By Chad Waller, Director of Communications and Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Hannah Helker of Oklahoma Baptist has been named 2014 NAIA National Women’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Week and teammate Akela Jones has been tabbed as the NAIA National Women’s Indoor Field Athlete of the Week, the national office announced Wednesday. Helker and Jones were selected based on their performances from Jan. 13 – 19. This same pair of athletes were honored in the final edition of the Athlete of the Week during the 2013 Indoor season.
Helker, a junior from Edmond, Okla., earned a pair of first-place finishes at the NCAA Division I Wichita State Herm Wilson Invitational from Jan. 17 - 18. In the 3,000-meter event, her clocking of 9:57.26 was the fastest among the 25-athlete field and also ranks No. 1 in the NAIA thus far. Also, she ran the Mile in 4:59.71 to take medalist honors and now stands second in the NAIA this year.
Jones, a sophomore from St. Michael, Barbados, posted a leap of 5.93 meters (19-5 1/2) to win the Long Jump at the Herm Wilson Invitational. Among 21 other competitors, she defeated her next closest jumper by almost two feet. Overall, she is ranked No. 1 in the NAIA in this event.
The second installment of the Women's Indoor Track & Field weekly award will be announced on Jan. 29. For the complete Athlete of the Week calendar, click here.
Track Nominees: Aliyah Reams, Missouri Baptist; Brianna Keane, Concordia (Ore.); Brooke Johnson, St. Francis (Ill.); Nicole Davey, Carroll (Mont.); Nicole Brist, Great Falls (Mont.); Michelle Leichleiter, Hastings (Neb.); Sandrae Farquharson, Doane (Neb.); Gabi Jenkins, Nebraska Wesleyan; Neeia Cooperwood, Morningside (Iowa); Billi Pipes, Baker (Kan.); Kaley Kinnamon, McPherson (Kan.); Kelsey Carbajo, Grand View (Iowa); Liz Mosbach, Mount Mercy (Iowa); Megan Lehmkuhl, Clarke (Iowa); Micki Glass, Jamestown (N.D.); Selene Lopez, Wayland Baptist (Texas); Ana Segovia, Texas Wesleyan; Kalen Glover, Siena Heights (Mich.); Stacey Baron, Davenport (Mich.); Becca Lamb, Indiana Tech.
Field Nominees: Ashleigh Nalty, Missouri Baptist; LaChrissa Safforld, St. Francis (Ill.); Ashley Thoney, Great Falls (Mont.); Kathleen Mulligan, Carroll (Mont.); Jamie Crouse, Concordia (Neb.); Jessica Fossum, Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.); Courtney Mills, Hastings (Neb.); Megan Hoesing, Midland (Neb.); Katie Smelker, Mount Marty (S.D.); Valerie Schirmer, Baker (Kan.); Arryana Barton, McPherson (Kan.); Brittany Demmer, Clarke (Iowa); Val Veiock, Grand View (Iowa); Liz Mosbach, Mount Mercy (Iowa); Emerald Gyuricza, Jamestown (N.D.); Jessica Meland, Valley City State (N.D.); Shayna Dwyer, Dakota State (S.D.); Taylor Byron, Siena Heights (Mich.); Lauren Pannell, Indiana Tech.
2014 Women’s Indoor Track & Field Athletes of the Week (Field, Track)
Week 1 (Jan. 22): Akela Jones, Oklahoma Baptist; Hannah Helker, Oklahoma Baptist