SAN ANTONIO —
UTSA redshirt junior Dana Mecke was tabbed the Capital One Bank/Southland Conference Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Student-Athlete of the Year and senior Jessica Jones and sophomores Courtney Nelson and Kayla Pratt were named to the Southland's Cross Country/Track & Field All-Academic Team, the league office announced on Monday.
The Roadrunners had the second-most student-athletes of any school on the 28-member academic squad, which was voted upon by the league’s head coaches, academic advisors and sports information directors. Stephen F. Austin placed a Southland-best nine on the team. To qualify, a student-athlete must have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher and have participated in 50 percent of the team’s events.
This marks the fourth career Southland Student-Athlete of the Year award for Mecke, a Smithson Valley High product who carries a 3.88 gpa in mechanical engineering. She earned her second consecutive Southland Women’s Indoor Student-Athlete of the Year honor in March and also was named the 2008 Southland Women’s Cross Country Student-Athlete of the Year. Mecke joins Bryan Wolfe as UTSA’s only four-time Student-Athlete of the Year and ranks second in league annals behind five-time honoree Shadrack Songok of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. She also has collected four all-academic team certificates, three in cross country/track & field and one in volleyball (2007).
Mecke, a three-time first-team ESPN The Magazine
Academic All-District VI selection who is on the All-America ballot this season, wrapped up her redshirt junior outdoor campaign in May. She advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Championships in the 800 meters, posting her third straight personal record in the half-mile with a 17th-place time of 2:07.44 that moved her into the No. 2 position on UTSA’s all-time performers list. Mecke owns UTSA records in the 1,500m (4:25.38) and mile (4:49.82).
She swept the 800m and 1,500m at the conference meet last month, racing to a 4:30.57 clocking to take top honors in the metric mile and stopping the clock in 2:08.36 to win the 800m less than an hour later. It marked the second middle distance sweep of the year for the Bulverde native, as she won the 800m and mile for the second consecutive season at the Southland Indoor in February, becoming the first league athlete to win those two events in back-to-back years. She also joined Therese Ahlepil of UT Arlington (1997) as the only Southland runner to win both middle distance races at both conference meets in the same season.
Jones joined Mecke as a three-time member of the league’s all-academic cross country/track & field roster. The Fresno native raced to her third consecutive Southland Outdoor 100m hurdles crown in May, skimming the barriers in a personal-best time of 13.51. She joined former UTSA All-American Ryanne Dupree as the league’s only three-time winner in the event. Jones, a Hightower High product who owns a 3.12 gpa in business management, also won two straight conference titles in the indoor 60m hurdles, including a personal-best 8.48 clocking in February which ranks her second on the school’s all-time performers list. A two-time NCAA Midwest Region qualifier, she concluded her Roadrunners career last month by finishing 16th in the quarterfinal round of the 100m hurdles at the NCAA Championships.
Nelson, a San Antonio native who boasts a 3.93 gpa in kinesiology, was honored for the first time. The Reagan High product finished seventh in the 3,000m steeplechase at the Southland Outdoor last month, clocking a personal-best 11:25.90 to move her into second place on the school’s all-time performers chart. Nelson registered a pair of top-10 finishes during the 2009 cross country campaign, including a seventh-place effort at the Trinity Opener.
Pratt, a Comstock High graduate who carries a 3.69 gpa in communications, also picked up her first all-academic team nod. The Del Rio native was the league runner-up at the 2009 Southland Cross Country Championships, covering the 6k loop in a time of 20:51. Pratt tallied 12.5 points at the conference indoor meet in February, as she won the 5,000m in a personal-best 17:17.76 and anchored the distance medley relay to gold for the second straight year in 12:12.29. A 2009 USATF Junior All-American, she earned Southland Athlete of the Week honors in February after initially breaking a 14-year-old school standard in the 5,000m with a winning time of 17:23.21 at the New Balance Invitational in New York City.
2009-10 Southland Conference Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field All-Academic Team
Kaitlyn Andrews, Stephen F. Austin
Danielle Burchette, Stephen F. Austin
Tinette Burger, McNeese State
Leslie Bourgeois, Nicholls
Heather Bullin, Texas State
Brittany Culbertson, UT Arlington
Katie Evans, Texas State
Jessica Fisher, Sam Houston State
Perri Ford, UT Arlington
Stephanie Ganter, Stephen F. Austin
Carrie Hahn, Stephen F. Austin
Jessica Jones, UTSA
Lauren Jones, Nicholls
Dorcus Kapkai, Southeastern Louisiana
Laura Kerr, McNeese State
Frednisha Marshall, Stephen F. Austin
Jennifer Mathews, Texas State
Dana Mecke, UTSA^
Courtney Nelson, UTSA
Kayla Pratt, UTSA
Trecey Rew, Northwestern State
Anne Ronoh, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Lacey Sanchez, Southeastern Louisiana
Amy Shackelford, Stephen F. Austin
Megan Turner, UT Arlington
Macy Wade, Stephen F. Austin
Lauren Watts, Stephen F. Austin
Randi Wymer, Stephen F. Austin
^ Capital One Bank/Southland Conference Student-Athlete of the Year