WIU's Taylor, DU's Daffinrud Named May/June Athletes of the Month

Western Illinois' Jamario Taylor (photo by Richard Svaleson) and Denver's Tonje Daffinrud
Western Illinois' Jamario Taylor (photo by Richard Svaleson) and Denver's Tonje Daffinrud

May/June Athletes of the Month Release

ELMHURST, Ill. - The Summit League has named Western Illinois men’s track & field athlete Jamario Taylor (Aurora, Ill.) and women’s golfer Tonje Daffinrud (Tonsberg, Norway) as its Male and Female Athletes of the Month for May/June.

Taylor earns his first career Athlete of the Month award following a 12th-place finish in the high jump at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The Aurora, Ill., native cleared a height of 7’0.5” (2.15m) at the national championships. With his 12th-place finish, the senior became the first Leatherneck student-athlete to earn USTFCCCA All-America honors after being named to the second team. At the Outdoor Track & Field League Championships in May, Taylor broke a Western Illinois high jump record with a leap of 7’2.5” (2.20m). The victory was also his third-straight in the high jump for The Summit League Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year.

Daffinrud captures her second-straight Athlete of the Month award after tying for 10th-place at the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship, the highest in league history. The Summit League Golfer of the Year was selected to the NCAA Championship as an individual following her 12th-place finish at the NCAA West Regional with a 54-hole score of 223 (72-73-78). The senior carded a four-round score of 283 (67-74-74-68) at the NCAA Championships and she shared the lead after the first round with her 3-under par 67. A WGCA First Team All-American, Daffinrud’s 72.44 scoring average set a new single-season record in both Summit League and Denver history.

Also nominated for Men’s Athlete of the Month: Kristian Gayday, Fort Wayne (baseball); Spencer Burgin, IUPUI (track & field); Tim Colwell, North Dakota State (baseball); Kyle McKelvey, South Dakota (track & field).

Also nominated for Women’s Athlete of the Month: Brittany Beard, Fort Wayne (track & field); Taylor Chitwood, IUPUI (softball); Sami Spenner, Omaha (track & field); Amber Eichkorn, South Dakota (track & field); Mary Wirth, South Dakota State (track & field).