Platano, Mattox Earn First Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Honors

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University runners Chris Platano and Kimber Mattox have been named First Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII as selected by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Platano was named to the College Division Men's Track & Field/Cross Country Team and Mattox was named to the College Division Women's Track & Field/Cross Country Team.

WU sprinters Lydia Marsalli and Jaela Dinsmore were chosen Second Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII on the College Division Women's Track & Field/Cross Country Team.

Athletes named First Team Academic All-District are eligible for the ESPN The Magazine College Division Academic All-America Teams. The Academic All-America Men's Team will be released on Tuesday, June 22 and the Academic All-America Women's Team will be released on Thursday, June 24.

Platano (Sr., Myrtle Point, OR/Myrtle Point HS) also was named First Team ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District VIII in 2007-08 and 2008-09. He was a Kemper Scholar at Willamette and recently graduated with a degree in Economics. He received the NCAA Elite 88 Award for the highest cumulative grade point average among competitors at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in 2009 and owned a 3.94 GPA through the fall semester.

Chris Platano

During his career at WU, Platano helped the Bearcat men earn Northwest Conference team titles in cross country in 2006, 2007 and 2009, as well as a second place finish in 2008. He also contributed to Willamette's NWC championship in men's track and field in 2009, plus second place finishes in 2007 and 2010.

Platano won the NWC title in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 2009 in 9:32.33 and placed seventh in the steeplechase three times at the conference meet. He was sixth in the NWC in the 5,000-meter run in 2009 and finished eighth in 2010.

Last fall, he placed 15th in the NWC in cross country and took 20th at the 2009 NCAA Division III West Regional to earn All-West Region honors. He was among Willamette's scoring runners at the NCAA Championships, as WU finished 20th in the team standings.

Kimber Mattox

Mattox (So., Bend, OR/Bend HS/Cornell Univ.) is majoring in Exercise Science and has achieved a 3.91 GPA. She has competed twice at the NCAA Championships in track and field. In 2009, she placed sixth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase to earn All-America honors and was 12th in the 5,000-meter run. This spring, she took ninth place at the NCAA Championships in the steeplechase.

She set Willamette's record in the steeplechase at the NWC Championships in 2009 with a winning time of 10:38.05. In 2009, she also won the NWC title in the 5,000-meter run, placed third in the 1,500-meter run and was chosen NWC Athlete of the Meet. She was named West Region Track Athlete of the Year in 2009.

In 2010, she repeated as the NWC champion in the steeplechase and won the 1,500-meter run. She placed third in the 5,000-meter run.

During cross country, Mattox placed sixth at the NWC Championships this past fall and was 15th at the NCAA West Regional. She earned First Team All-NWC and All-West Region honors. She also was a midfielder on the WU women's soccer team and was chosen Honorable Mention All-NWC.

Lydia Marsalli

Marsalli (Sr., Klamath Falls, OR/Klamath Union HS) graduated this spring with a degree in Psychology. She had a 3.84 GPA through the fall semester. She helped Willamette win NWC track and field team titles all four years.

She earned All-America honors in 2007 on the 4 x 400-meter relay team after helping WU take fifth place in NCAA Division III with a time of 3:47.42. She also competed at the NCAA Championships in the 4 x 400 relay in 2008.

Marsalli participated on 4 x 400-meter relay teams that won three straight NWC championship, helping WU claim victories in 2008, 2009 and 2010. She also won an NWC title on the 4 x 100-meter relay team in 2007. Individually, she placed third twice, fifth once and seventh once in the NWC in the 400-meter dash and was second twice in the 200-meter dash.

Jaela Dinsmore

Dinsmore (So., Hines, OR/Burns HS) is working toward a double major in Latin American Studies and Spanish. She has recorded a 3.98 GPA.

This spring, Dinsmore was a member of WU's 4 x 400-meter relay team that won the NWC title in 4:01.88. She also helped WU win the NWC championship in the 4 x 400-meter relay in 2009 with a time of 4:00.95. In addition, she helped the Bearcats take third place in the NWC in the 4 x 100-meter relay in 2009.

Individually, she placed sixth in the NWC in 2010 in the 100-meter dash and was fourth in the 200-meter dash. In 2009, she finished fourth in the conference in the 200-meter dash and was fifth in the 400-meter dash.

CoSIDA District VIII includes colleges and universities in the western United States. Athletes nominated for the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team were starters or key reserves with cumulative GPAs of 3.3 or higher (4.0 scale). Each athlete was at his or her 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 was named First Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII for the third consecutive year.

Chris Platano was named First Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII for the third consecutive year.