July 17, 2009
IOWA CITY, IA -- The University of Iowa women's track and field team has earned academic honors from the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for the fifth straight season. Former Hawkeye A.J. Curtis, senior Hannah Roeder and sophomore McKenzie Melander were all named to the USTFCCCA all-academic individual squads earlier this week.
The Hawkeye women's team is one of 130 Division I women's track and field programs to be recognized as a 2009 USTFCCCA All-Academic team. To be nominated, the team must carry a minimum 3.0 team cumulative grade-point average. The Iowa squad posted a team gpa of 3.235 during the 2009 indoor and outdoor seasons.
"Our goal every year as a team is to position ourselves for all-academic team honors at the conclusion of the spring semester," explained Head Women's Cross Country and Track and Field Coach Layne Anderson. "This honor reflects the commitment at the University of Iowa and within the Athletic Department to our student-athletes and their academic success. The fact that we have earned this honor five consecutive years reinforces the level of commitment placed on academics in the Big Ten Conference and at the University of Iowa."
The selection of the All-Academic Indoor and Outdoor Scholar Teams of the Year award is based on a combination of academic and athletic achievements, with the top honor going to the team that had the combination of best overall finish at the respective Division I Indoor or Outdoor National Championships and cumulative GPA. To be nominated, the team must carry a minimum 3.000 cumulative grade-point average.
Curtis was named to the USTFCCCA Division I men's all-academic team, while Roeder and Melander earned spots on the women's squad. To qualify for the team, a 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 the NCAA Division I Outdoor regional or national qualifying standard in their respective event.
Curtis, who was also named to the USTFCCCA all-academic team in 2006, set the school discus record of 202-11 and is one of four student-athletes in Big Ten history to throw over 200 feet in that event. He qualified for the NCAA Midwest Regional eight times, which is also a school record, earning all-region honors twice. A three-time academic all-Big Ten honoree, he placed second in the discus at the Big Ten Championships in 2007 and 2009 and competed in that event at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials.
Roeder led Iowa in the 3,000-meter steeplechase during the outdoor season, placing eighth at the Big Ten Championships (10:35.26) and 13th at the NCAA Midwest Regional (10:40.85). Her season-best time of 10:35.26 in that event ranks third all-time at Iowa. Roeder earned academic all-Big Ten honors in track, while both she and Melander were members of the 2008 Hawkeye cross country squad that earned USTFCCCA team all-academic honors.
Melander earned all-region honors in the 1,500 meters, and was a NCAA provisional qualifier as part of the team-leading distance medley relay during the indoor season. Her season-best times in the 1,500 meters (4:26.99) and mile (4:51.76) rank ninth and 10th, respectively, all-time at Iowa.
Click HERE for a complete list of honorees.