SIOUX FALLS — The University of South Dakota's Ella Byers, a Chamberlain High School graduate, was named the Summit League women's cross country athlete of the week on Tuesday after leading the Coyotes over the weekend at the Woody Greeno Invitational.

It is the first such honor of Byers' career. Byers, a redshirt sophomore, led a tight pack of Coyote women with a 19th-place finish at the meet in Lincoln, Nebraska, hosted by the University of Nebraska. She completed the 5,000-meter course in 18:11.9, dropping 44 seconds off her time from the season opener.

Byers, a two-time South Dakota Class A cross country champion in high school, competed at just a single meet in her true freshman season. Two years later, she’s establishing herself as one of the Coyotes’ top runners on the course.

She was the third Coyote to cross the line two weeks ago before pacing USD this week. South Dakota’s women moved up to No. 14 in the Midwest as announced yesterday in the U.S. Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association regional rankings. Byers was joined in the awards by USD men's junior runner Merga Gemeda, with Coyotes runners sweeping the weekly awards twice early in the season.

South Dakota returns to action at the Roy Griak Invitational held Friday morning at the Les Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights, Minnesota.