(Editor's note: MSUB Athletics release)
BILLINGS - A record-breaking performance by Beau Ackerman this spring has earned the Montana State University Billings track and field senior the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association West Region Field Athlete of the Year award.
Ackerman was joined by fellow Yellowjacket seniors Isaiah Girard and Taylor Stringari, and freshman Payden Lynn among the team’s all-region selections.
Ackerman won the 2021 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships in the javelin last week, breaking the meet record and his own MSUB school record with a throw of 233-7 feet. Ackerman’s record-breaking toss earned him his second javelin conference title of his career, and he was picked for the GNAC Performance of the Meet by the conference’s coaches.
Ackerman’s throw was the third-longest by any athlete in the NCAA Division II this season, and the furthest by any athlete in the west region. He will compete in the NCAA Championships next Saturday, May 29, with hopes of repeating as an All-American after he earned that title during the spring of 2018.
“I’m very happy for Beau, he definitely deserves this award. I’m excited he has been to nationals before, so he knows what it’s like there,” Woehl said. “He knows a little bit better how to handle that nervous energy.”
Entering the final event of his career, Ackerman holds the second-longest javelin mark in GNAC history trailing only Cody Parker of Alaska Anchorage who threw 255-210 feet during the 2013 season. This is the first regional athlete of the year award for MSUB’s track and field program, and it is Ackerman’s second all-region selection after he earned the honor during the 2018 season.
Girard earned all-region for the third time in his collegiate career, after successfully defending his GNAC title in the high jump with a leap of 6-7 feet at last week’s championships.
Stringari claimed the all-region award in the hammer throw, after an all-conference performance as she took second place at the GNAC Championships. The senior improved on her school record status in the event, with a throw of 164-11 feet to reach her personal best in the final meet of her career.
Lynn earned all-region by virtue of his season best mark in the javelin, which was a throw of 184-6 feet at the MSUB Open on March 19 in Lockwood. Lynn was also named all-region in both the long jump and triple jump during the 2021 indoor season.
Individuals who posted a top-five mark in their respective event within their region during the 2021 spring season earned the all-region awards.