|COURTESY: Arkansas StateDESTIN, Fla. (5/20/14) – Arkansas State University’s Sharika Nelvis can add another honor to her lengthy list of career achievements as the senior student-athlete was named theSun Belt Conference (SBC) 2013-14 Female Athlete of the Year this Tuesday (May 20) evening during the SBC’s Honors Banquet in Destin, Fla.The Sun Belt Conference Honors Banquet is held annually in conjunction with the conference’s annual spring meetings.
With the recognition, Nelvis becomes the first-ever A-State female student-athlete to earn the prestigious conference award.
Nelvis was recently selected as the Sun Belt Conference Women’s Most Outstanding Outdoor Track Performer following her noteworthy performance at the 2014 SBC Outdoor Track and Field Championships meet held May 9-11 in San Marcos, Texas. Nelvis scored a conference-meet leading 38 points as a result of winning top individual honors in the 100-meter hurdles, 100-meter dash, and the 200-meter dash.
A two-time (2012-13) United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-America Outdoor Track selection, Nelvis has three times (2012-14) been recognized as the Sun Belt Conference Women’s Most Outstanding Outdoor Track Performer and was tabbed the conference’s Women’s Outstanding Freshman for the 2011 outdoor track campaign. Nelvis, a three-time (2012-14) first-team all-conference selection, has claimed the conference outdoor meet’s top points leader status the last three years in a row (2012-14). Nelvis, who’s an 11-time SBC outdoor champion, was named the USTFCCCA’s Division I National Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week (May 12) and was honored as the SBC Women’s Outdoor Track Athlete of the Week three times (April 16, 23, and 30) this spring.
In indoor track, Nelvis garnered USTFCCCA All-America laurels for the third consecutive season as a result of becoming a national champion by winning the 60-meter hurdles at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships (March 14-15) in Albuquerque (N.M.). As a result, the Memphis, Tenn., native earned the distinction of becoming the first women’s individual national champion in A-State history. Prior to nationals, Nelvis capped off an outstanding conference indoor career by being chosen as the Sun Belt Conference’s Women’s Most Outstanding Indoor Track Athlete for the third straight season (2012-14). She captured first place in all four events competed in at the 2014 SBC Indoor Track and Field Championships (Feb. 24-25) in Birmingham, Ala., en route to tallying a league-meet high 40 points. With the four conference event titles, Nelvis increased her championship title count to 12 in indoor competition. A four-time (2011-14) All-SBC First-Team member, Nelvis claimed conference women’s most outstanding indoor track recognition in each of the previous two indoor seasons (2011-12 and 2012-13) following the top points output in the conference meet. Nelvis, who was recognized as the 2011 SBC Indoor Track’s Most Outstanding Freshman, was selected the conference Women’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Week twice (Jan. 15 and 22) during the 2014 indoor season.
The Sun Belt Conference also recognized Georgia State’s R.J. Hunter (basketball) as the Male Athlete of the Year for the 2013-14 season. Courtney Cohen (volleyball) of Troy was named the Female Postgraduate Scholar Athlete of the Year and South Alabama’s Rush Hendricks (football) received the Male Postgraduate Scholar Athlete of the Year honor.
The conference selected 10 student-athletes from its member institutions to the Sun Belt Conference Leadership Team – Benjamin Dillard (UALR), Endsley Evans (Arkansas State), Callie Alford (Georgia State), Kaylee Nemeth (UL Lafayette), Jon Fisher (ULM), Ross Metheny (South Alabama), Darien McLemore (UT Arlington), Jourdan Brown (Texas State), Langley Vannoy (Troy), and Torrie Lange (WKU). The honor is given to a letter-winning student-athlete based on leadership, sportsmanship, community service, citizenship, academic excellence and any other qualities valued by the institution. Each league-member institution was asked to nominate a deserving student-athlete for this award.