The University of South Dakota men’s indoor track and field team had a monumental two days Feb. 24-25, winning the Summit League Conference Championship held at the DakotaDome.
The men had seven individual championships and also took home first place in the 1600 meter relay. The win is important university wide, as it’s the Coyotes first Summit League title in any sport.
“I hope it breaks through the ice that this can be accomplished at USD and that we can be a really successful Summit League team,” men’s head coach Dave Gottsleben said. “It’s good to be first, the guys overcame a lot of adversity and hung in there and put some good stuff out there.”
Gottsleben was named Summit League Coach of the Year following the meet, an award that is voted on by all of the coaches in the conference.
The men had an up and down season, but they were picked to finish second in the Summit League just behind North Dakota State. Junior distance runner Jeff Mettler, who won the men’s mile and 3000 and who finished third in the 5000, says that the victory was even better being in front of the home crowd. Mettler was named Track Championship MVP by the coaches as well.
“It’s a great feeling,” Mettler said. “To be able to do it here at the Dome, it’s just amazing. It was a great experience.”
While none of the men are currently ranked high enough to have a shot at the national tournament, Bethany Buell, on the women’s side, is trying to do just so.
Buell is currently fourth in the nation in the pole vault and is looking to make a run at a national title in the event. Her vault and Megan Glisar’s high jump mark, were both Summit League records, which helped the team get third in the conference.
The team was hoping to do a bit better than third, but they are happy with the results overall.
“It’s been an awesome experience,” Glisar said. “Coming in third, I am very proud of my teammates and all the hard work we’ve put in.”
The Coyotes have one final meet left in the season, the Last Chance Meet Saturday March 2 in Ames, Iowa.