Group Of Nine Inducted Into NCAA DII Athlete Hall Of Fame
NEW ORLEANS – Nine former collegiate track & field standouts will be enshrined into the USTFCCCA NCAA Division II Athlete Hall of Fame in conjunction with the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Adriane Blewitt (Ashland University), Lynnsey Dailey (Fort Valley State University), Jackie Jeschelnig (Ashland University), Chaunte Mitchell (Stanislaus State University), Antoinette “Ana” Oglesby (Fort Valley State University), Ashley Puga (Northwest Nazarene University), Libia Rodriguez (Saint Augustine’s), Shnaka Walker (Saint Augustine’s) and Bryant Wilson (Grand Valley State University) are the newest members of the Hall of Fame.
This is the 23rd class to be inducted into the NCAA Division II Track & Field Athlete Hall of Fame. The size of the class is the largest ever, surpassing the former record of eight that went in during the inaugural year of the Hall of Fame in 1996.
Adriane Blewitt, Ashland University
Adriane Blewitt is one of the most accomplished throwers in NCAA Division II history. A 13-time NCAA Division II All-American (eight outdoors, five indoors) in the shot put, discus, hammer and weight throw, the product out of Youngstown, Ohio, few have achieved what she has in her career.
Blewitt captured NCAA Division II titles with three different implements, winning four in the shot put (2002 & 2003 indoor and outdoor), two discus (2001 & 2003 outdoor) and one weight throw (2003 indoor). Her 2003 shot put titles both stand as NCAA Division II Championship records, as her indoor throw traveled 17.57m (57-7¾) before hitting a mark of 17.54m (57-6½) during the outdoor campaign.
Historically, Blewitt’s name peppers the NCAA Division II record books. Her outdoor mark of 17.99m (59-0¼) at the Georgia Tech Invitational on May 16, 2003 remains an NCAA Division II outdoor record, and she holds the five best throws, as well as eight of the top-10 in the event. Indoor, she owns the second-best shot put mark in history, a mark that stood as the NCAA Division II record until the 2017 season. She is also the 10th-best performer in the hammer throw in NCAA Division II outdoor history.
Blewitt also got it done in the classroom, picking up two First-Team Academic All-American honors. She competed at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials just a few months after enduring chemotherapy due to being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the age of 23. In 2008, she competed again at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Blewitt and her teammate, Jackie Jeschelnig (see below) become the second and third athletes from Ashland to be inducted into the NCAA Division II Athlete Hall of Fame, joining 2017 inductee Sean Robbins.
Lynnsey Dailey, Fort Valley State University
Lynnsey Dailey is a five-time NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field National Championship in three different events. The product out of Fort Valley State University dominated the hurdling scene in the mid-2000s, capturing four of her titles in the 100 and 400 meter hurdles.
Dailey won the 2005 and 2006 outdoor 100 and 400 meter hurdles titles while also adding the 2005 outdoor triple jump title to her resume. Her three titles in 2005 ties her with fellow NCAA Division II Athlete Hall of Famers Chandra Sturrup and Nicole Duncan for the most individual titles captured at a single NCAA Division II Outdoor Championship.
A 12-time All-American (all outdoor), Dailey also owned the top mark in the NCAA Division II outdoor 100 meter hurdles for three years, as she ran a 12.98 on May 5, 2006 to break a record that stood for seven years. That mark currently ranks third in NCAA Division II outdoor history.
Additionally, Dailey’s time of 57.18 at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships was good for the fifth-best mark at the time it was set, and she still remains the eighth-best performer in the event in NCAA Division II outdoor history.
Dailey and Antoinette “Ana” Oglesby (see below) are the first athletes from Fort Valley State University to be inducted into the NCAA Division II Athlete Hall of Fame.
Jackie Jeschelnig, Ashland University
Jackie Jeschelnig paired with teammate Adriane Blewitt to form a frightening throwing duo for Ashland in the early-2000s. Jeschelnig was also a 13-time NCAA Division II All-American (seven outdoors, six indoors) in addition to capturing five NCAA Division II national titles.
The native of Mentor, Ohio, specialized in the hammer throw, where she won outdoor titles in 1999, 2002 and 2003. With her third title in 2003, Jeschelnig became the first NCAA Division II woman to win three career hammer titles.
In the record books, Jeschelnig held the outdoor hammer record of 64.85m (212-9) from 2002 until 2015. That throw now sits 11th in NCAA Division II outdoor history, and she remains the third-best performer in the event.
At the conclusion of her collegiate career, Jeschelnig was part of the Ashlaned Elite program which was created to help Olympic hopefuls train in Ashland. Jeschelnig finished fourth in the hammer at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials and competed in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
Jeschelnig and her Blewitt (see above) become the second and third athletes from Ashland to be inducted into the NCAA Division II Athlete Hall of Fame, joining 2017 inductee Sean Robbins.
Chaunte Mitchell, Stanislaus State University
Chaunte Mitchell was a pole vaulting pioneer, as she became the first woman in NCAA Division II to capture back-to-back outdoor titles in the pole vault, winning championships in 2004 and 2005. To this day, she remains just one of two women to win back-to-back pole vault titles during the outdoor season.
Mitchell picked up her first title by clearing 3.90m (12-9½). In 2005, her second title was won by leaping 4.01m (13-1¾), an NCAA Division II outdoor championship record at the time.
A five-time All-American (three outdoor, two indoor), Mitchell was one of the finest pole vaulters to ever hail from the California Collegiate Athletic Association. She was named the 2003 CCAA Freshman of the Year before picking up three CCAA pole vault titles (2004, 2005 and 2007).
Mitchell joins 1999 inductee Carrie Luis and 2008 inductee Geoff Bradshaw as members of the NCAA Division II Athlete Hall of Fame from Stanislaus State University.
Antoinette “Ana” Oglesby, Fort Valley State University
Antoinette “Ana” Oglesby became just the third woman in NCAA Division II history to win three-straight outdoor triple jump titles, having accomplished the feat from 2009-11.
An eight-time All-American (all outdoor), Oglesby was a runner-up for the triple jump title as a freshman, missing the title by a mere three-quarters of an inch. After that, she never looked back, as she posted marks of 12.44m (40-9¾), 12.96m (42-6¼) and 12.72m (41-8¾) in three-consecutive seasons. She became just the second woman in Fort Valley State University history to win an NCAA Division II outdoor title in a field event, joining fellow Class of 2018 inductee Lynnsey Dailey.
Oglesby is in elite company as a three-time NCAA Division II outdoor champion in a single event. She is one of only 21 women to accomplish that feat.
A four-time SIAC Outdoor Champion, Oglesby was named the USTFCCCA NCAA Division II South Regional Field Athlete of the Year in 2008 and 2011.
Oglesby and Dailey (see above) are the first athletes from Fort Valley State University to be inducted into the NCAA Division II Athlete Hall of Fame.
Ashley Puga, Northwest Nazarene University
Ashley Puga had a big year in 2009. The product from Northwest Nazarene University won the indoor 800 meter title with a time of 2:07.63 before turning around and capturing the outdoor championship with a mark of 2:07.24.
Shortly after picking up her pair of national titles, the native of Meridian, Idaho, was named the USTFCCCA NCAA Division II National Outdoor Female Track Athlete of the Year. She was also named the 2009 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Female Athlete of the Year for the second-straight season, and she was a finalist for the NCAA Woman of the Year.
She did things in other years, too. Over the course of her career, Puga picked up nine All-America honors to go along with her seven GNAC titles. She set seven conference titles as well as rewriting the Northwest Nazarene record books with 12 school records.
Puga also took care of business in the classroom, graduating summa cum laude after majoring in accounting and business administration. She was a three-time All-GNAC Academic Team member, as well as the 2008-09 GNAC Female Scholar Athlete of the Year.
Puga is the first athlete from Northwest Nazarene University to be inducted into the NCAA Division II Athlete Hall of Fame.
Libia Rodriguez, Saint Augustine’s University
Libia Rodriguez’s medal case is bigger than most. The sprinter and relay runner captured a whopping seven titles over the course of her career for Saint Augustine’s.
Rodriguez won the 2002 and 2003 indoor 400 titles, running identical times of 53.83, while also winning the 2002 outdoor 400 with a time of 53.14. But Rodriguez also worked incredibly well as a part of a team, as she was a member of four 4×400 relay teams that scooped up national titles.
Rodriguez ran the second leg of the 1999 outdoor 4×400 squad that posted a championship-clinching time of 3:36.03 before winning indoor titles in 2000 and 2003, sandwiched around another outdoor title in 2002. Impressively, Rodriguez claimed national titles in four different seasons across five years.
A 14-time All-American (six indoor, eight outdoor), Rodriguez can be found in both the NCAA Division II indoor and outdoor record books. She was a part of the 2003 indoor 4×400 championship winning team that ran a 3:40.37, which stands as the fourth-fastest time in NCAA Division II indoor history, while her outdoor PR of 51.89 in the 400 is the 14th-best time in NCAA Division II outdoor history while also making her the ninth-best performer in the event.
Rodriguez and Shnaka Walker (see below) join 15 others from Saint Augustine’s in the NCAA Division II Athlete Hall of Fame.
Shnaka Walker, Saint Augustine’s University
Shnaka Walker did a little bit of everything at Saint Augustine’s. A nine-time All-American (four indoor, five outdoor), Walker did damage in the long jump, triple jump, high jump and 4×100 relay during her time with the Falcons. However, she is best remembered for her showings in the long jump.
Walker won three NCAA Division II long jump national titles in three-consecutive seasons for the Falcons. She started by picking up the 1997 indoor long jump title with a mark of 6.00m (19-8¼). She then captured outdoor titles in 1998 (6.17m/20-3) and 1999 (6.08m/19-11½), becoming just the third woman to win back-to-back NCAA Division II outdoor long jump titles.
Walker was named the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Most Valuable Athlete during the 1998 indoor season after winning conference titles in the long jump, triple jump and high jump.
Walker and Libia Rodriguez (see above) join 15 others from Saint Augustine’s in the NCAA Division II Athlete Hall of Fame.
Bryant Wilson, Grand Valley State University
Bryant Wilson was the premiere pole vaulter in NCAA Division II in the late 2000s. An eight-time All-American (four indoor, four outdoor), Wilson put Grand Valley State’s pole vaulting program on the map with his feats at the end of the last decade.
Wilson won the indoor and outdoor pole vaulting titles in both 2007 and 2008 for the Lakers. In 2007, he notched a mark of 5.33m (17-5¾) during the indoor season before following that up with a performance of 5.25m (17-2¾) during the outdoor campaign. He came back the following year to post championship-winning marks of 5.25m (17-2¾) and 5.18m (17-0) during the indoor and outdoor seasons, respectively.
Wilson was just the third man in NCAA Division II indoor history to capture back-to-back pole vault titles, as well as the sixth to do so on the outdoor circuit.
Wilson can also be found in the NCAA Division II outdoor record book, as his leap of 5.50m (18-0½) at the GLIAC Championships tied him for the 13th-best mark in NCAA Division II outdoor history, while also tying him as the seventh-best performer in the event. He is the last NCAA Division II pole vaulter to jump over 18 feet since 1998.
Following his collegiate career, Wilson was a two-time U.S. National Championships qualifier in the pole vault. He has coached collegiately since 2010.
Wilson becomes just the second athlete from Grand Valley State University to be inducted into the NCAA Division II Athlete Hall of Fame, joining Mandi (Zemba) Long from the Class of 2015.