Jacob Smith-Burlington ND-UNI

Panther’s Smith-First Team All-American

Jacob Smith-Burlington ND-UNI ©DarrenMiller/hawkeyesports.com

Jacob Smith-Burlington ND-UNI

UNI track and field’s Jacob Smith earned First Team All-American honors with a sixth-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles in a time of 50.60 seconds.

Courtesy Panthers Athletics, click here! Feature photo:Jacob Smith-Burlington ND-UNI©DarrenMiller/hawkeyesports.com 

“I could not be more proud of what Jacob has accomplished this year,” said head coach Dave Paulsen. “He’s as hard of worker and as tough of a competitor as I’ve ever coached.”

Smith, a sophomore, earned the 22nd Division I Outdoor All-American honor for the men’s track and field program since UNI moved up from Division II in 1979.

“Earning First Team All-American honors is one of the most difficult achievements in all of Division I athletics, and for him to earn that as a sophomore speaks volumes about his drive for excellence,” Paulsen said.

He was the first finalist to represent UNI track and field in the finals of the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships since Joey Woody won the title 1997. Woody continues to hold the school record (48.18), while Smith has the second-best time in UNI school history.

“Finishing sixth at the NCAA championships shows other athletes in our program as well as everyone in the country that you can achieve the highest level of success at Northern Iowa,” Paulsen said.

Smith guaranteed himself first team All-American honors with a time of 50.85 seconds in the semifinals Wednesday. His career best came at the West Preliminary Rounds in Sacramento, Calif., in a time of 50.13

Smith was seeded No. 10 among the 24 competitors at Eugene, Oregon. He was seeded eighth heading into today’s final round.

Prior to Smith, UNI’s last first team All-American honors were earned by Tyler Mulder, who took third in the 800-meter run in 2009.

Smith is a sophomore from Burlington, Iowa. He graduated from Notre Dame High School.

The finalist field is made up of three seniors, two juniors, two sophomores and one freshman. 400-meter hurdle finalists:

  1. Rai Benjamin, USC (junior), 47.02 (FR, MR, CR)a
  2. Kenny Selmon, North Carolina (senior), 48.12
  3. David Kendziera, Illinois (senior), 48.42
  4. Kemar Mowatt, Arkansas (senior), 48.83
  5. Taylor McLaughlin, Michigan (junior), 49.59
  6. Jacob Smith, UNI (sophomore), 50.60
  7. Maksims Sincukovs, Arizona (freshman), 50.63
  8. Infinite Tucker, Texas A&M (sophomore), 50.76