(Kansas City, Mo.) – Kansas City sophomore Courtney Frerichs captured The Summit League Women's Outdoor Track and Field Track Athlete of the Year honors, as voted on by the league's head coaches.
South Dakota State's Trent Lusignan and North Dakota State's Casey Orgon captured The Summit League Men's Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year honors, while South Dakota's Bethany Buell, the NCAA pole vault champion, garnered the women's field award.
Frerichs was named the Women's Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year after earning first team USTFCCCA All-American honors with her sixth-place finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA Championships. The sophomore clocked a personal-best and school-record time of 9:55.02, capturing Kansas City's first All-America honor. She was the league's first female athlete to compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA Championships and became the highest finisher in school history on the women's side and the second-highest overall. At the league championships, she was a two-time champion winning the 5,000 meters (16:42.63) and 3,000-meter steeplechase (10:15.79) and setting league records in both events. The Nixa, Mo., native finished the regular season ranked first in the league and 10th nationally in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (10:08.27).
Lusignan became the first South Dakota State track and field athlete to collect individual honors with his Men's Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year selection. The sophomore was a two-time league champion at the Outdoor Track and Field Championships with his wins in the 5,000 meters (14:29.42) and 10,000 meters (30:10.47). He finished the regular season atop the league in both events with season-best times of 14:13.11 in the 5k and 29:40.56 in the 10k. The March 26th Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week selection qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary Round and finished 41st in the 10k (32:37.44).
Orgon is the first Bison to win an individual award after earning the Men's Field Athlete of the Year award. The Bemidji, Minn., native became the first North Dakota State men's track and field athlete to qualify for the NCAA DI Outdoor Track and Field Championships after finishing 21st in the hammer throw (199'6"/60.80m), earning USTFCCCA All-American honorable mention. He holds the NDSU school record of 216'6" (65.98m) in the hammer, which he set at the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds to advance to the NCAA Championships. At The Summit League Outdoor Track and Field Championships, he captured his third-straight league hammer title with a throw of 205'2" (62.53m). The senior tallied a league-high four Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week honors and finished the regular season first in the league and 18th in the nation in the hammer (213'3"/65.00m).
Buell, a two-time USTFCCCA outdoor first team All-American, garnered her second-straight Women's Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year honor, after winning the 2013 NCAA national pole vault title. The St. Louis, Mo., native became the first female to win the Field Athlete of the Year award twice and is the second female track and field athlete overall to win the league's top honor in back-to-back seasons. The junior won the national title by clearing 14'7.25" (4.45m), tying the NCAA DI Championship meet record and helping her team tie for an 18th-place finish, an all-time league-best. Buell also became the league's first female track and field NCAA Champion and South Dakota's first NCAA DI Champion. She is the second female national champion in league history, while earning the league's 10th overall national title and the fifth championship in the last two years. The April 2nd Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week selection finished the regular season atop the nation in the pole vault (14'7.5"/4.46m) after holding onto the top spot for eight-straight weeks.