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Peighton Simmons
Peighton Simmons captured back-to-back Sun Belt Indoor Track and Field titles in the triple jump.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Track and Field Earns All-Academic Team Honors For Both Women and Men Squads

The App State men’s and women’s track and field teams were named United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic Teams for the 2022 track and field season. The women’s team recorded a cumulative GPA of 3.3, while the men’s team posted a cumulative GPA of 3.01.

During the indoor season senior Peighton Simmons collected First-Team All-Sun Belt accolades for her gold-medal performance in the women’s triple jump (13.12m (43′ 0.7″)) at the Sun Belt Indoor Championship, while senior Araybian Lilly, junior Jada Branch, sophomore Jasmine Donohue, and freshman Alexis Svoboda earned Third-Team All-Conference honors. The women’s team tied for sixth with 49 points at the Sun Belt Indoor Championships.

In February, senior De’Shawn Ballard, juniors Jada Branch, Taylor Smith, Eric Haddock Jr., and sophomore Cole Krehnbrink represented App State at the 2022 USATF Indoor Championships in Spokane, Wash. Branch and Smith competed in the women’s triple jump and women’s long jump, respectively. Ballard and Haddock Jr. competed in the men’s long jump and Krehnbrink raced in the men’s 400 meters.

The Sun Belt Outdoor Track & Field Championships saw the men’s team take sixth (58 points) and the women’s team tie for 7th (51 points). Senior Ryan Brown, graduate student Macki Walsh, Smith and Branch earned Second-Team All-Conference accolades while Ballard, Haddock Jr., sophomore Calbert Guest, and freshman Karsyn Kane earned Third-Team All-Conference nods for their performances at the championship meet.

Smith and Branch went on to represent App State at the NCAA East Regional, finishing 26th (5.88m (19′ 3.5″)) in the women’s long jump and 13th (12.90m (42′ 4)) in the women’s triple jump, respectively.

Branch and Kane also represented the Black and Gold at the 2022 USATF Outdoor Elite and U20 Championships in Eugene, Ore. in June. Branch competed in the women’s elite triple jump, while Kane raced in the women’s U20 3000-meter steeplechase.

To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team honor, teams had to reach the following criteria:

The cumulative GPA for all student-athletes on the institution’s NCAA Squad List for Indoor and/or Outdoor Track and Field must be 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.