What a weekend for South Dakota college sports led by those history-making Coyotes from Vermillion. In their first full year of Division I, the University of South Dakota women’s track and field team tied Michigan State for 18th place with 15 points in the NCAA outdoor track and field national championships in Eugene, Ore.
USD also recorded the first Division I national champion from a South Dakota college in pole vaulter Bethany Buell. With a torn ligament in her left shoulder, the junior from St. Louis tied the D-I national championship record with a vault of 14 feet, 7 1/4 inches.
USD teammate Emily Grove added first-team All-American honors by finishing seventh after vaulting a season high 14-1 1/4. The two combined to earn 12 points for the USD women’s team.
“I’m really proud of Bethany’s effort and performance today,” USD coach Lucky Huber said Friday. “Bethany, Emily and coach (three-time Olympian Derek) Miles all had a great season and this was a great way to cap it off.”
Buell will have surgery to repair the ligament this summer. She missed much of the season.
Buell became USD’s first track national champion since Emma Erickson won the 800-meters at the 2008 Division II NCAA National Championships. She also is the Summit League’s first women’s track national champion and the second women’s national champion in any sport from the league.
USD also got three points and another All-American honor from junior high jumper Megan Glisar. She cleared 6-0 to finish sixth.
It also was a big weekend for South Dakota pitchers in the 40 rounds of the MLB Draft:
University of New Mexico senior Sam Wolff of Rapid City was selected in the sixth round by the Texas Rangers.
Former Aberdeen resident and South Dakota State senior Layne Somsen of Yankton was selected in the 22nd round by the Cincinnati Reds. He will report in a few days to be assigned to one of the Reds’ teams.
Augustana sophomore and Springfield, Minn., native Jordan Milbrath was selected in the 35th round by the Cleveland Indians.
Rapid City Post 22 has made a habit of having former players like Wolff drafted. But lately, so are Augustana and South Dakota State. This was the Vikings’ fifth player selected since 2000 and this was the sixth time in seven years for the Jackrabbits.
SDSU also recently had its first player called up to the big leagues. Caleb Thielbar is with the Twins and Blake Treinen has done well in the farm system of the Washington Nationals. Both are former pitching teammates of Somsen, whose Dad, Dan, was a starting offensive linemen for SDSU for three seasons.
South Dakotans are next awaiting the NBA Draft on June 27. Projected second-round picks are Nate Wolters of South Dakota State and Colton Iverson of Colorado State. Iverson and Somsen were 2008 graduates of Yankton High School.
Here are some other things that I know:
The Sioux Falls Storm won their 100th indoor football game Saturday in the 113 home games they have had at the Sioux Falls Arena since their inception in 2001. With the win, the Storm will host the United Conference Championship Game on June 22 at the arena.
Former Sioux Falls Roosevelt soccer standout and Texas A&M freshman Karlie Mueller was on the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team that recently won two games in Sweden, defeating the Sweden Under-23 and Under-20 women’s national teams. She is the first South Dakotan ever to be called up on that team.
Thanks to the work of athletes like Ben Gillette of Redfield, the SDSU wrestling team had the 13th best team grade-point-average in Division I.