Aug. 4, 2010
NEW ORLEANS--The U.S. Track and Field & Cross Country Coaches Association announced its list of Scholar-Athletes for the 2009-10 academic year this week and Villanova had six student-athletes chosen to the list.
In addition to the individual recognition, the entire team also earned All-Academic Team status from the USTFCCCA. The Wildcats posted a team GPA of 3.31 for the year, well above the 3.0 threshold required for All-Academic Team status. The BIG EAST Conference had the highest number of programs qualify for the award, with 12 different teams included among the 151 total All-Academic Team honorees. No other conference had more than eight teams make the cut.
Individually, recently graduated seniors Nicole Schappert (Delray Beach, Fla.) and Kaitlyn Tallman (Mindemoya, Ontario), rising seniors Ashlyn Llerandi (Ridgewood, N.J.), Sheila Reid (Newmarket, Ontario) and Ali Smith (Columbia, Md.) and rising sophomore Ariann Neutts (Succasunna, N.J.) each were named Scholar-Athletes for their combined success in competition and in the classroom.
To qualify as a USTFCCCA Scholar-Athlete, 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 have participated in the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships (including preliminary rounds) in their respective event.
The recognition of six team members as Scholar-Athletes is just the latest academic honor bestowed on the Wildcats indoor and outdoor teams. In an updated release of NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) data last month, Villanova's multi-year scores for both the indoor and outdoor teams ranked among the top 10 percent in the entire nation within their respective sport.
Once again over the past year, the Wildcat student-athletes combined equally impressive accomplishments from an academic standpoint with a great deal of success in competition. During the indoor season, Villanova had six different athletes compete at the NCAA Championships, while five team members advanced to the NCAA Championships in the outdoor season.
Schappert was not only among the six Scholar-Athletes named from the Wildcats, she also is the recipient of an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. She graduated from Villanova in May with a 3.94 GPA as a Marketing major and was voted the female recipient of the Senior Student-Athlete of the Year Award at the Wildcats end-of-year senior student-athlete banquet.
Competitively, Schappert was an All-American during the indoor season with a sixth-place finish in the 3,000 meter run. She also competed in the outdoor NCAA East Regional and advanced to the semifinals in the 1,500 meters.
Tallman competed in the 5,000 meter run at the NCAA East Regional during the outdoor season to become eligible for Scholar-Athlete honors. She graduated from Villanova as a Human Services major and her success on the track wrapped up a great senior season. During the fall, Tallman and Schappert were both named to the Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Cross Country Team, which takes into account both athletic and academic accomplishments.
Llerandi qualified for the NCAA East Regional for the first time in her career this spring to cap off a great year. During the outdoor season, she won four different competitions on the way to the NCAA regional meet. Indoors, she established a new personal best with a mark of 4.11 meters at the ECAC Championship. Llerandi is a Psychology major and enters her senior year at Villanova carrying a 3.4 GPA.
Reid earned three All-America honors for track, including two indoors and one outdoors. She placed third at the NCAA Championships in the indoor 3,000 meters and ran a leg on the Wildcats fourth-place DMR team. At the outdoor NCAA Championships, Reid came in fourth place in the 1,500 meters. Reid is an English major and owns a 3.2 GPA entering her senior year at Villanova.
Smith also enjoyed success both indoors and outdoors last season. She qualified for the indoor NCAA Championships for the first time in her career and placed 16th in the 3,000 meters. Outdoors, she competed in the steeplechase for the first time and advanced to run the event at the NCAA East Regional. Smith has a 3.4 GPA entering her senior year as a Communications major for the Wildcats.
Neutts made a successful collegiate debut in 2009-10 and during the indoor season ran a strong 800 meter leg to help Villanova's DMR squad finish fourth at the NCAA Championships and garner All-America recognition. Neutts is an undeclared major in Villanova's School of Liberal Arts and currently sports a 3.4 cumulative grade point average.