDSU and 16th in the NCAA so far this season. In the triple jump, she won the event with a mark of 38-9 (11.81m). She was named Summit League TicketSmarter Indoor Track and Field Peak Performer of the Week for her performance.

            On the men’s side, there were three individual champions. Jacob Levin (400m), Jacob Rodin (600m) and Jarod White (pole vault) each captured individual titles. Rodin broke his own school record and facility record in the 600 meters to take the event title. He won the race in a time of 1:17.88, improving his previous NDSU all-time best of 1:18.03, as well as his facility record of 1:18.18 from last season. Rodin’s winning time ranks 12th in the NCAA this season for the 600m. He also ran a leg on the Bison 4x400m relay team that took first in a time of 3:20.63 to be named the Summit League TicketSmarter Indoor Track and Field Peak Performer of the Week.

            The following week, the Bison traveled to Brookings, S.D. to participate in the Jim Emmerich Alumni Invitational. Again, both teams claimed individual and team titles. The men and women had three champions each. Sydney Arndt (60m hurdles), Grace Emineth (long jump) and Kendra Kelley (200m) were winners for the Herd. Meanwhile, on the men’s side, Josh Knutson (400m), Brandon Lewis (long jump) and Jacob Rodin (800m) won titles for NDSU.

            Kelley, a sophomore from Cloquet, Minn., won the 200m dash in a career-best time of 24.00, ranking second-fastest in NDSU history. She was only two-hundredths of a second from matching Antoinette Goodman’s 2013 school record in the event.

            Bison freshman Sydney Arndt won the 60m hurdles in 8.46 seconds – a new-personal-best that ties her for No. 2 all-time at NDSU.

            NDSU’s Grace Emineth won the long jump for the third straight meet, posting a mark of 19-06.00 (5.94m) for first place. Emineth also won the title at the Dakota Alumni Classic back in December.

            For his performance at the Emmerich Invitational, Rodin was named the Summit League’s Peak Performer of the Week, the second straight week that Rodin has claimed the award.

Rodin won the 800 meters in a time of 1:49.83, ranking him No. 22 in the nation so far this season. Rodin also remains No. 15 on Division I national performance list in the 600m this year. Rodin holds the NDSU indoor school record in the 800m at 1:48.52.

The men and women are next scheduled to compete at the UND Open in Grand Forks, N.D. on Saturday.

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