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Courtesy: UTSA Athletics

UTSA lands record number of student-athletes on Southland Conference All-Academic team

Courtesy: UTSA Athletics
Release: 11/28/2012
Courtesy UTSA Athletics
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FRISCO — A school-record eight members of the UTSA women's cross country and track & field programs were named to the Southland Conference All-Academic team on Tuesday. The Roadrunners led all league schools with the eight selections.

Seniors Dana Mecke and Courtney Nelson, juniors Katie Bragg and Kayla Pratt and sophomores Alyssa Diaz, Samantha Fish, Nina Herrera and Grace Williamson all were honored for their outstanding work in the classroom.

Mecke earned the honor for the fourth time during her illustrious career, while Bragg, Nelson and Pratt were second-time honorees. Diaz, Fish, Herrera and Williamson earned recognition for the first time.

Mecke (3.60 in graduate biomedical engineering/3.87, earned undergraduate mechanical engineering degree in May 2011) won the 1,500m at the 2012 Southland Outdoor Championships for her second career title in the event. The Bulverde native also placed fourth in the 800m and that helped UTSA finish second in the team standings, which was the program's best finish in 15 years. She broke her school record in the metric mile at April’s Mt. SAC Relays (4:24.33) and also advanced to the 800m quarterfinals at the NCAA Championships Preliminary Rounds. Mecke posted a perfect 4.00 GPA during her spring semester of graduate courses and was named to UTSA’s President’s List. She did not compete during the indoor track & field or cross country seasons because her eligibility already had expired.

Bragg (3.56 in interdisciplinary studies) successfully defended her hammer title at the 2012 Southland Championships with a league-record toss of 189-10 (57.86m). Her performance helped UTSA finish second in the team standings, which was the program's best finish in 15 years, and she qualified for the NCAA Championships Preliminary Rounds. The Peachtree City, Ga., native also won her specialty event three times and finished second at two other meets during the outdoor campaign. Bragg placed fourth in the weight throw at the Southland Indoor. She was named to UTSA’s President’s List (4.00 GPA) after both semesters this past academic year.

Nelson (3.85 GPA in kinesiology) won the Trinity Tigers Relays 3,000-meter steeplechase title, placed third at the Bobcat Classic and was ninth at the Southland Outdoor Championships. The San Antonio native also competed in the mile, 3k and 5,000m during the indoor campaign in addition to participating in eight cross country meets in the fall. She was named to UTSA’s President’s List (4.00 GPA) following the fall semester and was a Dean’s List honoree in the spring.

Pratt (3.66 in communications) posted a sixth-place performance in the 10k at the Southland Outdoor Championships and that helped tghe Roadrunners finish second in the team standings, which was the program's best finish in 15 years. The Del Rio native added a second-place effort at the Cal State L.A. Twilight and also competed in three 5,000m races during the outdoor season. She participated in the mile, 3k and 5,000m during the indoor campaign. Pratt was named to UTSA's Dean’s List following the fall semester and was an honor roll student-athlete in the spring.

Diaz (3.18 in kinesiology) ran the anchor leg on UTSA’s championship distance medley relay at February’s Southland Indoor Championships. The Hereford native also finished fifth in the 3,000 meters at the league’s indoor meet, which gave her a combined six-and-a-half points at the two-day event. She raced to a seventh-place finish in the metric mile at the Southland Outdoor and that helped UTSA finish second in the team standings, which was the program's best finish in 15 years. Diaz earned all-conference accolades at the Southland Cross Country Championships with a ninth-place performance and that helped lead the Roadrunners to their best team finish (second) since 1999. She was named to UTSA’s Dean’s List following the Spring 2012 semester.

Fish (3.87 in mathematics) earned a bronze medal in the 3,000m steeplechase at the Southland Outdoor Championships, as UTSA placed second in the team standings for its best finish in 15 years. The Los Fresnos native competed in the 1,000m, mile, 3k and 5k during the indoor campaign. She placed 15th at the Southland Cross Country Championships and that helped lead the Roadrunners to their best team finish (second) since 1999. Fish was named to UTSA’s President’s List (4.00 GPA) after both semesters of the 2011-12 academic year.

Herrera (3.15 in mechanical engineering) ran the third leg on UTSA’s championship distance medley relay at February’s Southland Indoor Championships and she also placed third in the mile, which gave her a combined nine-and-a-half points at the two-day meet. The El Paso native raced to a fourth-place finish in the 1,500m at the Southland Outdoor and that helped UTSA finish second in the team standings, which was the program's best finish in 15 years. Herrera earned all-conference accolades at the Southland Cross Country Championships with a seventh-place performance and that helped lead the Roadrunners to their best team finish (second) since 1999. She was UTSA’s top finisher at all seven cross country meets last fall, including a 33rd-place showing at the NCAA South Central Regional.

Williamson (3.43 undeclared) ran the second leg on UTSA’s championship distance medley relay at February’s Southland Indoor Championships and she also placed sixth in the 800 meters and eighth in the 1,600m relay, which gave her a combined six points at the two-day meet. The Houston native raced to fifth-place finishes in the 800m and mile relay at the Southland Outdoor and that helped UTSA finish second in the team standings, which was the program's best finish in 15 years. She was named to UTSA’s Honor Roll following both semesters this past academic year.

The all‐academic team is comprised of student‐athletes that competed in cross country, indoor track & field and/or outdoor track & field during the 2011-12 academic season. Student‐athletes earn automatic qualification onto the squad if they maintain a GPA of 3.0 in addition to earning either first‐team all‐conference honors in any of the three seasons and/or a CoSIDA Academic all‐district selection.

The team is voted on by the head coaches, sports information directors and academic counselors from each Southland institution. Student-athletes must possess a 3.0 cumulative GPA, have completed one full academic year at the nominating institution and participated in at least 50 percent of the team’s competition to qualify for the all‐academic squad.

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