NEW ORLEANS—South Dakota men’s track and field is ranked No. 25 in the nation by the U.S. Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association as released Monday afternoon. This marks the second-straight week USD’s men are ranked in the top-25.

The Coyotes are coming off a successful meet on their home turf, the USD Early Bird. South Dakota’s men posted seven new marks that rank in the nation’s top-50 at the meet.

Senior Ethan Bray highlighted the group in the men’s pole vault, vaulting an outdoor best of 18-4 ¾ (5.61m) for the sixth-best height in the country this spring. His teammates, senior Kaleb Ellis and redshirt-freshman Marshall Faurot, both cleared outdoor bests of 17-1 (5.21m) at the meet to move to 30th in the country.

The quartet of Virgil Steward, Demar Francis, Ardell Inlay and Dylan Kautz broke the Lillibridge Track Complex facility record in the 4x100-meter relay by clocking 40.24 seconds. The time ranks 26th in the nation.

Redshirt-sophomore Jack Durst improved his high jump mark from week one, jumping 6-11 (2.11m) at the USD Early Bird. He’s currently ranked 37th nationally, but if he’s able to match his outdoor best of 7-1 from 2019, he could move into the top-15.

The duo of redshirt-sophomore Jessie Sullivan and redshirt-junior Matt Slagus moved into the nation’s top-50 for the hammer throw with a pair of personal bests on Saturday. Sullivan launched the hammer 203-9 (62.09m) and Slagus threw it 203-1 (61.90m).

Other individuals attributing to the rankings with marks from the opening weekend include senior Zack Anderson in the high jump (fifth nationally), redshirt-freshman Brithton Senior in the 110-meter hurdles (sixth nationally), and freshman Eerik Haamer in the pole vault (eighth nationally).

The first week of event squad rankings were also released on Monday. The Coyote men’s high jump squad leads the nation with an average height of 6-11. South Dakota also ranks in the top-10 for men’s pole vault (2), women’s pole vault (2), women’s steeplechase (3) and men’s steeplechase (10). The event squad rankings take the average of the top-four athletes’ marks in an event.

Next on the slate for the Coyotes is the South Dakota Challenge scheduled for Friday and Saturday back at Lillibridge Track Complex and Gottsleben Field.

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