SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – In a year where Summit League Track and Field athletes achieved tremendous amounts of success in competition and in the classroom, it should come as little surprise that the 2018-19 Summit League Male and Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award honorees hail from that sport. This year's honorees are North Dakota State's Elliott Stone on the men's side and South Dakota State's Rachel King, who were rewarded for their outstanding academic achievements, athletic achievements, attitude and leadership throughout the 2018-19 school year.
The Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award is the most prestigious accolade The Summit League bestows each year and is determined by a vote of the league's faculty athletic representatives.
On the track, Stone was once again a key contributor to his team's overall success as the Bison won the Summit League Outdoor Championship and were the runner-up at the Indoor Championship. He placed third in the 10,000-meters at the outdoor event to earn all-league honors and took fifth in the 5,000-meter run. At the indoor championships, he finished fourth in the 3,000-meters and sixth in the 5,000-meters.
During his final season of competition in cross country, Stone racked up his fourth All-Summit League honor of his career by placing fourth at the 2018 Championship held in Omaha.
As a student, Stone already holds a mechanical engineering degree and is currently pursuing a masters of business administration. He completed his undergraduate degree with a 4.0 cumulative GPA and he carries the same average in graduate school. The Bismarck, N.D. native was named to the Commissioner's List of Academic Excellence and selected to the Google Cloud College Sports Information Directors of America's (CoSIDA) Academic All-America First Team for the second year in a row.
Stone is also a member of the NDSU engineering and computer science team that has competed at NASA's Robotic Mining Competition, earning a runner-up finish in 2019 for the second year in a row. He also received the NASA Robotic Mining Competition Judge's IEEE Innovation Award in 2018 and 2019.
Stone has also shared his love for robotics with the local community by volunteering with Girl Scout Troops for STEM/Robotics experiences. He also has volunteered at numerous local high school and collegiate track meets in Fargo throughout his academic career at NDSU.
King wrapped up her track and field career by once again qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 3,000-meter Steeplechase -- an event she won at The Summit League Outdoor Championship for the second time in 2019. The Jackrabbits' captain was also named the Summit League Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year after also winning the 5,000-meters.
King won the 3,000-meters and 5,000-meters at The Summit League Indoor Championship and was a First Team All-League performer in cross country for the fourth-straight year and an NCAA All-Regional honoree.
King's successes were not limited to the track as she excelled in the classroom as well. She helped the Jackrabbits hold the highest cumulative GPA of any Division I track and field team in 2018-19 and was honored with USTFCCCA All-Academic honors to go along with her Summit League All-Academic, Academic Honor Roll and Commissioner's List of Academic Excellence recognitions.
King graduated with a degree in community and public health with a minor in Spanish and pre-occupational therapy. She carried an undergraduate GPA of 3.86 and plans to pursue further education in occupational therapy where she will use her NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
The St. Michael, Minn., native graduated with Honors College Distinction and also earned the 2019 Honors College Convocation Student-Athlete of the Year Award.
King devoted countless hours during her academic career working with children with special needs. During the summers, she would work as a special education paraprofessional for students with Autism and volunteered hundreds of hours at a Muscular Dystrophy Camp as a cabin leader. She also volunteered with a program called "We Can Ride" which provided therapy for persons with special needs through equine-assisted activities.
Also nominated for Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Kyle Burdick, South Dakota State // Davide Callegari, North Dakota Bryce Choate, Oral Roberts // C.J. Schaeffer, Western Illinois // Zach Schroeder, Purdue Fort Wayne // Andre Shinyashiki, Denver // Eldon Warner, South Dakota // Alex Woodward, Omaha
Also nominated for Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Vanessa Anderson, North Dakota State // Ciara Duffy, South Dakota // Kylee Foster, North Dakota // Taylor Higginbotham, Western Illinois // Natalie Mostek, Omaha Emma Rafuse, Purdue Fort Wayne // Tori Roe, Oral Roberts // Mary Weinstein, Denver