VERMILLION — South Dakota women’s cross country entered the latest USTFCCCA regional rankings at No. 15 in the Midwest region.

The Coyotes are coming off their fifth-straight Augustana Twilight meet title on Friday, Sept. 3. South Dakota edged out both Nebraska and Augustana by 13 points and fourth-place South Dakota State by 24 points in the team race. Fifth-year junior Abby Ripperda and fourth-year junior Maddie Lavin led the Coyotes with second- and third-place finishes, respectively.

Joining the duo in the scoring five for the first time were third-year sophomore Ella Byers, freshman Melanie Pankow and second-year freshman McKenna Herrmann.

This marks South Dakota’s first time in the regional rankings since Nov. 4, 2019. There were no regional rankings released in 2020 – the COVID-19 pandemic postponed fall NCAA Championships and the condensed spring cross country season eliminated the regional meet.

The Coyotes finished 14th at the last NCAA Midwest Regional in 2019. It was that meet where Ripperda garnered all-Midwest Region honors by placing eighth in the 235-person field.

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