ORU’s Nelson, USD’s Seekamp Take Home January Athlete of the Month Honors

Oral Roberts' Israel Nelson & South Dakota's Nicole Seekamp
Oral Roberts' Israel Nelson & South Dakota's Nicole Seekamp

January Athletes of the Month Release

ELMHURST, Ill. - The Summit League has selected Oral Roberts men’s track & field athlete Israel Nelson (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) as the Male Athlete of the Month and South Dakota women’s basketball player Nicole Seekamp (Renmark, South Australia) as the Female Athlete of the Month for January.
Nelson captures his first career Athlete of the Month award after recording three first-place finishes in the 60-meter hurdles, including tying the top time in the nation. The freshman equaled the nation’s fastest time of 7.69 at the Pittsburg State Invitational on Jan. 29 and helped Oral Roberts place third in the 4x400-meter relay (3:13.42). The Florida native also placed first at the Air Force Invitational on Jan. 23 (7.76) and the Bill Easton Classic on Jan. 8 (7.89). He added a second-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles at the Arkansas Invitational with a time of 7.92 on Jan. 15. Nelson has four 60-hurdle event victories this season and was named The Summit League’s Track & Field Athlete of the Week three times in January.

Seekamp earns her second consecutive Athlete of the Month honor after leading South Dakota to an 8-1 record and first place in the league standings to conclude the month of January. The senior guard scored 25 points with 10 assists in a double overtime win at North Dakota State on Jan. 14. She hit the game-tying field goal at the buzzer to send the game into overtime and recorded a steal on NDSU’s final possession to secure the win. Three days later, the Australia native scored the game’s final seven points to defeat South Dakota State, the program’s first win in Brookings since 1990. She also tallied a double-double at Western Illinois (Jan. 27) with 18 points and 10 assists and scored over 20 points four times during the month. For the month, Seekamp averaged 19.6 points, 6.4 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game. She shot 55.5 percent (66-of-119) from the field, 48.4 percent (15-of-31) from downtown and 90.6 percent (29-of-32) at the line. Seekamp is the only Division I player averaging at least 16 points, six assists and three steals per contest.

Also nominated for the Men’s Athlete of the Month: Dylan Bunch, Denver, swimming & diving; Max Landis, Fort Wayne, basketball; Darell Combs, IUPUI, basketball; Devin Patterson, Omaha, basketball; Mike Daum, South Dakota State, basketball; Chris Neaveill, Western Illinois, swimming & diving

Also nominated for the Women’s Athlete of the Month: Maddie Myers, Denver, swimming & diving; Olivia Coleman, Fort Wayne, track & field; Mikale Rogers, IUPUI, basketball; Mikaela Shaw, Omaha, basketball; Jazzelena Black, South Dakota State, track & field

In its fourth decade 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 75 Academic All-Americans, 65 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. In 2014-15, The Summit League ranked first for NCAA Graduation Success Rate in women’s basketball and second in baseball. For more information about the league and to "See The Summit", visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague and watch the weekly “Inside The Summit League” show at www.thesummitleague.org/itsl.