SIOUX FALLS — South Dakota junior Abby Ripperda and sophomore Merga Gemeda have been named the Summit League Women’s and Men’s Cross Country Athletes of the Week for the period ended Oct. 6.

Both Ripperda and Gemeda clocked the fastest times in the Summit League this fall.

Ripperda garners the weekly honor for the third time this season and in her career. She clocked 16 minutes, 45.5 seconds, to tally the second-fastest 5,000-meter time on the cross country course in Summit League history, while improving her own league lead this fall. She placed eighth at the Chile Pepper Festival with the time at Agri Park in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Ripperda was the first finisher not from No. 2 Arkansas, No. 19 Oklahoma State or (RV) Texas.

Ripperda now owns the league’s second-fastest and fourth-fastest 5,000-meter times in history. She has three of the top-four times in the league this fall.

Gemeda receives the weekly honor for the second time this season and of his career. He completed the 8,000-meter course in 25:15.3 for the fastest time in the Summit League this season. He finished 72nd in the field of more than 300 runners. In addition, Gemeda owns the sixth-fastest time in the Summit from the Woody Greeno Invitational.

The Coyotes take this weekend off before toeing the line at the Bradley “Pink” Classic in Peoria, Illinois, on Oct. 18.

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