COLUMBIA, S.C. – Saint Lucian high jumper Jeannelle Scheper has been presented with the inaugural Hammer Strength All-American Award.
A junior at the University of South Carolina, the 18-year-old was officially presented by Rich Gray of Hammer Strength at halftime of the football game between South Carolina and Kentucky at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Scheper was named the inaugural recipient in May when the honour was announced at the 2013 Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches Association’s (CSCCa) annual national conference in Kansas City, Missouri.
Hammer Strength, in partnership with the CSCCa, developed the Hammer Strength All-American Award to recognize the most outstanding athletes who exemplify the best of what it takes, on and off the field, to become an elite athlete. The recipients are athletes who lead by example, have strong academic standing and exhibit good sportsmanship while performing at a high level athletically.
South Carolina assistant strength and conditioning coach Mike Sirignano nominated Scheper for the award after working with her in the offseason.
“Jeannelle is the embodiment of what this award stands for. Her situation is unique in that she has become an All-American by the time most people are receiving their driver’s license,” Sirignano said of Scheper. “Her tremendous drive and focus in the weight room is what has accelerated her career from conference competitor to international gold medalist.”
The mathematics major is the indoor and outdoor school record holder and won the first Southeastern Conference (SEC) high gump crown in school history at the 2013 SEC Indoor Championships. Scheper wrapped up the indoor season by claiming silver at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships.
During the outdoor season, the four-time All-American collected silver at the 2013 SEC Outdoor Championships and finished fifth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.
She copped a CARIFTA gold medal with a meet-record clearance, and took silver at the Central American and Caribbean Championships. There, she qualified to participate in the IAAF World Championships, making her debut at that level in Moscow in August.
Scheper moved from her native Saint Lucia and enrolled at South Carolina at the age of 16. She is also the Caribbean record holder for the high jump.