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Oct. 6, 2013

COLUMBIA, S.C. – At halftime of last night’s football game between No. 13/12 South Carolina and Kentucky at Williams-Brice Stadium, Rich Gray of Hammer Strength officially presented junior high jumper Jeannelle Scheper with the 2013 Hammer Strength All-American Award.

Scheper was named the inaugural recipient in May when the honor was announced at the 2013 Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches Association’s (CSCCa) annual national conference in Kansas City, Mo. Reggie Hearn, a senior on the Northwestern men’s basketball team, was the male recipient.

Hammer Strength, in partnership with the CSCCa, developed the Hammer Strength All-American Award to recognize the most outstanding athletes who exemplify the best of what it takes, on and off the field, to become an elite athlete. The recipients are athletes who lead by example, have strong academic standing and exhibit good sportsmanship while performing at a high level athletically.

South Carolina assistant strength and conditioning coach Mike Sirignano nominated Scheper for the award after working with her in the offseason.

“Jeannelle is the embodiment of what this award stands for. Her situation is unique in that she has become an All-American by the time most people are receiving their driver’s license,” Sirignano said of Scheper. “Her tremendous drive and focus in the weight room is what has accelerated her career from conference competitor to international gold medalist.”

The mathematics major is the indoor and outdoor school record holder and won the first SEC high jump crown in school history at the 2013 SEC Indoor Championships. Scheper wrapped up the indoor season by claiming silver at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships with a height of 6’2″ ¾.

During the outdoor season, the four-time All-American collected silver at the 2013 SEC Outdoor Championships and finished fifth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. A Caribbean Junior Championships (CARIFTA) gold medal with a meet-record clearance of 6’1″ ½ also highlighted her outdoor resume.

After meeting the “B” standard with her new personal record, Scheper made her first IAAF World Championships appearance in Moscow in August. Jumping for St. Lucia, she finished 13th in her qualifying group.

At the age of 16, Scheper moved from her native St. Lucia and enrolled at South Carolina. In her freshman season, she set a personal best of 5’8″ ¾, which she improved to 6′ her sophomore season. In her breakout season in 2013, Scheper cleared 6’3″ ¼ during the indoor season and hit a new lifetime best of 6’3″ ½ at this summer’s Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Championships where the Gamecock captured silver.