Summit League Announces Cross Country Academic All-League Teams
ELMHURST, Ill. – With the conclusion of the 2012 Summit League Cross Country Championships, the league has announced its Cross Country Academic All-League Teams as voted on by the nine institution's faculty athletics representatives and sports information directors. A combined 16 student-athletes, nine men and seven women, were named to the two teams and honored for their combined athletic and academic performances this season.
IUPUI, Kansas City and Western Illinois tied for a league-best two selections on the men's team. Representing the Jaguars were J.D. Smith and Austin Young. Smith, a medical engineering major with a 3.52 GPA, was named to the all-league second team after finishing ninth (25:59.3) at the championships. Young ran a season-best 26:24 8k at the Notre Dame Invitational and is a finance major with a 3.73 GPA. The Kangaroo duo was made up of Cosmas Ayabei and Alex Nail. Ayabei, a nursing major with a 3.59 GPA, was an all-league first team selection after a fourth-place (25:25.2) finish at the championships and was named Athlete of the Week twice this season. Nail is a biology major with a perfect 4.00 GPA and a season-best 8k time 26:34. Receiving honors for the Leathernecks were Andrew Hood and Chase Marlow. Hood is a pre-law enforcement and justice administrative major with a 3.77 GPA, who posted a personal-best 8k time of 27:59. Marlow, an accountancy/pre-business conditional accounting major with a 3.49 GPA, finished 14th (26:24.8) at the championships and earned all-league second team honors.
Rounding out the men's team were North Dakota State's Brett Kelly, South Dakota's Jeff Mettler and South Dakota State's Drew Kraft. Kelly holds a 3.56 GPA in biochemistry and molecular biology/chemistry and recorded a season-best 8k time of 26:11.8. Mettler, a kinesiology and sport science major and an Athlete of the Week selection this season, boasts a perfect 4.0 GPA and finished second (25:10.6) at the championships, earning all-league first team honors. Kraft ran a season-best 8k time of 26:05.95 and is an agricultural economics and mathematics major with a 3.84 GPA.
On the women's team, Western Illinois led the way with three honorees in Mackenzie Gray, Chelsea Lynes and Alycia Thurston. Gray, a chemistry major with a perfect 4.0 GPA, posted a season-best 23:37 6k time, while Lynes an exercise science major with a 3.97 GPA, recorded a 6k time of 22:48. Thurston holds a 3.68 GPA in interdisciplinary studies and earned all-league second team honors after a ninth-place (22:39.8) finish at the championships. IUPUI was represented by pair of runners in Rebecca Downs and Kaci Verkamp. Downs is an English major with a 3.95 GPA and recorded a season-best 6k time of 22:19, while Verkamp has a 3.98 GPA in exercise science and posted a season-best 6k time of 22:24.
North Dakota State's Abbi Aspengren and Oakland's Brittni Hutton rounded out the women's squad. Aspengren, a nursing and Spanish double major, has a perfect 4.00 GPA and helped lead the Bison their second-straight first-place team finish at the championships, finishing eighth (22:32.4) and earning all-league second team honorees. Hutton, the 2012 individual league champion (21:49.8), the Championship MVP and a three-time Athlete of the Week selection this season, is a communications major with a 3.48 GPA and posted a season-best 6k time of 21:09.
To be eligible for the Academic All-League team, a student-athlete must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.30 (on a 4.0 scale), completed at least one full academic year at the current institution and participated in 50 percent of their team's competitions. The cross country all-league teams are made up of the five student-athletes receiving the most votes with all ties standing.
Cross Country Academic All-League Teams
Cosmas Ayabei, Kansas City
Andrew Hood, Western Illinois
Brett Kelly, North Dakota State
Drew Kraft, South Dakota State
Chase Marlow, Western Illinois
Jeff Mettler, South Dakota
Alex Nail, Kansas City
J.D. Smith, IUPUI
Austin Young, IUPUI
Abbi Aspengren, North Dakota State
Rebecca Downs, IUPUI
Mackenzie Gray, Western Illinois
Brittni Hutton, Oakland
Chelsea Lynes, Western Illinois
Alycia Thurston, Western Illinois
Kaci Verkamp, IUPUI
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Entering its fourth decade of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of over 144,000 at nine universities, four of which are located in top 58 U.S. metro populations (Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City and Omaha). Member institutions include: Fort Wayne (Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne), IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis), Kansas City (University of Missouri-Kansas City), Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), North Dakota State University, Oakland University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced 54 All-Americans, 37 Academic All-America selections and seven NCAA Championships. For more information about the league and its history, visit www.thesummitleague.org to "See The Summit" or follow on Twitter @thesummitleague.