Willamette athletes earn First Team ESPN The Magazine academic honors

Willamette University student athletes Chris Platano '10 and Kimber Mattox '12 have been named First Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII for their academic accomplishments.

Platano and Mattox were both named to the College Division track and field/cross country teams and are now eligible for the Academic All-America teams, announced later this month.

In addition, Lydia Marsalli '10 and Jaela Dinsmore '12, also track and cross country athletes, were named to the Second Team.

Platano, an economics major with a 3.94 GPA, earned this same honor for the past two academic years. He was a Kemper Scholar at Willamette and also earned the NCAA Elite 88 Award for having the highest cumulative grade point average among competitors at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in 2009.

Platano helped the Bearcat men earn Northwest Conference team titles in cross country three years in a row, and he won the NWC title in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 2009.

Mattox, who is majoring in exercise science and has a 3.91 GPA, has competed twice at the NCAA championships in track and field, and earned All-America honors by placing sixth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 2009.

Mattox is a two-time conference champion in steeplechase and also won the 1,500-meter run in 2010. In cross country, she placed sixth at the NWC championships last fall. She also was a midfielder on Willamette's women's soccer team.

Learn more about Willamette's track and cross country programs on the Athletics website.