June 12, 2012
NEW ORLEANS -
Five San Diego State athletes were named All-Americans by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), the USTFCCCA announced today. Honors are awarded for performances at the final site of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which were held last weekend in Des Moines, Iowa.
Whitney Ashley earned first-team USTFCCCA All-American accolades in the discus throw and second-team honors in the shot put. Shanieka Thomas garnered first-team accolades in the triple jump, while Allison Reaser was a first-team selection the heptathlon. Kelsy Hintz (pole vault) and Alex Evans (triple jump), meanwhile, earned second-team USTFCCCA All-American honors in their respective events.
First-team USTFCCCA All-American honors are awarded to those who earn any portion of a team point at the national championships or reach an eight-entrant final. Second-team All-America honors are handed out to those whose final placing in the national meet range from ninth to 16th place.
Ashley became the fourth national champion in program history and first since 1985 (LaTanya Sheffield (400 hurdles) and Laura DeSnoo (discus throw)) when she won the discus throw with a toss of 196 feet, 10 inches (59.99 meters). The mark, which came on her fifth of sixth attempts, was a school record, Mountain West record and a U.S. Olympic Trials "B" standard mark. It is the second consecutive season that Ashley earned first-team USTFCCCA All-American accolades after finishing seventh in 2011 (179-07).
Ashley also got second-team recognition in the shot put by finishing 13th with a mark of 53-09.25 (16.39m). At the indoor NCAA Championships in March, Ashley took eighth with a throw of 53-07.00 to garner first-team USTFCCCA accolades.
Thomas finished as the national runner-up in the triple jump with a wind-aided mark of 45-09.75 (13.96m). It broke a school record (all conditions) and Mountain West record. Her record-setting jump came on her final attempt of six, clinching the second-place finish. Thomas, who came into the meet ranked third in the event, was only beaten by Ganna Demydova of Southern Mississippi, who broke a NCAA meet record with a leap of 46-07.25. It is the third career All-American honor in the triple jump for Thomas, who was a first-team indoor pick at the 2012 indoor meet (seventh place) and a second-team honoree at the 2011 indoor meet (ninth place).
Reaser became a USTFCCCA All-American for the first time in her career after finishing sixth in the heptathlon. Reaser totaled a school-record 5,753 points, just eight behind Arizona State's Keia Pennick (5,761). Reaser set personal-bests in three of the seven events in the heptathlon, including the 800 meters (2 minutes, 17.45 seconds), high jump (5-04.25) and the javelin (132-00).
Hintz just missed earning points for the Aztecs after finishing ninth in the pole vault. She cleared 13-07.25 (4.15m) without missing a height until 13-09.25 (4.20m). Hintz, who came into the meet with a PR (personal record) of 13-10.00, garnered second-team USTFCCCA All-American accolades in this year's indoor meet after taking 15th with a mark of 13-09.25.
Evans joined Hintz on the second team after finishing 14th with a leap of wind-aided mark of 42-05.25 (12.93m). It bettered her previous best of 41-08.50 (set two weeks ago in Austin) and is the fourth-best mark in program history (regardless of conditions). It was a remarkable finish for Evans, who came into the weekend tied for 23rd in the event.
The performances of Ashley, Thomas, Reaser, Hintz and Evans helped SDSU total 21.00 points for the meet, which tied it with Tennessee for ninth place. The ninth-place showing tied San Diego State's best team finish in program history (also 1985).