NEW ORLEANS - Redshirt freshman Logan Wetzel (Saline, Mich.) was named to the All-Academic Team by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) in an announcement on Friday afternoon. Villanova also earned recognition as an All-Academic Team for having a team grade-point average above a 3.0 during the 2016-17 academic year.
Wetzel returned from an injury in January and went on to be the Wildcats top performer during the indoor and outdoor track & field seasons. He is enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and was equally successful in competition as he was on the track. In order to be eligible for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team, a student-athlete must meet the requisite criteria for either the indoor or outdoor seasons.
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 in a relay event. For the outdoor season, a student-athlete must have participated in any round of the NCAA Division I Championships, including the preliminary round.
Wetzel met that criteria for both seasons. He was a member of the Wildcats distance medley relay team which ranked seventh on the qualifying list for the NCAA Championships indoors. He also qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary outdoors in the 1500 meters and advanced to the national quarterfinal round of that event.
The final five months of the 2016-17 collegiate season were ones of redemption for Wetzel, who missed a year of competition while recovering from a knee injury. His first race back from the injury was in late January at the Villanova Invitational, and he went on to be a first team All-American when the Wildcats finished eighth in the distance medley relay at the NCAA meet. Wetzel anchored the DMR with a personal best split of 4:00.76 over 1600 meters at the national championships, and also ran the anchor leg in 4:01.56 at the UCS Invitational in February which punched the team’s ticket to NCAAs. He also helped lead Villanova to BIG EAST titles in both the DMR and the 4x800 meter relay.
Wetzel continues his progress during the outdoor season, when he won the BIG EAST title in the 1500 meters and anchored the Wildcats to another title in the 4x800 relay. Prior to the conference meet, Wetzel recorded a personal best of 3:45.11 in the 1500 meters at the Larry Ellis Invitational. That secured a spot at the NCAA East Preliminary in Lexington, Ky., where he placed fourth overall in the national first round heats with a time of 3:47.60.
Friday’s release of the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team is the latest honor bestowed on the men’s track & field team for the program’s academic success. Among previous individual honors, redshirt freshman Casey Comber (Maple Glen, Pa.) was named to the Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Team and seniors Kolby Koeck (Altoona, Pa.) and PJ Succi (Warminster, Pa.) each graduated cum laude with a GPA above a 3.5. The men’s track & field program was one of 15 teams from Villanova to be publicly cited by the NCAA in May for having a multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) score that ranked in the top 10 percent of the sport nationwide.