VERMILLION – University of South Dakota juniors Jeff Mettler and Bethany Buell were named Coyote Male and Female Athletes of the Year, respectively, at an awards ceremony Sunday at the Muenster University Center on the USD campus.
Mettler, a 4.0 student from Eureka, was named Track Championship Most Valuable Performer in helping lead USD’s indoor track team to its first Summit League Championship. He won individual championships in the 3,000-meter run and the mile and placed third in the 5,000-meter run. Mettler was the runner-up at the League’s Cross Country Championships in the fall. He currently holds the League’s best steeplechase time with a mark that ranks 12th in the region.
Buell, from St. Louis, MO, earned first-team All-America honors after placing sixth in the pole vault at the NCAA Championship Meet in Fayetteville, AR. It was the third All-America honor for Buell, who won her second Summit League Indoor Championship after clearing 14-feet-5.5-inches, a meet and program record. Buell currently holds the best outdoor vault in the nation at 14-feet-7.5-inches. She carries a 3.969 GPA.
Football player Tim Marlette from Sioux Falls, and track athlete Alexa Duling from Gregory, were named USD Scholar Athletes of the Year – an award reserved for seniors. Marlette led the Coyotes with 85 tackles last season. Duling, who carries a 4.0 GPA, is an All-American in the 400-meter hurdles.