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Five Coyotes named to academic all-league team


VERMILLION, S.D. – Five members of South Dakota’s track and field teams were named to The Summit League’s Outdoor Track and Field Academic All-League teams in a league release on Friday. The teams were voted on by each member institution’s faculty athletics representatives and sports information directors. 

The Coyotes landed three on the men’s team with Jeff Mettler, Brant Haase and Jeff O’Connell receiving the honors. Madison Mills and Katie Wetzstein were named to the women’s team. 

Mettler and Haase both made the men’s academic all-league team for the second straight year and posted the only two 4.0 GPAs on the men’s team.  Mettler, who graduated last month with a degree in kinesiology/sports science, won the 3,000-meter steeplechase and the 5,000 at The Summit League Outdoor Championships last month. He also won the steeplechase at the Drake Relays in April. 

Haase, a junior and health sciences/pre-pharmacy major, added a win in the 10,000 and a runner-up finish in the 5,000 at the league outdoor championships. He posted the league’s top time in the 5,000 at 14 minutes, 18.92 seconds. 

O’Connell received his first academic all-league honor after scoring in six events at the league championships and posting a 3.75 GPA as a physical education and coaching major. The junior won two league titles last month, winning the long jump and the 4x100. 

Mills, a sophomore with a 3.70 GPA in pre-physical therapy and kinesiology/sports science, posted the nation’s 19th-best pole vault mark of 13 feet, 9¼ inches this season. She won at the Drake Relays in April and placed second at the league outdoor championships. 

Wetzstein, a sophomore in medical biology with a 3.93 GPA, scored in three events at the league championships. She was second in the 1,500, fourth in the 5,000 and fifth in the 800. She also added a win at the Sioux City Relays in the 1,500 during the season.

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 and field all-league teams are made up of the 10 student-athletes receiving the most votes with all ties standing.

Courtesy: USD Sports Information