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Whitmer grad vaults into stardom on track, in class at Dayton

Courtney-Siebenaller

Whitmer grad Courtney Siebenaller succeeds on the track and in the classroom at Dayton.

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Courtney Siebenaller soars like no other on the University of Dayton women's track team.

The former Whitmer High track and field standout has continued to thrive at the collegiate level.

Not only in track and field, but also in the classroom: She's an Atlantic 10 indoor track and field champion and an A-10 Commissioner's Honor Roll student athlete.

She recently collected her second A-10 indoor pole vault title in three years by clearing a height of 12-1 1/2. She earned the A-10 conference honor student-athlete status by having at least a grade point average of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

Siebenaller is one of 21 Flyers women's track team members to recently receive such recognition.

Leading a balanced life is the key to thriving in the classroom and in the athletic arena.

"It's a lot of time management and making sure you're on top of things," said Siebenaller, who earned a 3.9 grade point average for the fall semester and has a 3.3 overall GPA. "It's basically just managing my time."

Other Flyers student-athletes from northwest Ohio to recently be named to the A-10 honor roll include Patrice Lalor (Notre Dame, basketball), Haley Murrell (Notre Dame, rowing), Kelly O'Connell (St. Ursula, tennis), Meghan Scharer (Clay, soccer), Sierra Schmitt (Whitmer, rowing), Olivia Ullery (Notre Dame, rowing), Chris Lemon (St. John's, cross country), Matt Lemon (St. John's, cross country), and Stephen Mackell (Findlay, cross country),

"The commitment from each of these student-athletes in pursuing excellence in the classroom and during competition is a great representation of their institution and the Atlantic 10 Conference," said A-10 commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade, in a statement.

Siebenaller's collegiate career took off on a high note right from the start.

She set the Flyers pole vault record six times during her freshman season, including a personal-record effort of 13 feet, 1/4 inch.

She also claimed the A-10 indoor title by clearing 12-11 1/2, which shattered the previous meet record by 5 1/2 inches.

Her freshman year also included winning the conference outdoor championship in the pole vault with a height of 12-3 1/2.

However, she's still looking to qualify for the NCAA championship meet before her career comes to a close.

"It's been a lot more competition than in high school and that's good because I like it," she said.

Siebenaller has also showed her versatility by competing in sprint and hurdles events for the Flyers program. She is working on running the 400 hurdles more this spring than in previous years.

"It's fun to get back to the hurdles," she said.

However, soaring through the air as a pole vault competitor is her strong suit.

Siebenaller showed promise long before arriving in Dayton.

She was an Ohio high school Division I state qualifier in track and field during her stellar four-year high school career at Whitmer.

She earned All-City, All-District and All-Regional honors in track between 2005-07 while excelling in hurdles and the pole vault event for the Panthers girls team.

Contact Donald Emmons at: demmons@theblade.com or 419-724-6302.

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