July 27, 2012
NEW ORLEANS--Villanova student-athletes continually succeed in competition as well as the classroom and the women's track & field team had five members named to the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic Team, as announced by the organization earlier this week. Three runners and two field athletes from the Wildcats received the honor for the combination of their academic and athletic achievements.
Senior middle distance runner Sheila Reid (Newmarket, Ont.), junior middle distance runner Ariann Neutts (Succasunna, N.J.) and freshman distance runner Megan Venables (Laurel Springs, N.J.) were each named to the All-Academic Team along with freshman thrower Jamie Klein (Hawthorne, N.J.) and freshman pole vaulter Alexandra Wasik (Medina, Ohio).
In order to be eligible for the All-Academic Team a student-athlete must meet minimum academic and athletic criteria. The minimum cumulative grade-point average to qualify is 3.25. In competition an athlete must either rank in the top 96 nationally in an individual event during the indoor season or compete in at least one round of the NCAA Championships during the outdoor season.
The USTFCCCA also announced its list of All-Academic teams, which include any team that has a composite GPA of 3.0 or higher. Villanova was named to the list with a team GPA of 3.28 for the 2011-12 academic year.
Reid wrapped up her sensational collegiate career during the outdoor season and led Villanova to a Championship of America victory in the distance medley relay at the Penn Relays. She also repeated as an All-American in the 5000 meters at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships and has been chosen to represent her native Canada in the London Olympics which begin this week.
Some of the top achievements for Reid have come outside of the track, as she completed a double major in English and Communications. This is the third straight year that Reid has been named to the All-Academic Team and she also repeated as a first team Capital One Academic All-America honoree.
Neutts is a Communications major and has earned All-Academic Team honors every year of her collegiate career. She is also a three-time BIG EAST Academic All-Star while being a contributor to the team both indoors and outdoors. This past year Neutts established new personal bests in the 1000 meters and the 1500 meters and advanced to the NCAA East Regional in the 1500 meters outdoors.
The third runner from the Wildcats to earn a spot on the All-Academic Team is Venables, who enjoyed a strong freshman campaign. She made her debut in the 10000 meters at the outdoor BIG EAST Championships and scored team points for Villanova with a sixth place finish. She went on to finish third at the ECAC Championship and qualify for the NCAA East Regional. Venables is enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and will be a BIG EAST Academic All-Star for the first time.
Klein excelled in the javelin for the Wildcats during the outdoor season and won the College section of the event at the Penn Relays. She also came in fourth at the BIG EAST Championships and competed at the NCAA East Regional. She is enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and is also a first time BIG EAST Academic All-Star.
Wasik is part of a large pole vault group for Villanova and quickly established herself this season as a top contributor to the team. She scored team points for the Wildcats at the BIG EAST Championships both indoors and outdoors and was an All-BIG EAST performer during the indoor season. She competed at the NCAA East Regional outdoors and also finished sixth in the Championship section of the pole vault at the Penn Relays. Wasik is enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and earned BIG EAST Academic All-Star honors this year.