Tucson, Ariz. – The U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association (USTFCCCA) announced the Scholar Athletes of the Year for the indoor and outdoor season as well as the All-Academic honorees. Combining their accomplishments in the classroom and in competition during the recently completed academic year, 496 men earned USTFCCCA All-Academic honors along with 727 women. The University of Arizona men’s and women’s track and field program had 10 student-athletes earn Academic All-America accolades, including a Scholar Athlete of the Year.
Scholar Athlete of the Year Awards are determined from among those who earned All-Academic status and placed highest in individual events at the NCAA Championships. Those who earn multiple individual championship titles rank higher in the tie-breaking process, and cumulative GPA is weighed as the final tiebreaker to establish a winner. Separate awards are given to track athletes and field athletes for the indoor and outdoor seasons, resulting in four categories.
Senior Lawi Lalang, now an alumnus of Arizona, was named the 2014 Men’s Outdoor Track Scholar Athlete of the Year for the second-straight year. In 2013, Lalang was the indoor and outdoor Track Scholar Athlete of the Year. Lalang, a finalist for The Bowerman for the second-straight year as well, won one NCAA Championship in the outdoor 5K and earned runner-up finishes in three other races. He got second in the indoor mile and 5K as well as the outdoor 1,500 meters.
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 at least one of the following athletic standards:
For the indoor season, a student-athlete must have finished the regular season ranked in the national top 96 in an individual event or ranked in the national top 48 (collective listing) in a relay event on the official NCAA POP list provided by TFRRS.org
For the outdoor season, a student-athlete must have participated in any round of the NCAA Division I Championships (including preliminary rounds).
On the men’s side, freshman Collins Kibet (3.90 GPA, pre-business), redshirt sophomore Harrison Ivie (3.89 GPA, political science), redshirt freshman Aaron Castle (3.76 GPA, natural resources), Lalang (3.40 GPA, public health) and junior Pau Tonnesen (3.40 GPA, bachelor of general studies in economy and industry) all earned All-Academic honors.
For the women’s team, junior Stephanie Bulder (3.97 GPA, molecular and cellular biology), senior/alumnus Alyssa Hasslen (3.83 GPA, retail and consumer sciences), redshirt junior Elvin Kibet (3.81 GPA, public health), redshirt sophomore Kate Penney (3.78 GPA, philosophy) and senior/alumnus Tamara Pridgett (3.68 GPA, communication) each claimed All-Academic accolades.