SIOUX FALLS, S.D. –Six Summit League student-athletes were selected by CoSIDA to be members of the 2019 Google Cloud Academic All-District® teams as announced by organization officials Tuesday.
North Dakota State paved the way with three individuals making the NCAA Division I District 6 First Team while Purdue Fort Wayne, South Dakota and South Dakota State each had one athlete represent their respective schools.
NDSU's Ryan Enerson, Elliott Stone and Shelby Gunnells represent the Bison on the men's and women's District 6 First Team list. Enerson is majoring in biological sciences and boasts a cumulative GPA of 3.88. He captured his third Summit League heptathlon title with a career-best score of 5,269. Enerson finished runner-up in the decathlon behind a fellow Bison at the Summit League outdoor championships with a total of 7,078 points. He also placed second in the 110-meter hurdles and fourth in the 60-meter hurdles at the championships.
Stone is pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering with an overall GPA of 4.0. Stone recently competed at the Summit League Outdoor Track and Field Championships where he finished third in the 10,000-meter and fifth in the 5,000-meter. At the league's indoor championships, he finished fourth in the 3,000-meter and sixth in the 5,000-meter. This past fall during the cross country season, Stone finished fourth overall at the Summit League Cross Country Championships.
Gunnells has accumulated a 4.00 GPA in geology at NDSU to earn her spot on the Women's District 6 First Team. At the league's indoor championships, Gunnells finished third in the shot put and sixth in the weight throw. Gunnells' performance in the shot put during the indoor season earned her a spot at the NCAA Indoor Championships, where she finished ninth earning her second-team All-America status.
The Jackrabbits are represented by Kyle Burdick who has a 3.79 undergraduate GPA and a 4.0 graduate GPA in natural resources law enforcement. During the cross country season, Burdick finished third at the Summit League Cross Country Championships while following up with a fifteenth place finish at the NCAA Division I Midwest Regional Cross Country Championships. At the indoor league championships, Burdick won all three events he competed in (mile, 3,000-meter and 5,000-meter) including two meet records (mile and 5,000-meter) and a personal-best time (5,000-meter). At the outdoor league championships, he finished runner up in the 1,500-meter and the 5,000-meter while winning the 10,000-meter. Burdick earned the Summit League Indoor and Outdoor Track Championship MVP and was named the Summit League Men's Indoor Track Athlete of the Year.
South Dakota's Zack Anderson also made the District 6 First Team with a 3.65 GPA in physical education. Anderson broke a six-year-old Summit League Indoor Championships meet record in the high jump with a mark of 7-02.25 (2.19m) to claim the event and earned himself a trip to the NCAA Indoor Championships. He earned the second All-America honor of his career at the indoor national meet when he finished 13th overall. During the outdoor season, he broke a 17-year-old Summit League Championships meet record with a leap of 7-04.24 (2.24m) to take home the title. His mark at the outdoor league championships earned him a spot at the NCAA West Preliminary where he boasted the top qualifying position by clearing up to 7 feet, 1 inch (2.16m).
Rounding out the list of student-athletes representing the league is Purdue Fort Wayne's Emma Rafuse, who made the District 5 First Team with a 3.92 GPA in communications and psychology. During her senior campaign in track, she qualified for the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Preliminaries in the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter. In cross country, Rafuse was 2018 Summit League Cross Country Champion and MVP. On the national level, she took 58th in the nation after advancing out of regionals with the league's second-best time at nationals (20:45.18).
Eligible student-athletes must have at least a 3.30 cumulative grade-point average, have participated in at least 50 percent of the team's contests, completed one full calendar year at the institution, reached sophomore athletic eligibility and be nominated by their institutions' sports information directors.
As All-District honorees, the above individuals will advance to the national ballot for Google Cloud Academic All-America honors, to be announced in late June.
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Through 36 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 115,000 at nine institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), the University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, Purdue Fort Wayne (Purdue University Fort Wayne), the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced 12 NCAA Champions along with over 100 Academic All-Americans, nearly 125 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague.