Lady Demons’ Duma, Jones, Rushford earn Southland All-Academic honors


Three Northwestern State women’s track and field competitors – Tyra Duma, De’Shalyn Jones and Jacqueline Rushford – have earned spots on the 2017 Southland Conference All-Academic Team for their sport.

The conference office announced the team Wednesday. A total of 41 women were named to the squad, some like Jones who were automatic qualifiers for posting at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and won an event at the Southland Indoor or Outdoor championships, others who were voted onto the All-Academic Team by a panel of coaches, academic advisors and sports information personnel from the 13 conference members.

Jones, a junior from Tyler, Texas, and John Tyler High School, has a 3.17 GPA in psychology. She was voted the Southland’s Most Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year and Track Performer of the Year honors after earning the High Point Scorer award for the Southland Outdoor Championships, winning four gold medals and scoring 25 points.

The sprint star won the 100 and 200 meter dash crowns at the Southland Championships, and ran decisive legs on the Lady Demons’ victorious 4×100 and 4×400 relays.

Duma, a sophomore from Winnipeg, Canada, owns a perfect 4.0 GPA in health and exercise science. A long and triple jumper, she finished 12th in the triple jump at both the indoor and outdoor conference championships. She had bests of 38/3 ¼ in the triple and 18-4 ½ in the long jump.

She was one of nine members of the women’s Southland All-Academic Team to record 4.0 GPAs.

Rushford, a junior from DeRidder, has a near-perfect 3.99 GPA in health and exercise science with a concentration in pre-physical therapy. She runs cross country and distance races for NSU. On the track, she competed in the 1500, 3000, 5000 and the 3000 meter steeplechase this spring, finishing 13th in the steeplechase at the Southland Outdoors.

Rushford began the 2016 cross country season as NSU’s top returning runner, but an early ankle injury sidelined her for all but one competition last fall.