Two South Dakotans helped the University of Oklahoma women's cross country team finished 19th at the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis this past Saturday.
Sturgis graduate Jessica Engel made her 2011 season debut and was Oklahoma's top finisher placing 12th in 21 minutes and two seconds. Engel finished one spot behind her 11th-place 2009 performance at Roy Griak Invitational. Eureka's Hilary Krein also made her season debut and clocked in at 22:56, which earned her 140th place in the 272 runner field.
Engel was followed by Kelly Waters who finished 111th (22:26), Molly Ferguson in 115th (22:33), Brianna Martin in 124th (22:39) and Natalie Crain in 129th (22:44), Kelsey Brown in 134th (22:50) and Krein.
The University of California won the race and was led by Deborah Maier, who was the top finisher (20:30). Aberdeen Central graduate and South Dakota State freshman Courtney Neubert placed 166th in the race with a time of 23:42.
South Dakotans help NDSU shock Gophers
Not one of North Dakota State's players was offered scholarships by a Big Ten school.
The Bison have built-in motivation any time they face Minnesota, no matter how overmatched an FCS team should be against an opponent from a BCS conference. But the way North Dakota State has played the Gophers, it's been difficult to determine which team was from the lower level.
Marcus Williams had two defensive touchdowns for North Dakota State on Saturday to help the Bison pull off another win over Minnesota, 37-24.
Williams, a sophomore cornerback who played at Hopkins High School in the Twin Cities - one of the dozens of Minnesotans that make up half of NDSU's roster - returned an interception of Max Shortell's heave 40 yards for a touchdown to seal the game.
The Bison moved up from 12th to sixth in the latest FCS coaches top 25 poll. There are five South Dakotans on the NDSU roster: Redshirt freshman wide receiver Trevor Gebhart, Sioux Falls Washington; senior kicker Ryan Jastram, Sioux Falls Roosevelt; senior linebacker Preston Evans, Sioux Falls Roosevelt; redshirt freshman defensive end Mike Hardie, Sioux Falls O'Gorman; and senior defensive end Coulter Boyer, Hurley.
Boyer, who led Hurley to the State B boys' basketball title in 2007 in Aberdeen, had six tackles and 2 sacks. Boyer earned National Defensive Lineman of the Week honors by College Football Performance.com for his efforts. Nationally, Boyer ranks fifth in sacks and 25th in tackles for loss.
Evans recorded four total tackles. Jastram, a transfer from New Mexico State, booted a 49-yard field goal with room to spare to stretch the lead to 31-14 with 6:25 left in the third quarter.
Bison fans accounted for perhaps one-fourth of the 48,000-plus crowd, and NDSU even brought its full band.
This was the third time Minnesota had played North Dakota State since the Bison moved up from Division II, and this game was every bit as difficult for the Gophers as the meetings in 2006 and 2007. Minnesota needed a blocked field goal as time ran out to preserve a 10-9 victory the first year and lost 27-21 to NDSU the following season.
From staff and wire reports
· St. Cloud State has accepted the invitation to join The National Collegiate Hockey Conference.
· Aberdeen Roncalli graduate and Augustana College senior safety Dan O'Keefe returned an interception 59 yards for a touchdown during the Vikings' 37-24 win over Southwest Minnesota State this past Saturday. Groton graduate and Augustana junior linebacker Austin Luecke recorded a team-high 10 tackles. Luecke is tied for fourth in Division II in tackles.
· South Dakota State junior volleyball standout Shay Birath now has 1,002 career digs. Her sister older Raftyn (Birath) Rignell was the former head volleyball coach at Presentation College and is now an assistant at Southwest Minnesota State.
· Former Elk Point-Jefferson volleyball star Hannah Wilkinson is now a senior standout at Mississippi State.
· Britton-Hecla graduate and Jamestown College senior linebacker Robert Nelson had seven tackles in the Jimmies' 35-13 win over Mayville State this past Saturday.
· Quarterback Joe Mollberg of Detroit Lakes, Minn., has given the University of North Dakota a verbal commitment. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior chose the Fighting Sioux over offers from North Dakota State and South Dakota State - though he says UND knows he's still being considered by Iowa.
· The NAIA has announced a contract extension with co-hosts Sioux City, Iowa, and the Sioux City Sports Commission for the NAIA Division II Women's Basketball National Championship. The two-year extension will have Sioux City host the event through the 2014 NAIA National Championship at the Tyson Events Center/Gateway Arena.
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