The South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame is dedicated to the preservation, documentation and display of South Dakota's sports history.

Jeffrey Turning Heart - Inducted 2023

Jeffrey Turning Heart was one of South Dakota's greatest distance runners in state history, a 1980 Cheyenne-Eagle Butte High School graduate, and a 1984 Adams State (Alamosa, CO) graduate.

Turning Heart was a two-time State A cross country champion (1978-79, he had better times than AA winners) with one runner-up finish and helped CEB win a couple of team championships and runner-up finishes. In 1978, he won the Native American cross country national championship. In 1980, he was a high school All-American as his 1,600-meter time was the sixth fastest in the nation. In track, he was a state champion at 1,600 and 3,200 meters. Many of his state records are still among the best of all time. Turning Heart won 120 races in high school and has an amazing 260 wins in his career as a runner.

He ran for Adams State, one of the nation's best track & field and cross country colleges, being named team MVP in 1983. In 1984, his bid to qualify for the USA Olympic Team Trials in the 10,000 meters failed by 10 seconds. Turning Heart has proven himself to be a dominant and joyful runner without limits as he has competed in 500-mile Native American spiritual runs in California and in his Black Hills’ “Sacred Hoop” 500-Mile Run. He has served as a motivational speaker, “He runs for Jesus,” and has worked as a school resource officer at different South Dakota tribal schools for about 20 years. He is still a runner, and as a coach, volunteer, and long-time referee, Turning Heart has worked with and helped hundreds of students develop their potential.

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