Schaefer earns All-America status for Augustana
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Schaefer earns All-America status for Augustana

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Augustana track and field student-athletes Elizabeth Schaefer, Tyl Woelber, Olivia Montez Brown, Austin Miller and Carly Rahn have been named 2020 Indoor Track and Field All-Americans the USTFCCCA announced Tuesday.

The Viking athletes qualified for the Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships in Birmingham, Alabama, in mid-March, however, the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the championships being cancelled, the USTFCCCA recognized all national qualifiers in all events as All-Americans with no first-team or second-team distinctions. A total of 716 athletes garnered All-America honors from 117 different institutions.

Schaefer,  Rapid City Stevens graduate, enjoyed a strong indoor campaign, culminating in an NSIC Championship in the pentathlon with a score of 3,692 points. The mark was her best of the season and was sixth best in the country.

The freshman also placed fifth in the event in her college debut at the SDSU Holiday Invite on Dec. 6 and second at the Mark Schuck Open on Feb. 1. The All-America accolade is the first of her career.

An eight-time state hurdling champion for Rapid City Stevens, Schaefer told the Journal in a March 25 story that she "messed around" and wanted to try a couple other events, so she did the heptathlon in a meet in California.

She fell in love with the multi-events.

"I like focusing on more than just one event — it helps me with nerves and stuff," she said. "In high school I used to get so nervous just focusing on one thing. It helps having a lot going on. If you do bad in one event, then you can make up for it in the next event, rather than it is all on this race and it all comes down to this."

Woelber, a sophomore from Pipsestone, Minn., earned All-America honors in two events, the pentathlon and high jump. He was named the NSIC Indoor Field Athlete of the Year earlier this season just days after being named the High Point Performer at the NSIC Championships.

The sophomore shattered Augustana's previous pentathlon record by over 100 points, held by himself, and took home first place in the event at the NSIC Championships with a point total of 5,357. The score was the seventh-best in the country. 

Montez Brown, a senior from Chester, Cheshire, England, also takes home All-America honors in multiple events; the heptathlon and 60-meter hurdles. During the 2018-19 indoor season, Montez Brown entered the Division II Indoor Championships as the defending National Champion in the pentathlon while setting the Augustana school record with 3,915 points in the event.

Miller, a senior from Sioux falls,  earned All-America honors in the 800-meter run. The senior won the 800 at the NSIC Championships with a personal-best time of 1:51.78. 

Rahn, a junior from Ames, Iowa, is taking home All-America honors in the 800-meter run. She ran a 2:12.13 in the 800 at the NSIC Championships to give her second-place honors and the 11th-fastest time in the country.

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