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Four Jackets, two 'Rockers earn All-America track honors

Four Jackets, two 'Rockers earn All-America track honors

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Four Yellow Jackets and two Hardrockers were named  All-Americans for the 2020 NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field season this week.

Named from Black Hills State University were: Abbie Fredrick, Kyla Sawvell, Whitney Scott and Tristian Hepp, while  South Dakota Mines' Erica Keeble and Jayla Jarnagin also earned that honor.

Due to the cancellation of the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships, the Executive Committee adopted the following criteria:

• Based on the posted startlist for the national championships announced by the NCAA, the following will be recognized as All-America for the 2020 indoor track & field season:

o Individual events: ALL student-athletes listed on the startlist for the anticipated event.

o Relay events: The four student-athletes per anticipated relay who produced the performance that was declared and accepted into their event.

• There will not be a distinction of “first-team” or “second-team” to these recognitions.

Fredrick, a senior from Cheyenne, Wyoming, qualified for her first indoor track and field national appearance breaking the five-minute barrier in the mile and is number two all time in school history. Fredrick was ranked 12th heading into the meet.

 Hepp, a senior from Buffalo, Wyoming, was qualified to compete in the Heptathlon. Hepp owns the school record by over 600 points and was All-RMAC second place at conference. This is the second time Hepp has reached All-American status after his efforts in the distance medley relay in the 400 leg at the 2019 National Championships.

Sawvell, a sophomore from Wall, was set to compete in the shot put and weight throw in the National Championships. Sawvell achieved two RMAC Championships, one in the weight throw and one in shot put. Sawvell also holds second place on the BHSU all-time weight throw and fourth in the shot put. She was ranked 17th going into the National Championship.

Scott, a junior from Watertown, was geared up for her first indoor track and field championship appearance, after having qualified for the outdoor championships in previous years. Scott currently holds the number two spot in school history in indoor pole vault and owns the school record in the outdoor event. She was ranked 19th heading into the National Championships.

Keeble was a junior pole vaulter from Nashville, Tennessee, who won the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Indoor women's pole vault after clearing a height of 13-feet, 7 ¼ inches. That height broke the meet and facility records (held at UCCS) as well as set a new personal best and Mines school record. She  had the top mark in the South Central Region and is sitting third in the country as the NCAA National Indoor Championships approach (March 13-14).

Jarnagin was a senior weight thrower from Eaton, Colorado, who finished second at the RMAC Indoor Championships after a toss of 57-7. Her top mark this season is 60-9 ¼, which broke her own school record and ranks her second in the South Central Region. That mark is also gives her the No. 18 spot in the nation.

“Erica and Jayla had fantastic seasons and their All-American status is well deserved,” said Hardrocker track and field head coach Steve Johnson. “We’re very proud of what they accomplished this year and it’s great to see them recognized nationally for their hard work.

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