The success of Illinois State athletics for the 2018-2019 school year keeps getting better.

A trio of Redbird athletes earned All-America honors in their respective events this past week at the NCAA championships.

The accolades started off Friday, with Jack Anstey reaching the finals of the 1,500-meter race at the men’s track and field championships in Austin, Texas. Anstey, a junior long-distance runner from Newtown Toowoomba, Australia, finished with a time of 3:42.73. He placed seventh in the event, which earned him First Team All-America honors.

Jack Antstey

“It’s been a long road, with more lows than highs for me but that makes this moment all the sweeter,” Anstey said. “It’s been a crazy journey to get here, and I’m excited for what’s to come in the future.”

Two members of the ISU women’s team also reached the finals of the NCAA championships in Austin, and both came away with top-16 finishes and second team All-America honors after their performances.

Sophomore high jumper Kameesha Smith cleared a personal best 1.78 meters (5-10) to finish in a tie for 12th place in the event. 

Kameesha Smith

“Kameesha competed very well, making several good attempts at 1.81m which would have placed her in the top 8,” Jeff Bovee, ISU Director of Track & Field and Cross Country said. “She is a competitor and thrived on the national stage.”

Joining Smith with second team honors was redshirt sophomore discus thrower Sydney Laufenberg. Laufenberg finished 14th overall after tossing a 54.21 meter throw.

Sydney Laufenberg

“Sydney started with a big first throw, which allowed her to be aggressive on her subsequent throws,” Bovee stated. “Although she came up just shy of making the finals, she finished much higher than her pre-championship ranking.”

“We have two strong teams returning, so the next challenge for our program is to convert our conference and regional success onto the national stage. Jack, Kameesha and Sydney did that this weekend and we return home proud of their efforts.” Bovee said.

BLAINE LEWALLEN is the Sports Editor for The Vidette. He can be contacted at bmlewal@ilstu.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @blainelew3 


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