SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – South Dakota and North Dakota State earn January Summit League Athlete of the Month honors on Tuesday, as announced by the League office. South Dakota's Ciara Duffy won the award on the women's side, while North Dakota State's Payton Otterdahl claimed the award on the men's side.
Duffy has been a catalyst in the South Dakota Coyotes having one of their best seasons in program history. Duffy led the Yotes to a 6-1 record in the month of January, including a double overtime victory against in-state rival South Dakota State on Jan. 6. In the Yotes' January meeting against the Jackrabbits, Duffy scored a career-high 28-points and added nine rebounds. Duffy recorded great numbers all-around for the month, averaging 18.7 points, 5.7 boards and 4.8 assists.
Otterdahl became the first Bison to be named Division I National Athlete of the Week by the USTFCCCA for the week of Jan. 29 after launching the shot put 71-0 feet to move him into third place all-time in collegiate indoor history. His mark in the shot put would have won a bronze medal at the past two Olympic Games and would have taking the gold at the 2008 Olympics. Earlier in January, he established top marks in the NCAA in both the shot put and the weight throw and continues to stay atop the rankings.
Male Athlete of the Month
Payton Otterdahl, North Dakota State
Senior | Throws | Rosemount, Minn.
- Established the top marks in the NCAA in both the shot put and the weight throw
- World leader in the shot put by 19 inches
- Leads The Summit League by nearly 10 feet in the weight throw and nearly nine feet in the shot put
- Ranks third in collegiate indoor history in the shot put, throwing 71-00.00 at Nebraska
- First collegiate athlete to ever surpass 70.87 feet in the indoor shot put and 77.43 feet in the weight throw
Also nominated: Emmanuel Nzekwesi (Oral Roberts), Chris Nilsen (South Dakota), Mitch Hahn (Omaha), Mike Daum (South Dakota State), John Konchar (Purdue Fort Wayne)
Female Athlete of the Month
Ciara Duffy, South Dakota
Junior | Guard | Rapid City, S.D.
- Averaged 18.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.8 assists and one steal per game in January
- Shot 49 percent from the field and 43 percent from outside the arc for the month
- Reached double-figures in all seven games during the month, including two 20-point games
- Scored a career-high 28 in the Yotes double overtime victory over South Dakota State
Also nominated: Madison Nelson (Denver), Bailey Retzlaff (North Dakota State), Maya Mayberry (Oral Roberts), De'Jour Young (Purdue Fort Wayne)
2018-19 Summit League Athletes of the Month
Male: Andre Shinyashiki / Denver / Soccer
Female: Olivia Swenson / North Dakota / Soccer
Male: Eldon Warner / South Dakota / Cross Country
Female: Emma Rafuse / Purdue Fort Wayne / Cross Country
Male: Mike Daum / South Dakota State / Basketball
Female: Taylor Wilson / South Dakota / Volleyball
Male: John Konchar / Purdue Fort Wayne / Basketball
Female: Lexi Klabo / North Dakota / Basketball
Male: Payton Otterdahl / North Dakota State / Track & Field
Female: Ciara Duffy / South Dakota / Basketball
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Through 36 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 100,000 at nine institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, Purdue Fort Wayne (Purdue University-Fort Wayne), 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 12 NCAA Champions along with over 100 Academic All-Americans, nearly 125 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.