Platano and Lackman Receive ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Recognition

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University student-athletes Chris Platano (Jr., Myrtle Point, OR/Myrtle Point HS) and Drew Lackman (Sr., Gig Harbor, WA/Gib Harbor HS) have been named First Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII on the College Division Men's Cross Country and Track and Field Team, as selected by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Athletes named First Team All-District are eligible for the ESPN The Magazine College Division Academic All-America Team. The list of All-America selections is scheduled to be released on Thursday, June 18.

Platano also was named First Team ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District in 2007-08. He is majoring in Economics and owned a 3.93 cumulative grade point average through the Fall 2008 semester. He is a Kemper Scholar.

This spring, Platano won the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Northwest Conference Championships with a personal-best time of 9:32.33. He also placed sixth in the 5,000-meter run and helped Willamette achieve its sixth NWC men's team title in the past eight years. Previously, he finished seventh in the steeplechase at the NWC Meet in 2007 and 2008.

In cross country, Platano placed 18th at the NWC Championships in 2007. He was 20th in the NWC in 2008. Willamette won the NWC men's cross country title in 2007 and took second place in the team standings in 2008.

Lackman achieved two NWC individual titles in track and field this spring, as he won the 110-meter hurdles in 15.36 seconds and claimed first place in the 400-meter hurdles in 55.98 seconds. He graduated from Willamette in May with a major in Economics. He held a 3.58 GPA through the Fall 2008 semester.

He recorded an NCAA Division III provisional qualifying mark of 54.13 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles this year. It was his career-best time and moved him into seventh on WU's all-time Top 10 list.

Lackman ran the third leg of Willamette's 4 x 400-meter relay team that finished third in the NWC in 2007 and 2009. He placed second in the NWC in the 110-meter hurdles in in 2007, was fourth in 2008 and took eighth in 2006. He also registered a fourth place finish in the NWC in the 400-meter hurdles in 2008 and was sixth in 2007.

CoSIDA District VIII includes colleges and universities in the western United States. Players nominated for the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team were starters or key reserves with cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher (4.0 scale). Each athlete was at his current college or university for at least one academic year.

The College Division includes athletes in NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and the NAIA. Willamette is a member of NCAA Division III and competes in the Northwest Conference.

Chris Platano won the 2009 Northwest Conference championship in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Chris Platano won the 2009 Northwest Conference championship in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Drew Lackman was the NWC champion this spring in the 110-meter hurdles and 400-meter hurdles.

Drew Lackman was the NWC champion this spring in the 110-meter hurdles and 400-meter hurdles.