1996-97 SDIC Men's Cross Country and Track Teams
The Dakota State men's cross country and track & field teams owned the South Dakota-Iowa Conference (SDIC) during the 1996-97 season with dominating performances at all three conference meets.
The Trojan Cross Country team began the 1996-97 year by winning the SDIC conference title aas five runners placed in the 'Top 10' in the race, scoring 28 points in the race. DSU won the conference title by a race of 33-point margin over the second-place team University of Sioux Falls (S.D.) team with 61 points.
Robert Blasé claimed the individual title with a time of 27 minutes and 34 seconds, followed by his teammates Orlando Velesquez with a time of 27:41.27. John Ecklein added a seventh-place finish in 28:54.70, and Gerald Kubiak an eighth-place finish in 28:59.94. Blasé, Velesquez, Ecklein each earned SDIC All-conference honors. DSU's head coach Buzz Stevenson was voted the SDIC Cross Country Coach-of-the-Year.
Brian Tvedt was 10th (29:05.69). Mark Stoick ran a time of 29:48.69 to finish 19th, Lance Frohling 28th (30:33.30), and Dominick Damm 29th (30:34.18). After winning the SDIC Cross Country team title, Dakota State earned an automatic team bid to the NAIA Cross Country National Championships were they placed 17th.
The Trojans won the SDIC Indoor Track & Field Conference Championships in dominating fashion with points 144 points. DSU won the team title by a 63-point margin over the second-place team from Black Hills State (S.D.) (81 points), thanks to six event titles and six runner-ups finishes in the meet.
Tvedt, Shane Scholten, Jake Kamps, Ryan Raak and Kurt Wallace were named to the SDIC Indoor Track & Field All-Conference team. A total of 10 DSU athletes- Tvedt, Ecklein, Damm, Kubiak, Blasé, Wallace, Scholten, David Sample, Raak, Kamps and Stoick - qualified for the NAIA Indoor Track & Field national meet. Wallace earned NAIA All-American honors in the men's pentathlon at nationals.
The Trojans broke seven different indoor track records, including three events that were broken by Tvedt. Tvedt ran new school records in the 500, 800, and 1500 meter runs. The Trojan 4 x 200 meter and 4 x 800 meter relay teams also broke DSU school records. A pair of DSU school records still stand since 1997 by Scholten in the 55 meter hurdles (7.30 seconds) and Wallace in the pentathlon with 3,606 points.
Dakota State posted another dominant performance as they won the SDIC Outdoor Track & Field title with 141 points, a 41 point rout over second-place BHSU. The Trojans had six event titles and two runners-up honors along with numerous 'Top 6' finishers in the conference meet.
Seven Trojan athletes (Wallace, Tvedt, Scholten, Kubaik, Chad Willard, Kamps, and Todd Smidt) earned SDIC All-Conference honors at the conference meet. Wallace was named the SDIC All-Conference Most Valuable Male Athlete. Four DSU athletes qualified for the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Nationals. They were Kubiak, Tvedt, Scholten, Blasé.
Additionally, four Trojans school records were broken in the outdoor season, Tvedt broke a school record in the 800 meter run and 1500 meter run. Blasé set a new DSU school record in the men's marathon. Scholten still holds the DSU school record in the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 14.30 seconds.
|1973 Trojan Football Championship Team||
|1999-2000 Women's Basketball Team||
|1989-1991 Men's Cross Country Team||
|1977 Football Team||2007|
|1983-84 Women's Basketball Team||
|1966-67 Men's Basketball Team||
|1992 NAIA Final Four Team||
|1971 Boot Hill Bowl - Football||2001|
Desa Rae Cleveland (Doyle) (Track, Class of 2002)
History was made during the 2000 indoor track & field season when Dakota State had its first national champion in school history. Desa Rae Cleveland (Doyle) was the first female Trojan to win a national event at the NAIA Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Cleveland began her athletic career at DeSmet (S.D.) High School where she participated in basketball, volleyball, and track. She still holds the high school high jump record of 5 feet, 7 inches. She continued her education and track career at Huron University, earning two NAIA All-American selections before transferring to Dakota State University. In her first season at Dakota State in the winter of 2000, Cleveland won the high jump at the final South Dakota-Iowa (SDIC) indoor meet with a measurment of 5 feet, 6 inches.
Cleveland's memorable and historic day occured on her 20th birthday at the 2000 NAIA National Indoor Track & Field meet in Lincoln, NE, she cleared the high jump bar with a jump once again measured at 5 feet, 6 inches. She went on to claim the national women's high jump, making her the first female to win a national championship at Dakota State University.
Cleveland high jumped a DSU record of 5 feet, 8.5 inches at the annual premier Howard Wood Relays in May 2000. Her outdoor performance remained a school record for eight years.
During her career at Dakota State University, Cleveland produced five NAIA All-American awards and four All-Conference honors (with two each from the SDIC and the Dakota Athletic Conference ((DAC-10). Cleveland was picked as DSU's Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year in 2000 and 2001. She earned the NAIA Academic Scholar-Athlete award twice for her academic success in the classroom as a junior and senior.
Cleveland graduated from Dakota State Unversity in 2002 with a bachelor's degree in Information Systems. She has been working at Larson Manufacturing in Brookings, S.D. for 12 years where she started as an intern in their computer department and was shortly hired thereafter as an Information Systems Specialist. Desa Rae currently lives in DeSmet, S.D. with her husband Rob and their two children - RJ and Lily.
Amy Tvedt (Hansen) (Cross Country/Track, Class of 1998, 2003)
Amy Tvedt (Hansen) left her mark at Dakota State University as one of the top distance runner in cross country and track & field history. She was considered as one of the top two runners alongside her teammate and DSU's Hall-of-Famer Marie Parker-Sample.
Tvedt hailed from Oakes High School in North Dakota and was a State Track qualifier from seventh grade through twelfth grade. At Dakota State, she continued that dominance and broke a total of 12 different school records during her senior season.
Tvedt began her collegiate running career at Dakota State with the cross country team in 1995. She finished as a runner-up with a South Dakota-Iowa Conference (SDIC) All-Conference honor and qualified for the NAIA Cross Country national meet. She continued her impressive performances by winning the 1500 and 3000 meter runs at the 1996 SDIC Indoor Track & Field Conference Championships. Tvedt qualified for the national meet in three different levels (1000 meter, 1 mile run, 3000 meter) and earned her first NAIA All-American status by placing fourth in the 3000 meter run. She clocked a new DSU school record time of 10 minutes and 11.6 seconds in the event.
Dakota State won the SDIC women's outdoor track & field team title in 1996. Tvedt was the conference champion in both 1500 and 3000 meter and qualified for the NAIA national meet in the 3000 meter run (19th place finish). She also set DSU school records in the 1500, 3000, 5000 meter runs.
Tvedt began her senior season by capturing the SDIC Cross Country Conference individual championship in the fall of 1997. She went on to run at the national meet where she finished 14th, earning NAIA All-American honors with a time of 18:16. Amy added another SDIC Most Valuable Athlete at the conference meet. She finished fifth at the NAIA Indoor Track & Field national meet in the 3000 meter run, earning another NAIA All-American honor. She broke five different school records during the indoor season in the 400, 500, 1500, 1600 meter relay and distance medley relay.
Tvedt completed her amazing outdoor track season by breaking eight different school records in the 400, 800, 1500, 3000, 1600 meter relay, 3200 meter relay, 1600 meter medley relay. She was the SDIC conference champion in the 3000 meter run and qualified for nationals. Tvedt earned the NAIA Academic All-American honor for her academic success. Overall Tvedt accumulated eight SDIC individual conference champions, SDIC All-Conference honors on nine different occurences, qualified for nationals in each cross country, indoor track and outdoor track honors from 1995-1997, and three-time NAIA All-American honors.
Tvedt was voted as DSU's Most Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year twice in 1996 and 1997. She graduated from Dakota State with a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics Education in 1998 and recieved her Masters' of Science in Technology and Computer Education in 2003. Tvedt continues her running career as she ran in numerous marathons and DSU cross country home meets as an alumni runner. She currently lives in Clear Lake, S.D. with her husband Brian and their children - Gannon, Tague, and Shyla. Amy has taught at Deuel High School since 1998 and has coached various positions. She is also involved as an advisor in the middle school student council and yearbook. She has continued to be an independent web page designer since 2000.
Lorin Larsen (Track, Class of 1985)
Lorin Larsen is considered one of the best jumpers in Dakota State University track and field history. Five of the school records he set still stand after 30 years. Larsen, a graduate from Hurley (S.D) High School, was a four-year All-Conference selection in both football and basketball.
At Dakota State, he holds the school record in triple jump with a measurement of 48 feet, 1 inch, set in 1983. He added to the school records with a 24 foot, 5 inch long jump, set in 1984. Larsen ran a leg in the men's record setting 4 x 400 meter relay that set a 1600 meter relay at the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Natioanl Championships. Larsen added two indoor track school records - 46 feet, 8.75 inches in the triple jump and 23 feet, 1 inch in the long jump.
Larsen was a four-time Most Valauble Athlete at the South Dakota Intercollegiate (SDIC) conference meet. He qualified for the Outdoor Track National Meet four times and the Indoor Track National Meet three times. He was selected as DSU's Tema Captain in 1985.
After graduating from Dakota State University in 1985 with a degree in Business, Larsen went to work at KJAM Radio where he worked for 26 years, working his way up to station manager, He was employed as an account executive for WNAX Radio in Yankton at the time of his death in October, 2012.
Larsen served on the DSU Alumni Association Board of Directors, and was President at the time of his passing. He was also immediate past chairman of South Dakota Broadcaster Assocation. Larsen officiated high school football and basketball for 27 years starting in 1985, including state championship games in 2001 and 2009. He also mentored young officials throughout the state.
He was posthumously recognized with the 25-year officiating award at halftime of the Class 9B State Football Championship game in 2012. Larsen is survived by three daughters - Kelsi, Kristin, and Jordyn, and son Logan.
Ryan Phillips (Cross Country/Track, Class of 1993)
Ryan Phillips is considered by his long-time cross country and track coach, Buzz Stevenson, as one of the finest distance runners at Dakota State University during the late 1980's and early 1990's, a period when DSU won three straight South Dakota-Iowa Conference (SDIC) titles (1989-91).
In his years at Dakota State University, Phillips, a Dickinson, ND native, was the Trojans' Most Outstanding Male-Athlete-of-the-Year as a junior and senior. He was a four-year All-SDIC runner in both cross country and track. He was an NAIA All-American in track his senior season. As a collegian at Dakota State, Phillips' best cross country performance happened at the 8k Madison Country Club course in the 1992 DSU Invitational where he had a first-place, 25-minute flat finish.
On the outdoor track, Phillips was an NAIA Nationals qualifier in the 1500 meter, where he clocked a career-best 4:01 effort. His personal best 800 meter came earlier in the Sioux City Relays where he turned in a 1:55 performance. Indoors, he claimed NAIA All-American honors with a sixth place finish in the 1000 meter in Kansas City, Mo. in 1993.
Stevenson recalled the high level that Phillips had exhibited, especially a time near the end of Phillips' impressive collegiate career in the outdoor season of 1993. Prior to the SDIC conference meet, Phillips ran the 1500 meter race at the University of Mary meet in Bismarck. He was knocked down and suffered a severe ankle injury. Using crutches on the Monday of the SDIC conference week, Phillips went in the training room three times a day until the Thursday prior to the conference meet. Stevenson remembered that Phillips limped around the track a couple times that day, and then jogged it twice on Friday. On Saturday, the day of the meet, at Trojan Field in the SDIC Outdoor Track & Field Conference Championship meet, Phillips went out and won both the 1500 and 800 meter runs and placed third in the 5000 meter run.
From DSU, he went to Wall, S.D. where he taught and coached. Currently, Phillips is a Media Services Program Manager for Technology & Innovations in Education for Rapid City. Phillips continued to expand his running career where he has competed in numerous ultramarathons across the country, ranging from distances from 50 kilmeters, 50 miles, 100 miles, and a few mountain bike races.
He earned a spot on the 2013 United State National Snowshoe team by placing fourth at the national championships in Bend, OR. Ryan lives in Sturgis, S.D. with his four daughters - Kristen, Brooke, Skyler, Morgan.
Coach Buzz Stevenson (Cross Country/Track)
Buzz Stevenson, who announced his retirement this spring, has become a legend in cross country and track & field at Dakota State University. He has produced numerous top quality student-athletes during his 29 years as the head coach for the Trojans.
Stevenson, a native of Ipswich, S.D., has been coaching high school and college student-athletes for more than 45 years. he graduated from Ipswich High School where he was a three-sport athlete. he was selected as a South Dakota High School Football All-State running back.In addition, Stevenson was a star in the 100 and 220 yard races where he placed at the state track meet as a junior and senior.
He continued his education at Yankton College and played football and ran track for a South Dakota legend, Carl Youngworth. He was an All-Conference wide receiver and a member of a track and field team that won two conference championships from 1964-1965.
After graduating from Yankton in 1965, Stevenson received his Master of Education degree from South Dakota State University in 1973. He was a high school coach for 14 years, with 10 years at Huron High School. He led the Huron boys' team to their first ever Eastern South Dakota Conference championship.He then guided them to two more conference championships in 1977 and 1978. Stevenson guided his 1977 boys' team to a state runner-up honor and his girls' cross country team finished as state champions. He was also a college coach for two seasons at his alma mater prior to coming to Dakota State University.
When Stevenson arrived in Madison, Dakota State's mission statement had just changed and the cross country and track & field programs were depleted. He recalled he spent hours and hours on the phone trying to convince kids to come to Dakota State University. It was not long until Stevenson started to get recruits in the programs and his teams were able to capture a total of 14 South Dakota-Iowa (SDIC) titles.
In his years at Dakota State University, Stevenson has coached two national champions in the track & field programs. Desa Rae Doyle was the first DSU female to become a national champion in 2000, as she won the NAIA Women's Indoor Track & Field high jump event. Andy Coy became the first DSU male national champion in the 1000 meter run at the 2012 NAIA Indoor Traack & Field national meet. Stevenson has coached several national runner-ups.
Over the years, Stevenson has coached a total of 60-plus NAIA All-Americans and over 100 All-Conference performers. in addition, he has earned numerous coaching honors. He was South Dakota Hgh School boys' track & field coach of the year twice. Stevenson a memeber of the Huron High School Hall of Fame and was an honorary referee at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays. Buzz currently resides in Sioux Falls with his wife Diane of 27 years.
|2014||Desa Rae Cleveland (Doyle) '02|
|2014||Amy Tvedt (Hansen) '98, '03|
|2014||Lorin Larsen (posthumously) '85|
|2014||Ryan Phillips '93|
|2013||Lawrence Dirks (posthumously) '58|
|2013||Brian Leighton '81|
|2013||Dr. Joel Swisher (posthumously)|
|2012||Maureen Casey Green (posthumously) '82|
|2012||Dawn Gaffney Dittman '98, '03, '12|
|2012||Dan Stratton '76|
|2011||Bob Casagrande '75|
|2011||Terry Kasperbauer '77|
|2011||Kent Kersten '73|
|2011||Marie Sample '98|
|2011||Rob Van Laecken '74|
|2010||Gene Appelwick '61|
|2010||Amy Crissinger '91|
|2010||Connie (Robinson) Nyhaug '78|
|2009||Joyce Farrell '70|
|2009||Tom Farrell '70|
|2009||Anthony 'Toney' Blanks '75|
|2009||Richard 'Dick' Anderson '63|
|2009||Phil Dobbs '66|
|2008||Tom Orton '69|
|2008||Simon Schloe '68|
|2008||Brett Schwartz '91|
|2008||Paul Tanke '68|
|2007||Fred Tibbetts, '72|
|2007||Gene Danielsen, '68|
|2007||Linda Collignon, '78|
|2006||LeMar Nelson, '54|
|2006||Dr. Judy Dittman|
|2006||John Collignon, '70|
|2006||Danny Barker, '56|
|2005||Tom Schlimgen, '74|
|2005||Kevin Berg, '79|
|2005||Adam Clark, '88|
|2005||Lynne Warwick, '85|
|2003||Suzanne LaMaack (Allard), '80|
|2003||Maury Poppen, '59|
|2003||John "Cal" Mathison Posthumously, '51|
|2003||Rick Fisher, '68|
|2002||Bob Rumrill, '59|
|2002||Ray Riley, '67|
|2002||Gary Munsen, '66|
|2002||Lori Coble, '80|
|2001||Merle "Pete" Struwe, '51|
|2001||Monique Nelson (Reed), '86|
|2001||Dick Miller, '59|
|2001||Eldor "Lars" Larson, '52|
|2000||Michael Freidel, '79|
|2000||Patricia Murphy, '90|
|2000||Julie Heinz Johnson, '90|
|2000||Rick Dunlap, '87|
|1999||Pauline Tulson, '67|
|1999||Bill Larsen, '72|
|1999||Bob Nangle, '61|
|1999||Julie Fiegen-Price, '86|
|1998||Daryl Fletcher, '73|
|1998||Joe Iosco, '50|
|1998||Susan Halsted Simon, '68|
|1998||Deb Boomsma, '80|
|1997||Lee Stoddard, '68|
|1997||Donna Kruggel Matti, '75|
|1997||LeRoy DeBeer, '63|
|1997||Bob Bennett, '72|
|1996||Monica Matthies-Severson, '85|
|1996||Sally Kirkegaard-Wiggins, '74|
|1996||Clifford Anderson, '73|
|1995||Thomas Shea, '72|
|1995||Jeffery Rodman, '77|
|1995||Darwin Robinson, '74|
|1995||Myron Moen, '67|
|1995||David Gassman, '71|
|1995||Robert Caselli '51|
|1995||William Bulfer Posthumously|