Four Eagles net T&F All-America honors


University of Southern Indiana Men’s and Women’s Track & Field landed four student-athletes on the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association All-America teams for the indoor season Tuesday in an announcement by the USTFCCCA.

Earning All-America honors is men’s freshman sprinter Zach Barton (St. Louis, Missouri) and sophomore distance runner Titus Winders (Mansfield, Tennessee); while junior distance runner Jennifer Comastri (Indianapolis, Indiana) and senior distance runner Hope Jones (Cumberland, Indiana) represented the women’s squad on the All-America list.

Normal policies dictate that All-America honors are awarded based on classifications of performance at the NCAA Championships.

Due to the cancellation of the NCAA Division II Indoor Track & Field Championships, the USTFCCCA Executive Committee adopted the following criteria:
• Based on the posted startlist for the national championships announced by the NCAA, the following will be recognized as All-America for the 2020 indoor track & field season:
• Individual events: ALL student-athletes listed on the startlist for the anticipated event.
• Relay events: The four student-athletes per anticipated relay who produced the performance that was declared and accepted into their event.
• There will not be a distinction of “first-team” or “second-team” to these recognitions.

A total of 716 honors were handed out to 117 different institutions on Tuesday.

Barton, who had qualified for the NCAA II Indoor Championships in the 60 meters, becomes the first sprinter in USI history to earn All-America honors in an individual event. Barton, who also plays soccer at USI, became the first sprinter in USI history to qualify for an individual event at the NCAA II Championships and was ranked No. 13 in the field with his school-record time of 6.77 seconds.

Winders, a two-time All-American on the cross country course, earned a pair of All-America honors Tuesday as he had qualified for nationals in both the 3,000 and 5,000 meters. The two-time NCAA II Midwest Region Cross Country Runner of the Year was ranked No. 9 in the 5,000 meters and No. 12 in the 3,000 meters heading into the NCAA II Indoor Championships.

Comastri, who earned All-America honors on the cross country course in the Fall, also earned a pair of All-America honors Tuesday after qualifying for nationals in both the 3,000 and 5,000 meters during the indoor season. Comastri had one of the strongest indoor seasons in recent memory as she set school records and ranked fifth, nationally, in both events. She moved up to No. 3 all-time at USI in the mile after posting an NCAA II provisional mark in that event as well–Comastri ranked 22nd, nationally, in the mile.

Jones, the only USI honoree to have previously earned All-America distinction on the track, is collecting USTFCCCA All-America awards after ranking No. 16, nationally, in the 5,000 meters. Jones earned second-team All-America honors in the 10,000 meters a year ago at the NCAA II Outdoor Championships.

All four student-athletes were set to compete at the NCAA II Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Alabama, March 13-14, but the meet was canceled a day before it was scheduled to start due to the COVID-19 pandemic.



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