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Photo by: South Dakota State University

Four Jackrabbits garner academic awards

Courtesy: SDSU Sports Info
Release: 06/14/2014 11:43:02
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ELMHURST, Ill. – Four South Dakota State track & field student-athletes were named Academic All-League by The Summit League Friday. Adam Halverson, Drew Kraft, Kali Olson and Mary Wirth were honored for their work in the classroom and their athletic achievements.

Halverson claimed the 400-meter dash (48.63) title at the 2014 Summit League Outdoor Track & Field Championships in his first year of competition for the Jackrabbits. He also was a member of the 4x400-meter relay team that placed third at the 2014 Summit League Outdoor Track & Field Championships with their time of 3:15.98. Halverson has a 3.88 grade-point average (GPA) as an electrical engineering & mechanical engineering major.

Kraft, a native of Wessington Springs, S.D., holds a GPA of 3.85 in agriculture & resource economics/mathematics. At the 2014 Summit League Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Kraft placed third in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (9:06.18), claimed fourth in the 1,500-meter run (3:56.13) and took 10th in the 5,000-meter run (15:24.26). He set three personal-best times at the 2014 conference meet.

Olson, a recent SDSU graduate from Lisbon, N.D., has received numerous academic awards throughout her Jackrabbit career. She plans to continue her educational career next year, as she will be attending graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Her focus at Whitewater will be in school psychology. Olson graduated from SDSU with a perfect 4.00 GPA in psychology.

Her academic achievements include: 2014 Capital One Academic All-District 6 Team, recipient of the 2014 Jackrabbit Scholar-Athlete Award, two-time United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic (2011 & 2013), two-time Academic All-League honoree, Summit League Distinguished Scholar, Summit League Academic Honor Roll and a member of The Summit League Commissioner's List of Academic Excellence.

Olson advanced to the Capital One Academic All-America® Team ballot, where first-, second- and third-team All-America honorees will be selected in June.

In the high jump event, she ranks tied for fourth in the indoor high jump (5 feet, 8 inches) and is tied for second in the outdoor high jump (5-8 3/4) at SDSU. She was named All-Summit League for placing third in the high jump event at the 2013 Summit League Outdoor Track & Field Championships. At the 2014 Summit League Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Olson placed fourth with her personal-best height of 5-8 3/4. Last week she placed 13th overall in the high jump (5-7 3/4) at the NCAA West Regional meet.

Wirth, a junior from Sioux Falls, S.D., has a 3.91 GPA as a biology major. She went onto win her third outdoor conference title in the high jump at the 2014 Summit League Outdoor Track & Field Championships with her height of 5-10. Wirth recently advanced to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships as she cleared a height of 5-9 3/4 to tie for eighth in the high jump at the NCAA West Regional meet. Wirth also holds both school records in the high jump (5-10 indoor, 5-10 3/4 outdoor).

The women’s high jump is slated for a start time of 2:45 p.m. CDT on June 14.

Both Olson and Wirth have been named USTFCCCA All-Academic twice.

This is the first time Halverson, Kraft and Wirth have been named Academic All-League and this is the second honor for Olson.

To be eligible for The Summit League Academic All-League team, a student-athlete must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.30 (on a 4.0 scale), completed at least one full academic year at the current institution and participated in 50 percent of their team's competitions. The men’s and women’s outdoor track & field Academic All-League teams are made up of the 10 student-athletes receiving the most votes with all ties standing.

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