NEW ORLEANS, La. (A-State) – Three members of the Arkansas State University track and field team have achieved U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) NCAA Division I All-America<http://www.ustfccca.org/2014/06/featured/ustfccca-all-americans-for-2014-division-i-outdoor-tf-season-announced?SPSID=35098&SPID=2750&DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=7200> honors for the 2014 outdoor season in an announcement made Monday (June 16) by the USTFCCCA.
Senior Sharika Nelvis received USTFCCCA All-America First-Team recognition while freshman Roelf Pienaar and senior Chris Nicasio garnered second team and honorable mention, respectively. The All-America recognition was awarded to the three Red Wolves' student-athletes for their performances at the recently completed 2014 NCAA-I Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which was conducted June 11-14 at the University of Oregon's historic Hayward Field.
Nelvis earned All-America plaudits for the third (2012-14) consecutive outdoor season and first-team laurels back-to-back seasons (2013-14) by winning the 100-meter hurdles final last Saturday (June 14) at the NCAA Championships meet. Nelvis, who was the 2014 indoor 60-meter hurdles champion, posted this year's world-best time of 12.52 in the 100-meter hurdles final to tally 10 points for Arkansas State as the Red Wolves would finish in an eighth-way tie for 22nd place in the final women's team results. Pienaar placed ninth in the finals of the men's long jump final and Nicasio took 20th place in the men's hammer throw trials.
Per the USTFCCCA guidelines, any individual(s) qualifying for a NCAA Championship event is eligible for All-America consideration. The top eight-place finishers along with members of a relay event as part of a team and those scoring points at the NCAA Championships meet will earn first-team All-America honors. Second-team All-America laurels will go to those who finish between places ninth and 16th. Those athletes participating at the NCAA Championships who finished between 17th and 24th place were listed as honorable mention.
Nelvis, the 2014 USTFCCCA South Central Region Women's Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year and 2013-14 Sun Belt Conference (SBC) Female Athlete of the Year, picked up All-America Second-Team laurels in the 100-meter dash by placing 13th overall with a fifth-best time in last Wednesday's (June 11) semifinal heat three. The Memphis, Tenn., native is both a three-time (2012-14) Sun Belt Conference Women's Most Outstanding Outdoor Track Award recipient and an All-SBC First-Team performer. Nelvis picked up USTFCCCA All-America First-Team distinction this 2014 indoor season by placing first in the 60-meter hurdles at the national meet after notching second-team All-America in each of the previous two (2012-13) seasons.
Pienaar, a native of Potchefstroom, South Africa, turned in a commendable performance in the men's long jump by leaping a ninth-place 24-03.73 (7.41m) distance in what marked his first-ever national meet appearance. Pienaar, the 2014 SBC Men's Outstanding Outdoor Field Performer and a first-team All-SBC selection, was this year's conference outdoor meet champion in both the long jump and triple jump. He was tabbed an All-America First-Team pick by the USTFCCCA for the 2014 indoor season.
Nicasio claimed 20th place in last Thursday's (June 12) men's hammer throw event as a result of producing a 198-11.79 (60.65m) distance in his debut at nationals. Nicasio, who hails from San Antonio, Texas, claimed second-team all-conference honors this outdoor campaign.
The A-State outdoor track and field program presently has had one of its student-athletes earn All-America accolades a combined 40 times to date, which includes 33 from the men's team. Currently, the Red Wolves have 22 male athletes gain the lofty honor while five female athletes have received such distinction.