Five Track and Field Eagles Earn USTFCCCA All-Academic Honors

July 26, 2012

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced the men's and women's 2012 Division I All-Academic Track & Field teams this week and Southern Miss had five student-athletes earn All-Academic honors.

In addition, 171 squads were named All-Academic teams for the 2012 track & field seasons and for the third consecutive season, the USM women's team were among the honorees as the team finished with a team GPA of 3.14.

There were a total of 431 student-athletes representing 148 institutions on the men's side and 676 student-athletes representing 171 institutions on the women's side. The group represents collegiate track & field's best in both athletics and academics.

"I am very proud of how our student-athletes have performed in the classroom," head coach Kevin Stephen said. "When I took charge of the track and field and cross country programs my top goal was to improve in the classroom. This year our women's cross country team has the highest GPA of any sport in Conference USA and maybe in the nation at a 3.91. Now our women's track and field team has won its third consecutive All-Academic Team Award with a 3.14 GPA. This is a great day for Southern Miss athletics and I want to thank my staff and Stacy Breazeale and her staff of academic counselors for all their hard work that has contributed to academic successes."

The Golden Eagles included on the list were Richard Collingwood, Robert Collingwood, Dale Dunn, Ganna Demydova and Cara Wells.

Richard Collingwood sports a 3.92 GPA in accounting, while Robert Collingwood owns a 3.68 GPA in accounting as well. Both have appeared on the Commissioner's Honor Roll twice, earned Conference USA All-Academic team honors and members of the College of Beta Business Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society. Richard recorded a season-best throw of 52'8" in the shot put and registered a personal-best and school-record mark of 178'2" in the discus during the outdoor season. He qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds and advanced to the National Championship. He also placed fifth at the C-USA Outdoor Championship in the shot put.

Robert earned All-C-USA second team honors in the shot put at the conference meet when he recorded a personal-best and school-record throw of 59'2". He also repeated the honor during the outdoor championships as he produced a season-best throw of 56'11.5" in the same event. He also qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds.

Dunn, who is working on a MBA in business and has a 3.667 GPA, recorded a personal-best and school record time of 1:50.82 in the 800 meters during the indoor season. He placed fifth at the C-USA Meet with a time of 1:52.53. In addition, he earned second-team All-C-USA accolades in the 800 meters with his second-place finish at the C-USA Outdoor Championship and qualified for the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds while recording a school record time of 1:49.37.

Demydova, a sports management master's major with a 3.60 GPA, earned USTFCCCA First Team All-America honors in triple jump after posting a school and NCAA record jump of 46'7.25". She was named Conference USA Field Athlete of the Year after claiming her first national title. She recorded two of the best marks in the history of Conference USA during the championship to earn first team accolades in the triple jump. She also received Co-Female Performance of the Meet with teammate Tori Bowie. She placed first at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds as she won all four of the competitions she competed in. She will compete in the 2012 London Olympics.

Wells owned a 3.568 in psychology and recorded a personal-best throw of 49'3.50" in the weight throw during the indoor season. She registered a personal-best throw of 156'4" in the discus and placed fifth at the C-USA Championship. She recorded a NCAA East Preliminary Rounds qualifying mark in the discus. Wells also recorded a personal-best mark in the hammer with a throw of 166'1".

To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field Team, the student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 and have met either of the following athletic standards: 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 (collective listing) in a relay event on the official NCAA POP (proof of performance) list provided by; for the outdoor season, a student-athlete must have participated in any round of the NCAA Division I Championships (including preliminary rounds).

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