Platano is Chosen Third Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America

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

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Senior distance runner Chris Platano (Myrtle Point, OR/Myrtle Point HS) of Willamette University has been named Third Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America as chosen by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Platano was named to the College Division Men's Track & Field/Cross Country Academic All-America Team.

Platano excelled in the classroom throughout his four years at Willamette. He was a Kemper Scholar, received the NCAA Elite 88 Award for the highest cumulative grade point average among competitors at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships in 2009, and graduated this spring with a bachelor's degree in Economics. He owned a 3.94 GPA through the fall semester.

Earlier this month, he earned recognition as a First Team ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District VIII selection for the third consecutive year.

Athletes eligible for the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America and Academic All-District teams were starters or key reserves with cumulative GPAs of 3.3 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Each athlete was at his current college or university for at least one academic year.

As a runner for the Bearcats, Platano helped Willamette win three Northwest Conference team titles in cross country (2006, 2007, 2009). He also contributed to WU taking second place in the NWC in cross country in 2008.

Platano placed 15th individually in the NWC in cross country during his senior season. Also in 2009, he took 20th place at the NCAA West Regional in cross country and was a scoring runner for the Bearcats as they finished 20th in the team standings at the NCAA Championships one week later.

In track and field, Platano was a contributor as the Bearcats won the NWC championship in 2009. He also helped WU earn second place NWC finishes in 2007 and 2010.

Platano won an individual NWC title in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 2009 with a time of 9:32.33. He also placed seventh in the NWC in the steeplechase three times. He was sixth in the NWC in the 5,000-meter run in 2009 and finished eighth in 2010.

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 has been selected for First Team Academic All-America honors.

Chris Platano has been selected for First Team Academic All-America honors.

Chris Platano helped Willamette place 20th in NCAA Division III in cross country during the 2009 season.

Chris Platano helped Willamette place 20th in NCAA Division III in cross country during the 2009 season.