South Dakota State University's Rachel King was awarded the 2018-19 Summit League Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award for her 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.
King is the first Jackrabbit selected since Diana Potterveld, who was honored in 2015-16, and fourth SDSU student-athlete overall.
King wrapped up her track and field career by 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-meter race. 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 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association 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 using a NCAA postgraduate scholarship.
The St. Michael, Minnesota, native graduated with distinction from the Van D. and Barbara B. Fishback Honors College and also earned the 2019 Fishback 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.
In total, SDSU had 189 student-athletes named to the conference’s spring academic honor roll. To be selected to the Summit League Academic Honor Roll, a student-athlete must have a cumulative GPA of 3.20 during the academic year and must have used a year of eligibility.