Every spring, the continual rise of thermometers in Fargo signals one thing for Bison Athletics: crunch time.
For many ways, the spring is the busiest time of the year. With the exception of a few major sports, most athletic teams’ conference championships take place in the spring. That’s why it’s crunch time.
Track and field
Both the North Dakota State men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams won Summit League Championships Saturday afternoon in Indianapolis, Ind., at Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne University.
The Bison men won their fifth indoor team title in nine years, and the women won their ninth consecutive indoor title. Including outdoor conference, the Bison women have won seventeen team trophies in a row.
“It was a great weekend for us. There was some ups and downs but the girls came out and competed hard, like they always do,” women’s head coach Stevie Keller said. “The conference is getting better and better every year, it’s an honor for our team to be at the top.”
The women won by nearly forty points, with a team total of 220.5, besting runner-up University of South Dakota’s team total of 181.5 points. Individual winners include senior Erin Teschuk in the mile, clocking in at 4:41.78, junior Amy Andrushko in the 800m, sophomore thrower Courtney Pasiowitz in the shot put and the 4x400m relay team composed of Melissa Kitching, Alexis Woods, Morgan Milbrath, and Rose Jackson.
The 4×400 relay team’s first place finish marked their fourth straight title in this race.
The men were also big winners, beating second-place South Dakota State by a point-total of 183.0 to 145.5. Individual winners were junior Alex Renner in the shot put, with a school record, redshirt freshman Ryan Enerson with 4,987 points in the heptathlon, and sophomore Landon Jochim in the 400m dash with a time of 48.57 seconds.
“For everyone to come out and compete at a high level, it’s a fun thing to be a part of,” Renner said. “Coach Justin does a great job with us. You don’t doubt that you’re ready when you have that good of coaching.”
Moving on to the diamonds, both NDSU’s softball and baseball teams were on the road this weekend; the men in Texas and the women at the Red and Black Classic hosted by Louisville.
After suffering their first loss after a walk-off home run to Lamar University on Friday, the Bison men came out Saturday for revenge, and accomplished it in a doubleheader sweep of Lamar winning 7-6 and 3-0.
The first half of the double header Saturday was a come-from-behind win, after trailing 6-2 early. The Bison found momentum with a two-run single by sophomore Brayden Resch, and scored five unanswered runs to win 7-6. The Bison are now on a hot streak, starting the season 5-1.
A couple hundred miles away, the Bison softball team took the mound on Saturday in games against Kent State and Louisville.
In its 11-0 routing of Kent State, the Bison were lifted by grand-slam by senior Maritza Lopez-Portillo.
Unfortunately, the momentum did not continue and the Bison women fell to Louisville 4-3 in a close match-up.
Last, both the Bison men’s and women’s basketball teams ended its regular seasons this past weekend. And the Summit League Tournament is in sight for the men. Opening round game March 6 against Indiana University Purdue University of Indiana, as the Bison find themselves the fifth seed.
The women played its final game of the regular season Saturday at IPFW and lost 85-69. NDSU ends the 2015-2016 season with a 7-22 overall record and a 2-14 record in the Summit League.