Five Standouts to be Inducted into NCAA DII Athlete Hall of Fame
NEW ORLEANS – Five former collegiate track & field standouts will be inducted into the Division II Athlete Hall of Fame Wednesday evening ahead of the NCAA Division II Championships in Bradenton, Florida.
Carmelita Jeter (Cal State-Dominguez Hills), Bershawn "Batman" Jackson (Saint Augustine’s), Jim Kemp (Kentucky State), Clint Prange (Northwest Missouri State), and Kasia Airent (Lewis) will be formally inducted by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) during the pre-championships banquet.
Carmelita Jeter – Cal State-Dominguez Hills
Jeter has gone from being one of the best sprinters on the NCAA Division II scene to among the best sprinters in the world. Before she was winning Olympic, IAAF and USATF medals, she was a decorated athlete at Cal State Dominguez Hills.
She finished NCAA runner-up three times at 100 meters, was a six-time All-American and won seven total CCAA Championships. She still holds five CSUDH records.
After finishing college in 2003, she embarked on a career that has seen her rise to the ranks of all-time great American sprinters. She won three medals at the 2012 Olympics: a gold in world-record fashion in the 4×100 relay, a silver at 100 meters and a bronze at 200 meters.
In 2011 she was the IAAF World Champion at 100 meters and in the 4×100 relay, the same year she won the USATF Jesse Owens Award. She has four times been a USATF Champion.
Bershawn "Batman" Jackson – Saint Augustine’s
"Batman" has long been a 400-meter hurdles contender on the world stage, including during his days at Saint Augustine’s.
Working with USTFCCCA Hall of Famer and former Olympic head coach George Williams, Jackson won a pair of national titles in 2004 – indoors at 400 meters and outdoors in his signature hurdles event.
That year he ran four of the six fastest times in NCAA DII history in the event, including the all-time record of 48.48 and the DII Championships record of 48.50.
Following his collegiate career, his professional career took off. He won an IAAF World Championship in the 400 hurdles in 2005, won a bronze medal in the 400H at the 2008 Olympics, and earned bronze again at the IAAF World Championships in 2009.
He was crowned Diamond League Champion in 2010, and has won a pair of golds in the 4×400 relay at the 2010 World Indoor and 2011 World Championships.
He’s a five-time USATF Outdoor Champion in the hurdles, a two-time indoor 400-meter USATF Champion, and has finished top-three in the USATF 400H twice more.
Jim Kemp – Kentucky State
Kemp not only was among the best 400-meter sprinters in NCAA DII history during his time at Kentucky State, but was eventually among the best in the world.
He was a two-time 400-meter national champion at the DII level in 1965 and 1966, and also ran a leg of the national champion 4×400 relay in 1966. Competing during the era when DII athletes could also compete at the NCAA DI Championships, he took down the DI field in 1965 to win the Division I national title.
Overall, he was a seven-time All-American, and once held the NCAA DII 400-meter record.
In 1968 he won the gold medal at the Australian Track & Field Championships, and finished fifth at the 1968 Olympic Trials.
Clint Prange – Northwest Missouri State
Until a month ago, Prange had been the all-time NCAA DII standard bearer in the shot put for a decade, and he continues to loom large among throwers in DII history.
He broke the all-time DII shot put record at the 2005 NCAA Championships with a heave of 20.14m (66-1), winning one of his four career NCAA titles. With that throw, he became the first DII man to throw farther than 66 feet and the record stood until Garrett Appier of Pittsburg State broke it last month.
Though he was the record holder in the shot, a majority of his NCAA titles came in the discus. He swept that event for three consecutive years in 2002-04.
He was a four-time MIAA Champion, and a six-time All-American.
He was also a four-time Academic All-American, he graduated Magna Cum Laude, and he earned an NCAA postgraduate scholarship.
Kasia Airent – Lewis
Few distance runners in NCAA DII history have been as prolifically competitive as was Airent.
In the late 1990s, Airent racked up six national titles in cross country and both indoor/outdoor track & field, and earned a combined nine All-America awards. She kicked off a phenomenal winning streak in 1997 win an indoor 5000 meters title, followed by a sweep of the outdoor 5000- and 10,000-meter national titles.
In the fall she won the cross country national title and she once again swept the 5000 and 10,000 outdoor titles the following spring.
She also finished as the 1996 national runner-up in cross country and was a three-time region champ. At the GLVC conference level, she won five individual titles.