ELMHURST, IL -- The North Dakota State men's and women's track and field teams were voted the preseason favorites to capture The Summit League Indoor Track and Field titles in a vote of the league's head coaches.  The Bison women, the record five-time reigning league champions, will look to win their sixth-straight title, while the men are in search of their fifth title in six years.

In the men's poll, NDSU tallied 24 points and four first-places votes as the league favorite.  Only one point separated South Dakota and South Dakota State in second and third.  The Coyotes finished second with 20 points and one first-place vote, while the Jackrabbits came in third with 19 points and the final first-place tally.  Kansas City (12 points), Western Illinois (nine points) and Oakland (six points) rounded out the men's poll.

On the women's side, the Bison finished atop the poll with 49 points and seven first-place votes, while the Coyotes took second with 43 points and the final first-place vote.  The Jackrabbits collected 37 points in third, followed by Kansas City with 29 points in fourth and Western Illinois with 21 points in fifth.  Rounding out the women's poll were Oakland (19 points), league newcomer Omaha (16 points) and Fort Wayne (10 points).

A combined total of eight Summit League individual event champions return this season, three men and five women, including three multi-event champions.  For the men, North Dakota State leads the way returning two-of-three champions from a year ago in Casey Orgon (weight throw) and Andy Lillejord (heptathlon).  Meanwhile, returning for the Coyotes is Kyle McKelvey (shot put).

On the women's side the Bison and the Jackrabbits are the only two teams to welcome back league champions, as each have three.  North Dakota State returns three-of-four champions for a year ago, including two multi-event champions in Deborah John (60 meters, 60-meter hurdles) and Antoinette Goodman (200 meter, long jump).  John and Goodman are two-time reigning champions in the 60 meters and 200 meters, respectively.  Also returning for NDSU is Paige Stratioti (400 meters).  South Dakota State returns two of its event champions from last year. SDSU welcomes back Mary Wirth (high jump) and Brooke Garner (weight throw).  South Dakota returns the 2012 Newcomer of the Championship in Analisa Huschle.

The regular season begins Dec. 1, as two of the eight league members begin competition on opening weekend. The season culminates at The Summit League Indoor Track and Field Championships in Vermillion, S.D., Feb. 24-25.

2012-13 Summit League Men's Indoor Track & Field Preseason Poll
Place Team Points (1st) 2011-12 Finish
1. North Dakota State 24 (4) 3rd
2. South Dakota 20 (1) 4th
3. South Dakota State 19 (1) 5th
4. Kansas City 12 6th
5. Western Illinois 9 7th
6. Oakland 6 8th
2012-13 Summit League Women's Indoor Track & Field Preseason Poll
Place Team Points (1st) 2011-12 Finish
1. North Dakota State 49 (7) 1st
2. South Dakota 43 (1) 2nd
3. South Dakota State 37 4th
4. Kansas City 29 5th
5. Western Illinois 21 7th
6. Oakland 19 8th
7. Omaha 16 ---
8. Fort Wayne 10 9th

Courtesy:  The Summit League