ELMHURST, Ill. – South Dakota State swept The Summit League's top individual cross country honors for the second consecutive year as Chase Cayo earned Men's Athlete of the Year and Rachel King received Women's Athlete of the Year. The duo also took home Championship MVP accolades after finishing first at October's Summit League Championships.
Cayo, a sophomore from St. Michael, Minn., produced the league's top 8k time (24:13.6) and paced the field at The Summit League Championship (24:44.78). He recorded a top-50 finish at the NCAA Midwest Regional, recording the league's second-best time at the 10k meet (30:06.2). Selected twice as Athlete of the Week during the season, Cayo was also named to The Summit's Academic All-League team. He finished first or second among Jackrabbits in all six meets this fall, pacing the team in three.
King, a junior from St. Michael, Minn., posted the league's top 6k time (20:28.2) to finish 10th at the NCAA Midwest Regional and just six seconds shy of a berth in the national meet. She won The Summit League Championship with the third-fastest winning time (20:53.54) in league history and owned three of the top four 6k times this season. She paced the Jackrabbits in all five meets this season and earned the league's Athlete of the Week award following her performance at the Pre-National Meet in October. King was named to The Summit's Academic All-League team for the second consecutive season during the fall.
Cayo's honor was the third consecutive Athlete of the Year award and fifth in six seasons for the SDSU men. King is the first SDSU female to garner a Cross Country Athlete of the Year accolade.
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Through 35 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 100,000 at eight institutions, including three 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), 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 with the University of North Dakota becoming an official member on July 1, 2018. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced nine NCAA Champions along with over 90 Academic All-Americans, nearly 100 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague.