ALLENDALE, Mich. (May 23, 2014) – South Dakota School of Mines & Technology senior Brian Freed’s collegiate career came to a triumphant close Friday with an All-American honor and national rankings in the men’s hammer throw and men’s discus competitions at the NCAA Div. II Outdoor Championships.
Freed is the first Hardrocker student athlete ever to earn NCAA Div. II All-American status as well as the first to compete in an NCAA Div. II post-season championship.
The civil engineering major from Staunton, Va., earned All-American status in the men’s hammer throw on Thursday when he finished seventh overall with a toss of 194-feet-5-inches. Freed was also highly competitive in men’s discus and narrowly missed another All-American honor on Friday after taking 11th place with a mark of 169-9.
"Brian is the first Hardrocker to become an NCAA All-American. He has worked very hard at his sport and we're proud of him for his athletic achievements as well as his accomplishments as a young engineer," said Mines President Heather Wilson.
Hardrocker track and field head coach Jerry Schafer knew Freed would excel at the Div. II level and redshirted him two years ago just so he would have this opportunity.
“Brian did a good job and I am very proud of him,” Schafer said. “The discus just didn’t fly right today. He still had a great season and he finishes his college career as an All-American – like I hoped he would. I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Heading into the hammer throw, Freed was nationally ranked 12th and holds the SD Mines school record at 199-0 (2014). In the men’s discus, Freed came in with the No. 1 national ranking at 180-6 and also holds the school record at 184-2 (set in 2013).
“It was such a great honor to work with and coach Brian. Just being at Nationals and competing at this level is a great way for him to finish off his career,” said Hardrocker throwing coach Jim Stephens. “Brian works really hard and has been a great leader for the rest of the team. His work ethic will certainly transfer to what he plans to do next.”
Freed was the only member of the Hardrocker track and field team to qualify for the national meet and had an outstanding outdoor track and field season. Along with being an All-American, Freed also earned All-Region honors earlier in the season for being ranked in the Top 5 of the NCAA Div. II South Central Region. He was first in the discus and fifth in the hammer throw.
The university is in its first full year as an NCAA Div. II member after making the transition from NAIA.
Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,640 students from 45 states and 37 countries, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. The average starting salary for graduates is $62,400 with a 98 percent placement rate. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/sdsmt and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sdsmt.