SEWARD, Neb. – Two-time NAIA national champion Rachel Battershell has been selected as the Great Plains Athletic Conference’s female nominee for the NAIA’s A.O. Duer Award, as announced by the GPAC on Thursday (July 21). Named in honor of the NAIA's former executive secretary who served the association for 26 years, the A.O. Duer Award has been annually presented since 1967 to a male and female junior student-athlete in any sport who has excelled in scholarship, character and citizenship.
Said Concordia Head Track & Field Coach Matt Beisel, “Rachel is one of the most remarkable humans that I have ever known. She possesses a high intelligence, keen sense of wit, a ravenously curious and inquisitive mind, a tremendous work ethic in both the classroom and the athletic arena, a heart for others and an aptitude for service.”
Battershell, a senior academically and a junior athletically in 2021-22, has been named both Academic All-District and First Team Academic All-America by College Sports Information Directors three times in her career. The native of Wheatland, Wyo., claimed her 10th career All-America award this past outdoor season and is a two-time 400 meter national champion. In addition, Battershell has won eight career individual GPAC titles (five in individual events), owns six school records and was named the 2021 NAIA Midwest Region Women’s Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year. Battershell’s program records are in the indoor 400 meters (54.77), indoor 60 hurdles (8.81), indoor 4x400m relay (3:47.39), outdoor 100 hurdles (14.25), outdoor 4x100m relay (47.66) and outdoor 4x400m relay (3:47.26). Battershell has triple majored in Exercise Science, Chemistry and Biology while maintaining a near spotless cumulative grade-point average of 3.99.
The A.O. Duer Award winner will be announced as part of the NAIA National Awards Day in September. All winners will be recognized as part of the NAIA National Awards Luncheon at the NAIA National Convention in New Orleans, La., March 30 – April 3, 2023.