University of South Dakota women’s track and field athletes Bethany Buell and Alexa Duling were recently named to the Capital One Academic All-America Division I women’s track and field/cross country first team. The team was selected in a vote by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America.
It’s the first Academic All-America honor for both Buell and Duling. USD and Oregon were the only schools to have two athletes make the women’s first team.
Buell, a psychology major with a 3.97 GPA, won the pole vault at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships last month to become USD’s first champion at the Division I level. The junior from St. Louis, MO, tied the NCAA Outdoor Championship record with a vault of 14 feet, 7 1/4 inches (14-7 1/4), and had the top vault in the nation of 14-7 1/2.
Buell also earned first team All-America honors during the indoor season after placing sixth at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March.
Duling, who graduated with a 4.0 GPA from the business administration graduate program, received the 2013 Walter Byers Scholarship, which is awarded to one male and female athlete in recognition of academic achievement and potential future success. She will receive a renewable $24,000 scholarship while attending the Arizona College of Medicine.
On the track, the Gregory, SD, native earned All-America honors in the 400-meter hurdles in 2012 and was the 2013 Summit League champion in the event. She qualified for the Olympic Trials in the event a year ago and competed at the NCAA West Region Preliminary Round this year.
To be eligible for Capital One Academic All-America honors, a student athlete must be a varsity starter or a key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale, must have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at the nominating institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.