KEARNEY — University of Nebraska at Kearney seniors Jacob Bartling and Ellie McDonnell are finalists for the MIAA’s Ken B. Jones Award.

The award, in its 26th year, is named in honor of the MIAA’s first full-time commissioner. Jones retired in 1997 after 16 years as commissioner and passed away in May 2004.

The 10 finalists will be invited to Kansas City for the MIAA Awards Ceremony June 3 at the Truman Forum in the Kansas City Public Library’s Plaza Branch where the award will be presented.

Bartling heads to the NCAA Outdoor Championships this weekend to compete in the shot put and discus. He was a second-team All-American during in the indoor season in the shot. He won the indoor league title in the event to a career-best toss of 60 feet, 6 inches. Having a 3.59 GPA in exercise science, the former Loper football player and two-time All-American in the shot now has qualified for five NCAA meets.

McDonnell was a 2018 All-American by two different outlets and set new UNK records for digs in a career (2,391) and season (747). A four-year starting libero, she was a rare four-time All-MIAA pick who maintains a 3.84 GPA as a recreation outdoor event management major.

The other male finalists are Landon Nault (Emporia State football), Brandon Ball (Fort Hays State wrestling), Grant Olsson (Lincoln basketball) and Levi Wyrick (Pittsburg State football and track and field).

The other women’s finalists are Kylie Hohlen (Central Missouri volleyball), Brianna Schmitz (Emporia State track and field), Renea Ambersley (Lincoln track and field) and Shi Qing Ong (Missouri Western State golf).

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