TULSA, Okla.—Oral Roberts sophomore Jack Whitt punctuated a record breaking season by being named Summit League Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year, as announced by the league Thursday morning.
Whitt garnered the award after defending his pole vault title at The Summit League Championships by clearing a meet-record height of 18'0.5" (5.50m) and breaking his own championship meet record set the previous year. The Norman, Okla., native then claimed a second-place finish at the NCAA Championships clearing 17'6.5" (5.35m), the league's first NCAA Outdoor Championship qualifier in the pole vault. Whitt finished the season ranked second in the nation after clearing a personal-best and school-record 18'4.5" (5.60m) at the Texas Relays.
In total, four track and field All-American student-athletes were named the 2011 Summit League Athletes of the Year. Joining Whitt on the men's side, Southern Utah's Cameron Levins earned Track Athlete of the Year. North Dakota State swept the women's honors as Christine Schmaltz was named Track Athlete of the Year and teammate Whitney Carlson captured Field Athlete of the Year. All four honorees earned USTFCCCA All-America honors for their performances at the 2011 NCAA Track and Field Championships. Whitt, Carlson and Schmaltz also captured their respective indoor track and field Athlete of the Year honors earlier this year.
Levins earned his first Track Athlete of the Year award after capturing Summit League titles in the 1,500 meters and 5,000 meters and recording a third-place finish in the 800 meters. A native of Canada and two-time Athlete of the Week, Levins finished seventh in the 5,000-meter run with a school record and personal-best time of 13:40.30 at the NCAA Championships to earn first-team All-America honors.
Schmaltz was named Track Athlete of the Year after defending her 800 meter title at The Summit League Outdoor Track and Field Championships with a time of 2:15.66 and winning the 1,500 meters with a time of 4:38.22. The Watford City, N.D. native, finished ninth in the 800 meters (2:05.09) at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, earning USTFCCCA second-team All-America honors. She ended the season with the 29th fastest 800-meter time the nation.
Carlson captured her first Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year award after winning four Summit League titles (long jump, 100-meter hurdles, 400-meter hurdles and heptathlon) to earn Track Championship MVP and Field Championship MVP honors. She finished fifth in the heptathlon with a school-record 5,556 points and seventh in the long jump with a season-best mark of 20'10.75" (6.37m) at the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships, recording the league's best-ever finish in both events. For her performances at the NCAA Championships, she was awarded USTFCCCA first-team All-America in the heptathlon and second-team All-America in the long jump, becoming the first league outdoor track and field athlete to earn multiple honors in a single season. Carlson, a zoology major with a 4.0 GPA, also received the NCAA Elite 88 award for the NCAA Women's Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's championships. She finished the season ranked 20th in the long jump and tied for 21st in the heptathlon.