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Jeff Kolpack, Published March 01 2010

Summit League Indoor Track and Field Championships: Bison men, women in lead

The meat of The Summit League Indoor Track & Field Championships will come today, but North Dakota State had a pretty tasty hors d’oeuvre on Sunday. Both the men and women have early leads after the first day.

The women, especially, showed why they have yet to lose a Summit meet since coming into the league in 2008. They had several athletes set personal records, and some of them counted on the scoreboard. They lead with 82 points, 22 ahead of second place South Dakota State.

“We try not to get too excited after Day 1,” said head coach Ryun Godfrey. “But things went real well.”

The Bison men had its share of things going well. Nobody won an event, but four placed in the pole vault and three in the weight throw. NDSU has 47 points, eight ahead of South Dakota State.

“We’re on the right path,” said sprinter Kevin Jackson, who had the top times in the 60- and

200-meter preliminaries.

The Bison women took control in a matter of minutes.

At about the same time Whitney Carlson led a top four NDSU finish in the long jump, Toni Tollefson won the high jump just several feet away on the BSA floor.

Her leap of 5-8 was about on par to her efforts this season. But Sunday’s effort came on a bigger stage. She missed the conference record by one-fourth of an inch, giving her, as she said, “something to shoot for.”

“It’s intimidating but a lot of fun at the same time,” Tollefson said. “You have to live in the moment.”

Carlson certainly did. Her jump of 20 feet, 6½ inches broke her own school record and also set arena and conference marks in an event dominated by the Bison. Kristen Killoran took second, Brittni Bruenjes third and Heather Zander fourth giving the Bison 29 points in one shot.

All had the top four jumps in preliminaries and all went farther in their finals jumps.

The quintessential meet moment probably belonged to Oral Roberts pole vaulter Jack Whitt, who broke the arena record with a mark of 17-7¼. That old mark was set by an Abilene Christian pole vaulter in a Division II national meet.

Whitt just missed with the bar at 18-2, seemingly not far from the BSA rafters.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack at (701) 241-5546