Five Aggie track and field athletes get national honors

Five members of the Utah State men and women’s track and field teams were named to the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) 2010 Division I all-Academic Track and Field team with four Aggie men and one woman earning honors. Both of USU’s teams were also recognized with the all-academic team awards, as the women’s team was tied for 13th in the country overall, while the men were 45th. The Aggie men’s team were one of only two Western Athletic Conference men’s team recognized, along with Idaho, while the USU women were one of five WAC teams, joining Boise State, Fresno State, Hawai’i and Idaho. Utah State’s women team has a combined GPA of 3.43, ranked tied for 13th in the country, while the USU’s men’s team GPA of 3.11 is 45th. Oklahoma’s women led the nation with the highest team cumulative GPA of 3.62, while Quinnipiac was next in line at 3.58. Yale was the top men’s team with a 3.42 GPA, followed by Lipscomb at 3.39. Utah State was one of four schools from the state of Utah to earn both team honors, joined by BYU, Utah Valley and Weber State A total of 73 men’s teams and 151 women’s teams earned the distinction as a result of a cumulative team grade-point average of 3.0 or better. Utah State was one of 66 schools in the country to have its men’s and women’s teams honored. “I’m very proud of both our teams for working so hard athletically and academically and taking care of their business. Our academic services staff does a great job of helping our student-athletes, and our student-athletes respond by working hard in the classroom,” veteran USU head coach Gregg Gensel said. Sophomore distance runner Daniel Howell, freshman sprinter Matt Maughan, junior high jumper Clint Silcock and senior distance runner Steve Strickland represent the USU men’s team to earn individual honors, while senior distance runner Erin Stratton is the lone Aggie women’s team member. “Those five are all great, all-around student-athletes,” Gensel said. “They get their work done both on the competition field and in the classroom, which is what they’re here for. Once they graduate and go out in the world, their career is based on their academic success more than their athletic success. I’m always excited and proud of any award they earn, but even more so for their academic honors.” USU’s five student-athletes were part of 18 WAC individuals, ranking second behind Idaho’s nine, while Boise State had two and Fresno State and Hawai’i both had one. To qualify for the USTFCCCA all-Academic Track and Field Team, the student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 and have met either the NCAA Division I Indoor automatic or provisional qualifying standard or participated in the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships (including preliminary rounds) in their respective event. Howell, a native of Manti, Utah (Manti HS), has a 3.93 GPA majoring in wildlife science. He was 19th at the NCAA West Regional Preliminary round with a career-best time of 8:59.76. Maughan, a Riverton, Utah (Riverton HS), native, has a 4.00 GPA with an undeclared major. He was a leg in USU’s school-record and first-team all-WAC 4x100m relay team that finished 21st at the NCAA West Regional Preliminary Round with a 40.60 time. It was their third-fastest time of the season, behind their school-record time of 40.05. Maughan also ran the 100m, 200m and 400m during the season. Silcock, a native of Moore, Idaho (Butte HS), is majoring in human movement science-exercise science and has a 3.53 GPA. Silcock earned All-American honors after finished ninth overall at the NCAA Outdoor Championships with a height of 2.17m (7-01.50), but was among the top eight American finishers. Silcock adds an outdoor All-American honor to the indoor All-American accolade he earned at the 2009 NCAA Indoor Championships. The 2.17m height is tied for Silcock’s second-best mark of the season and tied for the third-best height of his career. Silcock’s career-best mark is 2.26m (7-05.00), which he did in winning the USU Mark Faldmo Invitational on April 24 and is the No. 2 mark on USU’s Top 10 high jump list. Strickland, an Orem, Utah (Mountain View HS), native, graduated in the spring of 2010 with a 3.47 GPA as a Spanish major and is attending graduate school at Kansas this fall in his pursuit for a doctorate in Latin-American literature. Strickland won three-straight 3,000m steeplechase WAC championships, just the second person in WAC history to do so, part of his six career WAC individual titles. He also is USU’s record holder in the event with a time of 8:42.71. Strickland was a two-time NCAA Regional qualifier in the steeplechase, placing 23rd this season. Stratton, from Aurora, Colo., (Smoky Hill HS), Summa Cum Laude in December of 2009 in exercise science and a minor in psychology with a 3.98 GPA and has a 4.00 GPA in her graduate courses to prepare for her master’s in physician assistant studies. During her USU career, she was a five-time WAC Indoor Champion in the 1,500m (2008), mile (2009), 3,000m (2009) and distance medley (2009, 2010). In all, she earned first-team all-WAC honors a total of 10 times and academic all-WAC honors eight times during her USU career. Stratton was a two-time NCAA Regional participant, qualifying to this season’s preliminary round in the 3,000m steeplechase, finishing 33rd.

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