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Saturday, January 19 2019 @ 02:52 PM CST

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SDSU names 2006-07 Iron Jacks

SDSU Sports Information release:
The Iron Jacks--photo credit SDSU

Twenty-seven South Dakota State University student-athletes earned the distinction of Iron Jacks for their performance in the Jackrabbit strength and conditioning format during the 2006-07 academic year.

Student-athletes who achieved a set of high standards for specific exercises in their respective sports were selected for the awards by strength and conditioning coach Nate Moe and his staff.

The 2006-07 Iron Jacks, as pictured, are: Front Row: Brian Fischer (football), Tony Martin (baseball), Cal Lewis (baseball), Craig Hill (track and field), Cameryn Christion (track and field), Isaiah Jackson (football), Brittany Postma (softball). Middle Row: Sara Olenich (swimming and diving), Brittany Garner (track and field), Zach Wirth (track and field), Morgan Meier (basketball), Kellie Van Gerpen (soccer), Megan Vogel (basketball), Adam Fritz (football), Justin Kubesh (football), Brooke Postma (softball), Danny Batten (football). Back Row: Brock Gentile (football), Tamiko Kopfmann (track and field), Zach Milner (track and field), Lindsay Harr (equestrian), Chad Thomsen (swimming and diving), Sasha Porter (swimming and diving), Kira Sudbeck (track and field), Stefan Geissler (football), Eric Schroeder (football), Kristina Martin (volleyball), Chris Johnson (football).

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Women's basketball team repeats as GPA champions

SDSU Sports Information release:
For the second year in a row, South Dakota State University posted the highest team grade-point average in all levels of women’s college basketball, officials from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced Monday.

“This is another great accomplishment for our team,” Jackrabbit head coach Aaron Johnston said. “Our players have always taken the award seriously, and it is great to see they have been honored two years in a row.”

In making the Academic Top 25 Honor Roll for the fourth consecutive year and fifth time overall, the Jackrabbits led the nation during the 2006-07 academic year with a 3.693 team GPA. That mark was a slight dropoff from their 3.73 team GPA during the 2005-06 season.

In three seasons competing at the Division I level, SDSU has placed no worse than second among its D-I counterparts in team GPA. The Jackrabbits placed second in 2004-05 with a 3.567 team GPA, after closing out their tenure as an NCAA Division II institution during the 2003-04 season with a 3.407 team GPA to rank 13th within the division.

The Jackrabbits received the team academic award for the first time during the 1999-2000 season with a 3.469 team GPA.

Not only have the Jackrabbits excelled in the classroom, they have performed well on the court. SDSU posted a 25-6 record during the 2006-07 season and reached the quarterfinals of the Women’s NIT, becoming the first transition team to play in the postseason tournament. In three seasons at the Division I level, SDSU has compiled a 48-22 record versus D-I competition.

During the 2006-07 season, seven Jackrabbit players were honored on the Division I Independent All-Academic Team: senior Megan Vogel, juniors Courtney Grimsrud and Andrea Verdegan, and sophomores Morgan Meier, Ashlea Muckenhirn, Stacie Oistad and Jennifer Warkenthien.

Northern Iowa ranked second among Division I teams with a 3.624 team GPA, while NCAA Division III leader Hardin-Simmons (Texas) was second among all divisions with a 3.664 team GPA.

Other division leaders included: Lake Superior State (Mich.), NCAA Division II, 3.588; Hardin-Simmons (Texas) NCAA Division III, 3.644; Dana College (Neb.), NAIA, 3.617, and Iowa Lakes Community College (Kan.), junior colleges, 3.590.

1. South Dakota State 3.693
2. Northern Iowa 3.624
3. Saint Bonaventure (N.Y.) 3.594
4. Montana State 3.557
5. Brown (R.I.) 3.517
6. Oakland (Mich.) 3.515
7. Liberty (Va.) 3.508
8. Eastern Washington 3.471
9. Niagara (N.Y.) 3.457
10. Eastern Illinois 3.442
11. Villanova (Pa.) 3.432
12. Valparaiso (Ind.) 3.419
13. Indiana State 3.398
14. Marist (N.Y.) 3.389
15. Western Carolina 3.387
16. San Francisco (Calif.) 3.382
17. Saint Louis (Mo.) 3.336
18. Wisconsin-Green Bay 3.334
19. Southern Illinois 3.318
20. Evansville (Ind.) 3.313
21. Cleveland State (Ohio) 3.310
22. Northern Arizona 3.307
23. Bowling Green (Ohio) 3.300
24. Utah Valley State 3.298
25. DePaul (Ill.) 3.294

1. South Dakota State (I) 3.693
2. Hardin-Simmons (III) 3.664
3. McDaniel (Md.) (III) 3.625
4. Northern Iowa (I) 3.624
5. Dana (Neb.) (NAIA) 3.617
6. Indiana Wesleyan (NAIA) 3.598
7. Saint Bonaventure (N.Y.) (I) 3.594
8. Oklahoma Christian (NAIA) 3.591
9. Iowa Lakes (JUCO) 3.590
10. Lake Superior State (Mich.) (II) 3.588
Note: Classification denoted in parentheses
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Summit League Welcomes SDSU, NDSU, IPFW

Summit League press release:
ELMHURST, Ill. - Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), North Dakota State University (NDSU) and South Dakota State University (SDSU) officially became members of The Summit League today. The three schools will begin competition in the league during the 2007-08 school year. IPFW will be eligible for post-season championships immediately, while NDSU and SDSU will be eligible in 2008-09.

IPFW is the largest, most comprehensive university in northeast Indiana, offering more than 190 programs. After many years of offering courses at separate locations in Fort Wayne, Indiana University and Purdue University opened the combined campus of IPFW in 1964.

The IPFW athletics program, which started out in a high school gym, has grown tremendously over the years. It now has its own athletics facility, 16 NCAA Division I sports and basketball games held in the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. In addition, its nationally-ranked volleyball team has acted as the springboard for five Olympic athletes.

IPFW offers programs in baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, and men’s and women’s volleyball. Of those sports, only men’s volleyball is currently not sponsored by The Summit League.

Established in 1890 as the North Dakota Agricultural College, North Dakota State is located on the eastern border in Fargo, North Dakota’s largest city. The university strives to be a leader in information systems, technology, economic development and lifelong learning, and encompasses a broad spectrum of curricular offerings, scholarly activity and service.

Over the last 10 years NDSU has captured 20 national championships while 39 individuals have earned the title of national champion.

NDSU offers programs in baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s and women’s golf, women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, women’s volleyball, and wrestling. Of those sports, football and wrestling are currently not sponsored by The Summit League.

An act of the territorial legislature created Dakota Agricultural College in 1881. South Dakota’s only land-grant college has gone through many name changes in its 126-year history, finally becoming South Dakota State University in 1965. Located in Brookings, SDSU has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students, making it the largest university in the state.

During the 2005-06 academic year, more than 50 SDSU student-athletes earned academic recognition at the conference or independent level, including 10 who were selected to ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District teams and one who was named to an Academic All-America squad. It also marked the seventh consecutive year that a Jackrabbit student-athlete had been awarded an NCAA postgraduate scholarship.

South Dakota State offers programs in baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, women’s equestrian, football, men’s and women’s golf, women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, women’s volleyball and wrestling. Of those sports, equestrian, football and wrestling are currently not sponsored by The Summit League.

The Summit League was established in 1982 as the Association of Mid-Continent Universities (AMCU). In 1989, it changed its name to the Mid-Continent Conference and in June 2007 took on its current name. The league recently wrapped up its 25th year as a Division I athletic conference.

The Summit League is comprised of 10 member institutions - Centenary College of Louisiana, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), North Dakota State University, Oakland University, Oral Roberts University, South Dakota State University, Southern Utah University and Western Illinois University. The league offers championships in 19 sports.
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Argus-Leader Summit League article links

Argus-Leader:  March Madness coming to Sioux Falls:
. . . less than three calendar years removed from becoming the last state in the U.S. to participate in Division I athletics, South Dakota has won the right to hand out passes to the NCAA basketball championships, one of the most popular sporting events in the country.

And, still four days away from officially gaining entry into the Summit League, South Dakota State learned it won't even have to leave the state to qualify for the Big Dance in its first two years of eligibility.
Argus-Leader:  Coaches happy with home-court advantage for tourney:
"I thought about the other teams in the league that have been in the league," said Nagy, the SDSU men's coach, whose club begins conference play 2007-08, "and I don't know if I'd be particularly happy if I were some of those schools."
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It's official: Summit League basketball championships to Sioux Falls

Summit League press release:
ELMHURST, Ill. - The Summit League will head to Sioux Falls, S.D., and the Sioux Falls Arena for its men’s and women’s basketball championships in 2009 and 2010 Commissioner Tom Douple announced today.

"We are very excited about having our basketball tournament in Sioux Falls," Douple said. "It will be great for the city and the region, and we anticipate tremendous support from the community. We are especially looking forward to bringing March Madness to the state of South Dakota."

The Summit League Presidents Council voted Monday to move the league’s top event to the largest city in South Dakota. "We look forward to having the tournament in Sioux Falls," said Dr. Al Goldfarb, president of Western Illinois University and chair of the Presidents Council. "It will provide a very positive experience for our student-athletes."

Built in 1961, the Sioux Falls Arena is a 7,100-seat facility. It is home to the Sioux Falls Skyforce, an NBA Development League team, the Sioux Falls Storm, an arena football team in the United Indoor Football Association (UIF), and the Sioux Falls Stampede, a United States Hockey League (USHL) team and the 2007 Clark Cup champions. The arena hosted the 2007 NBA D-League Showcase and also hosts several musical and theatrical productions.

The Summit League Basketball Championships feature the top eight men’s and women’s teams in the conference with the winners receiving automatics bids in the NCAA Tournament. The championship games are televised nationally on the ESPN family of networks. The men’s championship game has appeared on ESPN or ESPN2 each of the last 14 years, while the women’s title game has appeared on ESPNU each of the last two seasons.

The Summit League is comprised of 10 member institutions - Centenary College of Louisiana, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), North Dakota State University, Oakland University, Oral Roberts University, South Dakota State University, Southern Utah University and Western Illinois University.
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Argus-Leader report: Sioux Falls to get Summit basketball tourneys

Sioux Falls Argus-Leader:
The Summit League has scheduled a news conference for 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Convention and Visitors Bureau, likely to announce that Sioux Falls has been selected to host its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments in 2009 and 2010.

Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Teri Ellis-Schmidt confirmed that the news conference would take place, but did not indicate the nature of the news.
However, officials from the Tulsa Sports Commission, the other finalist, indicated that they were not scheduled to hold a news conference, although they would not confirm the selection of Sioux Falls.
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Mansheim awarded NCAA post-graduate scholarship

SDSU Sports Information release:
South Dakota State University distance running standout Becka Mansheim is one of 29 female student-athletes to be awarded a $7,500 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship for the spring season.

A Brookings native, Mansheim won six individual NCAA Division I independent titles during her career with the Jackrabbits as they made the transition from NCAA Division II to D-I competition. She won 1,500-meter championships during the outdoor track seasons each of the last three seasons and also won a 5,000-meter individual title in 2006, when she was named Track Athlete of the Meet at the Division I Independent Championships. In addition, she is the school record holder in three indoor events, as well as the 1,500 meters outdoors.

In cross country, she claimed individual titles at the Division I Independent Championships during the 2005 and 2006 campaigns, leading the Jackrabbits to the team title as a senior.

Besides her running accolades, Mansheim excelled academically, posting a perfect 4.0 grade-point average while majoring in nursing. A three-time ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District selection, she earned second-team Academic All-America recognition in 2006 and is again under consideration for Academic All-America honors.

To qualify for an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, a student-athlete must have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.20, and must have performed with distinction as a member of the varsity team in which the student-athlete was nominated. The student-athlete also must have behaved in a manner that has brought credit to the student-athlete, the institution and intercollegiate athletics. Additionally, the student-athlete must intend to continue academic work as a full-time or part-time student. A total of 58 Postgraduate Scholarships – 29 to each men and women – were awarded to student-athletes competing in spring sports from all three divisions of the NCAA.

Mansheim is the 10th Jackrabbit student-athlete in the last eight years to earn an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and the second during the 2006-07 school year, joining women's basketball player Megan Vogel. Other recent recipients include: Casey Estling, men’s basketball, 1999-2000; Rose Ebnet, volleyball, 2000-01; Josh Ranek, football, 2001-02; Tyler Bryant, wrestling, 2002-03; Scott Connot, football, 2003-04, and Ashley Kalina, softball, 2004-05; Brad Lowery, cross country/track and field, 2005-06, and Heather Sieler, women’s basketball, 2005-06.
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Excellent Nancy Nieber story

Terry Vandrovec writes in the Argus Leader:

All Neiber wanted was opportunity.

When her golden hair fell out of her cap during a youth baseball tryout in her hometown of Pierre in, giving away her gender, she was politely asked to leave, even though she could field, hit and run better than any of the boys - the payoff from hours spent practicing in an empty lot.

At age 12, two years before league rules allowed, Neiber became the quick-tempered shortstop for a fastpitch softball team that wore green and white uniforms and dragged its field with a bedspring tied to a Volkswagen van, coach Jeannine Woodward said. This was Neiber's only option for an organized athletic outlet.
Much more in a great story.  Go read it before it vanishes from the Argus' web site.
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SDSU to build HPER addition

The Argus-Leader:  $1.1M addition at SDSU will be done in '08
A two-story, $1.1 million addition onto the north side of the building should be complete before the start of the 2008-09 school year, according to SDSU associate athletic director Rob Peterson. The first floor will house new locker rooms, one each for the women's basketball and volleyball teams, while the second floor will have a locker room for the women's swimming team and a team room to be shared by the men's and women's swimming programs.
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Summit League announcement press coverage

Links and some local comments on the new Summit League:

Sioux Falls Argus-Leader:
The Summit League quickly rose to the top, said committee member Micah Grenz, SDSU's marketing and promotions director, as it conveyed the desired connotation and avoided fluid qualities like geography and numbers. The next mission was finding a logo and, Grenz said, the choice was again fairly obvious, an ascending piece submitted by Nina Schmidt, a graphic designer at SDSU who was out of the country the day her work was unveiled.
Kansas City Star:

Perhaps the name change will bring the Kangaroos good luck, at least on the hardwood. The men’s and women’s programs never won a Mid-Continent championship.

“It’s a great thing,” UMKC men’s basketball coach Matt Brown said. “The summit is, after all, where we want to go.”

Douple said the league office received more than 100 suggestions.One thing Douple likes is the brevity of the new title.

“Mid-Continent Conference was a mouthful, it was wordy, and we felt the logo needed an update,” Douple said.

Shreveport Times:

"Even though a name change doesn't mean a lot in the grand scheme of things, I hate to see that change because there's so much history with the Mid-Con," Centenary baseball coach Ed McCann said. "I don't have much control over those things, and everyone is chasing Oral Roberts in all sports anyway."
. . .
"Southern Utah is the only member with mountains around them," McCann said. "They don't even have mountains at North or South Dakota State."
(Ed-Obviously, we need to invite Mr. McCann and his baseball team to play out in Rapid City . . . )

Ft. Wayne Journal-Gazette:
The change suits IPFW men’s basketball coach Dane Fife just fine.
“I’m OK with it. We’re looking for brand recognition, and changing the name should help,” Fife said when reached by phone.
. . . 
“The standard is the Missouri Valley,” Fife said. “We’re not behind based on academics, but athletically, we need to take that next step to be mentioned in the same breath.”
Indianapolis Star:
"I'm really excited about the name change, but I'm more excited about the emphasis placed on bettering the league as a whole," IUPUI men's basketball coach Ron Hunter, who led the Jaguars to the NCAA Tournament in 2003, said in a statement. "With all the changes going on in the league, we're now working hard to make it the best conference possible."
Tulsa World:
"We felt 'Summit' was the best we could have chosen," said league commissioner Tom Douple. "It provides an image to reach the top and that's what we want to do. We want to proceed to the summit in both athletics and academics."

Douple discussed the new name and logo in a Tuesday teleconference. The change takes effect June 1, but will not impact teams competing for spring championships.

If the Oral Roberts baseball team should reach the College World Series, it would be as the Mid-Continent Conference champion, Douple said.