Six Willamette Track and Field Athletes Earn All-Academic Honors

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

NEW ORLEANS, LA. -- Six members of the Willamette University track and field teams have been selected to the 2010-11 NCAA Division III All-Academic Teams as chosen by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) as a result of their academic and athletic success. A total of 528 student-athletes were chosen from throughout NCAA Division III, with 328 student-athletes on the Women's All-Academic Team and 200 student-athletes on the Men's All-Academic Team.

Each All-Academic honoree was recognized for achieving a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 or higher, while earning an NCAA national qualifying standard in one or more events in track and field competition this spring.

Willamette’s All-Academic selections were:

Kimber Mattox (Jr., Bend, OR/Bend HS/Cornell Univ.), Exercise Science
Evin Colignon (Sr., Poulsbo, WA/Charles Wright Academy), Economics
Steven Collins (Sr., Zillah, WA/Zillah HS), Rhetoric and Media Studies/Management
Ben Donovan (Jr., Minneapolis, MN/South HS), Physics
David Oppat (Sr., Beaverton, OR/Southridge HS), Economics
Stefan Redfield (Sr., Sisters, OR/Sisters HS), Rhetoric and Media Studies

Mattox, Colignon, Donovan and Redfield were repeat selections who also earned All-Academic honors in 2009-10. In addition, Mattox and Colignon were named All-Academic in 2008-09.

Mattox ('11) took second place in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2011 NCAA Championships to achieve All-America recognition. She also placed ninth in NCAA Division III in the 5,000-meter run. Mattox qualified for the NCAA Championships in three events, with automatic qualifying times of 10:23.34 in the steeplechase and 4:28.11 in the 1,500-meter run, plus a provisional qualifying time of 17:10.28 in the 5,000. She did not compete at the NCAA Championships in the 1,500.

In the steeplechase, Mattox's qualifying time set a Willamette record and was the seventh fastest time ever recorded by an NCAA Division III athlete. She also set a WU record with her top time in the 1,500. At the conclusion of the season, Mattox was named West Region Women's Track Athlete of the Year for the second time in three seasons. She previously received the award in 2009.

Colignon ('11) earned All-America honors in the decathlon by finishing fifth at the NCAA Championships with a personal record score of 6,614. He reached the NCAA Championships with a provisional qualifying score of 6,419 at the Northwest Conference Multi-Event Championships while claiming the NWC title. Colignon also competed in the decathlon at the NCAA Championships in 2010, where he took 13th place.

Collins ('11) achieved a provisional qualifying mark in the men's hammer throw. His top distance in the hammer was 179'8" for a new personal record.

Donovan attained a provisional qualifying result and a personal record time of 9:16.48 in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Oppat ('11) competed at the NCAA Championships and took 18th in the men's shot put. His top provisional qualifying throw was 53'3.75", which set a personal record.

Redfield ('11) was selected for the NCAA Championships in the men's 1,500-meter run and went on to finish in 13th place. His provisional qualifying time was a personal record of 3:50.07. Redfield also recorded a provisional qualifying time of 14:42.72 in the 5,000-meter run, but did not advance to the NCAA Championships in that event.

USTFCCCA Scholar-Athletes of the Year

The USTFCCCA also announced its selections for the Scholar-Athletes of the Year. The winner in each category was the All-Academic athlete who placed highest in individual events at the 2011 NCAA Division III Championships. Athletes earning more than one national championship ranked the highest.

Jennifer Gossels of Williams College (Mass.) was named NCAA Division III Women’s Outdoor Track Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Gossels, a sophomore majoring in Mathematics and Computer Science, owned a 4.00 cumulative GPA. She won NCAA championships in the 5,000-meter run and the 10,000-meter run.

Kelly Lovett from Carleton College (Minn.) was chosen as the NCAA Division III Women's Outdoor Field Scholar Athlete of the Year. Lovett, a senior with a 3.80 GPA and a major in Political Science, won this year's NCAA title in the javelin.

Alden Black from Washington University (Mo.) was selected NCAA Division III Men’s Track Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Black, a senior, achieved a 3.50 GPA while majoring in Aerospace Engineering. He finished in second place in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA Championships.

Peter Geraghty from North Central College (Ill.) was named NCAA Division III Men's Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Geraghty, a sophomore, has a 3.32 GPA and is majoring in Physical Education. This spring, he was the national champion in the pole vault.

Kimber Mattox earned All-Academic honors from the USTFCCCA for the third consecutive season.

Kimber Mattox earned All-Academic honors from the USTFCCCA for the third consecutive season.