FRISCO, Texas – Abilene Christian hurler Kai Schmidt and McNeese junior pentathlon competitor Grace McKenzie are the 2019 Southland Conference Indoor Track & Field Student-Athletes of the Year, the league announced Friday. Southland yearly awards are presented by Ready Nutrition.Schmidt claims the award after winning the 2019 Southland Conference indoor shot put title on a toss of 58-11.5, beating out the second-place contestant by a 2-3.5 margin. The ACU graduate student also set the school shot put record at the Texas Tech Shootout in Lubbock, Texas (Feb. 8-9) with a throw of 63-5. At the conclusion of the indoor track & field season, Schmidt was ranked No. 20 in the nation among shot putters.A native of Kerfeld, Germany, Schmidt is pursuing his master’s degree in accounting and currently holds a 3.57 GPA.McKenzie closed out her junior indoor campaign as a NCAA First Team All-American, following several record setting performances. She set a McNeese, Southland Conference and Irish National record at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships (March 8) after registering 4,230 points for an eighth-place pentathlon finish. The junior also set a McNeese program record in that same event with a high jump of 5-8.75 at the NCAA Championships.A nursing major, the Cork, Irland, native also succeeds in the classroom as she maintains a 3.75 GPA.The Southland Conference awards committee, which consists of one administrator from each of the 13 member universities, votes for student-athletes of the year. The Southland Student-Athlete of the Year award is presented to one student-athlete who achieves excellence in both academics and athletics. All nominees must have earned at least a 3.2 GPA on a 4.0 scale and demonstrated athletics achievement for at least two years at the nominating institution. All-Academic teams are named for indoor track & field and outdoor track & field after the conclusion of the outdoor track & field season.