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    USD Track: Grove named USTFCCCA Scholar Athlete of the Year, Jeff O'Connell (Philip) Honored

    VERMILLION, S.D. – South Dakota pole vaulter Emily Grove was named the Women’s Indoor Field Scholar Athlete of the Year in a recent release by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The organization also honored a total of nine Coyote women and five Coyote men with All-Academic honors.

    Grove, a sophomore with a 3.80 GPA in kinesiology and sports science, was one of four women to receive a Scholar Athlete of the Year honor from the USTFCCCA. She’s the second Coyote to earn the honor in as many years after Bethany Firsick was named the Outdoor Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2013. Grove finished second in the pole vault at the NCAA Division I Indoor Championships last March and had the nation’s best indoor pole vault mark of 14 feet, 9½ inches during the season.

    Grove was one of nine Coyote women to receive All-Academic honors from the USTFCCCA. She joins pole vault teammates Firsick, Hunter Wilkes, Emily Brigham and Madison Mills, as well as distance runner Amber Eichkorn, triple jumper Ashley Thompson, thrower Danielle Waldner and high jumper Megan Glisar as All-Academic honorees.

    On the men’s side, distance runner Jeff Metter, sprinter/jumper Jeff O’Connell, pole vaulter Kevin Sarehkhani and throwers Dustin Valind and Denton Stephens all gained All-Academic honors.

    To earn USTFCCCA All-Academic honors, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.25 GPA and finished in the top-96 nationally in an individual indoor event, finished in the top-48 nationally in an indoor relay event or competed in any round of the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships.

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