Platano Receives All-NWC Scholar-Athlete First Team Honors

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Cross country and track and field runner Chris Platano (Sr., Myrtle Point, OR/Myrtle Point HS) from Willamette University has been chosen for the 2009-10 All-Northwest Conference Scholar-Athlete First Team. One male athlete and one female athlete from each NWC member college or university was chosen for the award.

Platano excelled in the classroom. He achieved a 3.94 cumulative grade point average and graduated this spring with a bachelor's degree in Economics (minor in Politics). He was selected for an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, which provides $7,500 toward graduate school tuition. He is employed by Intel.

While attending Willamette, Platano was a Kemper Scholar. He also received the NCAA Elite 88 Award for the highest cumulative GPA among competitors at the 2009 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships. He earned Third Team ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America honors in 2009-10 and was named First Team ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District VIII three years in a row.

As a cross country runner, Platano helped Willamette claim three Northwest Conference team titles (2006, 2007, 2009) and placed 15th individually in the NWC during his senior season. He took 20th place at the 2009 NCAA West Regional and was a scoring runner for the Bearcats as they finished 20th in the team standings at the 2009 NCAA Championships.

In track and field, Platano contributed to the Bearcats winning the NWC championship in 2009, when he won an individual NWC title in the 3,000-meter steeplechase 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.

Platano qualified for the Willamette Dean's List and the Honor Roll. He participated in the Student Global AIDS Campaign and was a member of Building Bridges, which brings together students at Willamette and Tokyo International University of America to help TIUA students adjust to attending college in the U.S.

Chris Platano received the NCAA Elite 88 Award and was chosen for an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Chris Platano received the NCAA Elite 88 Award and was chosen for an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.