Nebert and Platano Receive ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Honors

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Lucas Nebert (Sr., Cincinnati, OH/Wyoming HS) and Chris Platano (So., Myrtle Point, OR/Myrtle Point HS), both distance runners at Willamette University, have been selected First Team ESPN The Magazine College Division Men’s Track and Field and Cross Country Academic All-District VIII for the 2007-08 academic year, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Nebert and Platano were two of just 10 players chosen for the Academic All-District Team.

First Team All-District selections are eligible for the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Team, which will be announced on June 23. The College Division includes players in NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and the NAIA. The Bearcats compete in NCAA Division III and the Northwest Conference.

Lucas NebertNebert also earned ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District honors in 2006-07. Platano was named to the Academic All-District Team for the first time this year.

As a track and field runner, Nebert placed in the top four in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at three consecutive Northwest Conference championship meets. He took second in the NWC in 2007, was third in 2008 and placed fourth in 2006. He ranks ninth on Willamette's all-time list in the steeplechase with a career-best time of 9:25.50.

Nebert claimed three top 12 finishes in the NWC in the 1,500-meter run. He earned sixth place in 2005, took ninth in 2006 and was 11th in 2008.

In cross country, Nebert took sixth place at the NWC Meet in 2007, recorded 13th place in 2006 and was 17th as a freshman in 2004. He earned eighth place in the West Region in 2007 and took 15th in 2006. He competed at the NCAA Division III National Championships in 2006 and 2007, finishing 163rd and 189th, respectively.

Nebert was chosen to receive the J.H. Booth Award this spring. The Booth Award goes to a Willamette senior male student-athlete who best demonstrates outstanding leadership, scholarship and athleticism. He owned a 3.80 cumulative grade point average through the fall of 2007 and was chosen for a Fulbright Scholarship this spring. He graduated from Willamette in May with a double major in Biology and Chemistry.

Chris PlatanoPlatano finished fifth in the 1,500-meter run at the NWC Championships this spring. He also took seventh in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and was 14th in the 5,000-meter run. He placed seventh in the NWC in the steeplechase in 2007.

As a member of the WU cross country team, Platano has participated in two Northwest Conference meets. His top finish was in 2007 when he took 18th place.

Platano was selected for a Kemper Scholarship near the end of his freshman year. The J.S. Kemper Foundation provides scholarships for three years and contributes two stipends for summer internships. Platano is majoring in Economics. He owned a 3.93 GPA at the end of the fall semester in 2007.

Willamette has won seven consecutive NWC championships in men's cross country, while earning six consecutive West Region titles. The Bearcats claimed five consecutive NWC men's track and field titles from 2002 through 2006.

CoSIDA District VIII includes colleges and universities in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and British Columbia. Athletes nominated for the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Team were starters or key reserves with cumulative grade point averages of 3.2 or higher (4.0 scale). Each athlete was at his current college or university for at least one academic year.

2007-08 ESPN The Magazine College Division
Men's Track and Field and Cross Country Academic All-District VIII - Complete List

Lucas Nebert competed at two NCAA Division III national championship meets.

Lucas Nebert competed at two NCAA Division III national championship meets.