(Editor's note: MSUB Athletics release)
PORTLAND, Ore. – A total of 12 student-athletes from the Montana State University Billings men’s and women’s track and field teams earned academic all-Great Northwest Athletic Conference honors for the 2020-21 school year.
Seven athletes from the men’s team and five from the women’s team earned the honor, with 10 of the Yellowjackets’ 12 selections being repeat honorees. “I am proud of all 12 of our selections,” said MSUB head coach Jonathan Woehl. “Brenna and Beau being all-academic for a fourth time is a testament that hard work pays off. It is also no coincidence that many of them are also our top performers, because they have consistently worked hard to better themselves athletically just as they have academically.”
On the women’s side, senior Brenna Beckett was 1 of 4 athletes in the conference to earn academic honors for the fourth time in her career. After completing her undergraduate degree last year, Beckett holds a 3.91 GPA while working towards her master’s degree in clinical rehabilitation and mental health counseling. MSUB’s indoor record holder in the long jump and triple jump, Beckett recently completed her athletic career as she competed in both events at the 2021 GNAC Outdoor Championships.
Senior Anne Lory Chevalier was picked to the academic all-GNAC team for the third time in her career, as she completes her criminal justice degree with a 3.33 grade point average. Chevalier competed in 20 events throughout her collegiate career, racing in the 60-meters, 100-meters, and 200-meters as well as MSUB’s relay teams.
MSUB’s other three women’s selections – Sierra Durbin, Michaela Johnson, and Kailee Stoppel – each earned the honor for the second time in their careers.
Durbin is a media studies major with a 3.49 grade point average in her third year with the track team. Durbin specialized in the 400-meter hurdles, where she ran a season-best time of 1:07.86 minutes and also contributed as a member of MSUB’s relay crew.
Johnson is completing her degree in psychology, and carries a 3.28 GPA. The Billings native is MSUB’s school record holder in the indoor 60-meters and 60-meter hurdles, and this spring she had the team’s top outdoor marks in the 100-meters at 13.16 seconds and 100-meter hurdles at 16.79 seconds.
Stoppel is in her third year in the track program, and holds a 3.46 GPA while studying history with a teaching option. The program’s top distance runner, Stoppel took fifth place at the GNAC Championships in the steeple chase with a career-best time of 11:17.82 minutes. Stoppel had MSUB’s top marks this spring in the 800-meters, 1,500-meters, 5,000-meters, and steeple chase. She was an academic all-GNAC pick for cross country as well.
On the men’s side, senior Beau Ackerman was 1 of 3 athletes in the conference to earn the award for the fourth time in his career. The two-time GNAC champion in the javelin broke the meet record at the GNAC Championships last week, and will represent the Yellowjackets at the NCAA Championships on May 27-29 in Allendale, Michigan. After completing his undergraduate degree last year, Ackerman carries a 3.28 GPA while working towards his MBA.
Fellow senior Isaiah Girard earned academic honors for the third time in his career, as he completes his art education degree with a 3.46 GPA. The back-to-back GNAC champion in the high jump finished his career last week by claiming the title at the GNAC Championships. His mark of 6-9.75 feet is the school record in the event.
Senior Mason Schram and juniors Ase Ackerman and Logan Straus were each repeat selections to the all-academic team.
Ase Ackerman holds a 3.39 GPA while studying health and human performance and was the team’s top distance runner this year. The Glendive native had MSUB’s top marks in the 800-meters, 1,500-meters, and 5k, and also earned academic honors for cross country this year.
Straus competed in all seven meets for the Yellowjackets this spring, contributing in the 800-meters, 1,500-meters, and 5k with career bests in all three events. He carries a 3.49 GPA and is studying health and human performance as well.
One of the top sprinters in program history, Schram held the team’s top marks in both the 100-meters and 200-meters this spring. The senior completed his career last week by taking seventh in the 100-meters, eighth in the 200-meters, and running a leg on MSUB’s 4x100-meter relay team at the GNAC Championships. A two-time GNAC champion, Schram has a 3.62 GPA and is completing his work in the health and human performance program.
Sophomores Bryant Edgerton and Nicholas Redgrave each earned academic honors for the first time in their careers as Yellowjackets. Edgerton holds a 3.30 GPA in health and human performance, and handled the long-distance events representing MSUB in the 10k at the GNAC Championships. Redgrave carries a 3.32 GPA in environmental studies, and was one of MSUB’s primary 800-meter runners setting a PR on April 10 in South Dakota at 2:02.69 minutes.
Athletes must be in at least their second year of competition with their team and carry a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher in order to be eligible for academic all-conference selection.