SPORTS BRIEFS: South Dakota men's track and field enters top 25

SPORTS BRIEFS: South Dakota men's track and field enters top 25

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Chris Nilsen

Nilsen

USD men's track and field enters top-25

NEW ORLEANS — South Dakota men’s track and field has moved up to No. 25 in the week three U.S. Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association national rankings. South Dakota’s women remain 41st in the rankings.

The Coyote men’s pole vault and high jump squads pave the way for the improvement.

South Dakota boasts the top-ranked pole vault squad led by NCAA leader Chris Nilsen. Nilsen improved his own nation-leading mark at the Dakota Realty Alumni Meet last weekend with a 19-1 jump. Redshirt-junior Ethan Bray also posted an indoor best last weekend with a clearance of 18-1. Nick Johnson and Kaleb Ellis round out the pole vault squad, which has an average height of 17-8.

The men’s high jump squad remains second in the country with an average height of 6-11. Senior Zack Anderson and sophomore Jack Durst continue to lead the crew, but junior Blake Vande Hoef jumped a season-best 6-9 ½ at the Dakota Realty Alumni Meet last weekend to improve the average. The Coyotes also saw the addition of multi-eventer Kenneth McMahan moving into the squad’s top-four with his clearance of 6-9 last weekend.

South Dakota also has the nation’s best women's pole vault squad with its average height of 13-10 ½. Previous marks from senior Helen Falda, junior Landon Kemp and redshirt-junior Makiah Hunt continue to lead the group. 

Iowa's Garza named to Robertson, Naismith lists

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa standout Luka Garza was named to two additional national midseason watch lists on Thursday, the Oscar Robertson and Naismith trophies.

Garza is one of 12 semifinalists for the Oscar Robertson Trophy and one of 30 players listed for the Naismith College Player of the Year Award. The Oscar Robertson Trophy is awarded annually to the most outstanding men’s college basketball player by the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), while the Naismith Trophy is presented annually to the most outstanding player who achieves tremendous on-court success.

Garza is also a finalist for a handful of other prestigious awards: Wooden Award; Lute Olson National Player of the Year Award; and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award.

Garza ranks first nationally with ten 20-point/10-rebound games this season, fourth in scoring (23.1), third in points per 40 minutes played (30.2), 13th in double-doubles (13), and 34th rebounding (9.9). His 13 double-doubles are the most by a Hawkeye in a single season since Reggie Evans’ 18 during the 2001-02 season. Garza is one of only two players in the country (only player from a Power 5 Conference) averaging 23 points and 9.9 rebounds per game.

Protests follow after UNI's denial of contest winnings

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — Fans are calling foul against Northern Iowa and its business sponsor, who denied a $10,000 prize to a student who appeared to win a halftime basketball shooting promotion.

The flap began Wednesday night when Northern Iowa student Dalton Hinsch got a chance at the prize if he made a layup, a free throw, a three-pointer and a half-court shot within what he and the crowd thought was a 30-second time frame.

Hinsch made all four shots within 27 seconds, even beating an announcer's countdown, sending the crowd attending the UNI-Illinois State game into a frenzy, the Des Moines Register reported. The cheers soon turned to boos when officials declared Hinsch hadn't got the last shot off in time.

The UNI athletics department tweeted Thursday that the insurer covering the event required all four shots to be completed within 24 seconds. The department said its sponsor, CB Seeds of Parkersburg, Iowa, will give Hinsch "$2,000, a free trip to Arch Madness, & gear!”

Fans reacting to the tweet were less than enthused with the consolation, with the vast majority saying the sponsor and university should pay the full prize.

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