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Feb. 19, 2013

RODNEY BAY, St. Lucia – South Carolina junior high jumper Jeannelle Scheper was named the 2012 Junior Sportswoman of the Year at the 32nd annual St. Lucia National Sports Award Ceremony this past weekend. Scheper earned the nod over swimmer Sion Huxley, who was given the honor last year.

This marks the second national award won by Scheper this year, as the St. Lucia Athletics Association named her Junior Female Athlete of the Year at its annual Gala Awards in January. The 2012 award was Scheper’s second-consecutive Junior Female Athlete of the Year award.

Last April, Scheper picked up her third-consecutive bronze medal for her performance at the 41st edition of the Caribbean Junior Championships, known 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 then personal best at 6’0 ¾ (1.85m) to get the win.

Over the summer at the IAAF World Championships in Barcelona, Spain, Scheper qualified for the high jump finals to make her the first-ever 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).

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. The finishes made her 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. Scheper also won the SEC indoor bronze medal last season.

Scheper has continued to progress this season, winning or placing second in all four of her events thus far. She has also reset her PR and school record twice in the indoor season. Currently, the Gamecock stands atop the Division I rankings with a clearance of 6’3 ¼ (1.91m).

South Carolina travels to Fayetteville, Ark., this week to compete in the SEC Indoor Championships (Feb. 22-24).