Jayhawks lead Big 12 with 44 Academic All-League honorees
IRVING, Texas –For the second-straight year, the Kansas men’s and women’s track & field teams boasted the most academic honorees in the conference as a total of 44 Kansas student-athletes were named to the 2017 Academic All-Big 12 Men’s and Women’s Track & Field Teams, the league office announced Tuesday. Both men’s and women’s teams led their respective genders, with the KU women boasting a team-record 26 first and second team selections, and the men adding 18 honorees.
Twenty-three Jayhawk women were placed on the first team, led by juniors Hannah Dimmick and Laura Taylor as well as sophomore Emily Downey, who were three of 18 women to claim spots on the league’s academic list with a perfect 4.0 GPA, Dimmick doing so for the third-straight year. In addition to Dimmick, Kansas featured four other women who earned a first team nod for the third-consecutive season, including seniors Malika Baker, Nashia Baker, Grace Pickell and Hannah Richardson. Joining Taylor as a two-time first-team honoree were four other Jayhawks: senior Jennifer Angles, and juniors Courtney Coppinger, Dorie Dalzell and Talia Marquez.
Rounding out the Jayhawk women’s first team selections were seniors Whitney Adams, Grace Morgan and Lydia Saggau, juniors Teri Huslig and Megan Linder and sophomores Riley Cooney, Deanna Dougherty, Morgan Griffiths, Wumi Omare, Alexis Romero, Alaina Schroeder and Caraline Slattery, who were all slatted on the first team for the first time.
On the men’s side, 13 KU student-athletes earned a spot on the first team, which included sophomore Hussain Al Hizam, who achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA en route to his first Academic All-Big 12 selection. Seniors Nick Maestretti joined his fellow pole vaulter on the first team as a three-time first-team honoree. Jayhawks earning a first-team nod for the second time included seniors Kenny Boyer and juniors Nick Giusti, Nick Meyer and Ezekiel Welch. Those who claimed spots on the first team for the first time were senior Jacob Morgan, juniors Nicolai Ceban, Brandon Lombardino and Chris Melgares and sophomores Ivan Henry, Braden Kleinschmidt and Lane Macari.
Rounding out KU’s academic award winners were eight second-team selections, five Kansas men and three Jayhawk women. For the men, seniors Jake Albright and James Hampton, junior Jack McDonald, sophomore Joel Long as well as redshirt freshman Michael Melgares were all named to the second team. For the women, senior Adriana Newell, junior Daria Cook and sophomore Nicole Montgomery also made the second-team list.
Nominated by each institution’s director of student-athlete support services, first-team members consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 or better GPA, and the second team are those who have a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA.
To qualify, student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher either cumulative or the two previous semesters and must have participated in 60 percent of their team’s scheduled contests. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence. Senior student-athletes who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all the criteria except percent of participation are also eligible.
This weekend, the Kansas track & field teams will return to Rock Chalk Park to host the 2017 Big 12 Outdoor Championship May 12-14. Keep track of all the Jayhawk performances by logging on to KUAthletics.com for complete updates and results and follow through Twitter at @KUTrack.
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