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Jan. 17, 2013

The Saint Lucia Athletics Association has named junior high jumper Jeannelle Scheper Junior Female Athlete of the Year at their annual Gala Awards. The ceremony recognized a number of outstanding contributors in athletics in St. Lucia over the years and placed the spotlight squarely on a number of the top performers from the past 12 months. This is the second year in a row that Scheper has been honored with the award.

In April, Scheper picked up her third consecutive bronze medal for her performance at the 41st edition of the Caribbean Junior Championships, know as the CARIFTA Games, that were held at the Bermuda National Stadium in Hamilton, Bermuda. The Gamecock cleared 5’10 ¾ (1.80m) at the event to claim the bronze, making her one of two female athletes to medal for St. Lucia at the 2012 CARIFTA Games in any event.

At the Central American & Caribbean Athletic Confederation (CACAC) Junior Championships in San Salvador, El Salvador, Scheper picked up her first career gold medal in international competition. Representing St. Lucia, Schaper set a new personal best at 6’0 ¾ (1.85m) to get the win.

At the IAAF World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, Scheper qualified for the high jump finals to make her the first St. Lucian athlete to qualify for the finals at the World Junior Championships. In the final round, Scheper improved upon her ranking and preliminary performance by taking eighth overall in the event at 5’11 ½ (1.82m). Scheper passed the opening two heights before successfully clearing 5’10 (1.78m) on her second attempt. Her clearance at 5’11 ½ (1.82m) was followed by three attempts at a would-be personal best of 6’1 (1.85m), but the St. Lucian would settle for eighth overall.

The 2012 South Carolina track and field season was a memorable one for the 18-year old from Gros-Islet, St. Lucia. Scheper earned two All-America honors after placing eighth at the NCAA Indoor Championships and 16th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, becoming the first Gamecock woman to earn All-America honors in the high jump in either the indoor or outdoor season, let alone both in the same year. She was the SEC Indoor bronze medalist in the high jump and holds the South Carolina indoor and outdoor records in the event.