USD’s Nilsen, NDSU’s Jackson Capture March Athlete of the Month Honors

South Dakota's Chris Nilsen & North Dakota State's Rose Jackson
South Dakota's Chris Nilsen & North Dakota State's Rose Jackson

March Athletes of the Month Release

ELMHURST, Ill. - The Summit League selected South Dakota men's track & field student-athlete Chris Nilsen (Kansas City, Mo.) as the Male Athlete of the Month and North Dakota State women's track & field athlete Rose Jackson (Willmar, Minn.) as the Female Athlete of the Month for March.

Nilsen captures his third straight Athlete of the Month award after claiming the NCAA Indoor Track & Field pole vault championship. He became the first freshman to win the national pole vault title since 2012 with a height of 18' 8.25" (5.69m), tying a personal-best. He became South Dakota's seventh NCAA Champion. Recently named to the Bowerman Watch List, Nilsen broke the Coyote program record in his first career outdoor meet at the Baldy Castillo Invitational. The Kansas City, Mo., native cleared 18' 6.25" (5.64m), which currently ranks fifth in the world during the outdoor season.

Jackson garners her first career Athlete of the Month honor after being and a First Team All-America at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field National Championships. The senior from Willmar, Minn., placed eighth in the pentathlon at the event with a school record 4,142 points. Recently named Academic All-League, Jackson is seventh in the nation in the heptathlon during the outdoor season after totaling 5,540 points at the UC Riverside Spring Track Classic from March 23-25. Her heptathlon score is also tops in The Summit League, along with her long jump (19' 11.5"/6.08m) and 200-meter dash (23.87) scores.

Also nominated for the Men's Athlete of the Month: Jackson Juerling, IUPUI, golf; Razvan Grigorescu, Omaha, tennis; Dylan Snypes, Oral Roberts, baseball; Chris Halbur, South Dakota State, baseball

Also nominated for the Women's Athlete of the Month: Caitlyn DeLong, Fort Wayne, softball; Ellie Burns, South Dakota, tennis; Ali Herdliska, South Dakota State, softball; Emily Clemens, Western Illinois, basketball

Celebrating its 35th season of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of over 120,000 at nine institutions, including four located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced eight NCAA Champions along with over 80 Academic All-Americans, 75 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague and watch the weekly "Inside The Summit League" show at


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