Five South Carolina Track Athletes Crowned CoSIDA District Academic All-Americans
June 1, 2006
Columbia, SC - Leading all schools in the SEC and ACC with a combined five CoSIDA Track and Field Academic All-American District winners, USC put all five on the second team. The five is the highest number of Carolina track and field athletes on the Academic All-District teams in the school's history in a single year.
On the men's second team were Dan McKenzie and Jason Richardson. On the women's second were Natasha Hastings, Amberly Nesbitt and Shalonda Solomon. Four of the five are sophomores with McKenzie being the lone junior.
"It's kind of stands in line with this group of athletes we have," said USC Head Coach Curtis Frye. "Their expectations are high, on the track and off. In track it's becoming the rule more than it is not. It takes a lot of individual discipline. We are very proud of them. Our team GPA is very high this year and it continues to rise. These athletes are equally as good on the track as they are in the classroom and we are very proud of them for that."
All five were NCAA regional qualifiers and four of the five won or shared in at least one NCAA East region title. All but McKenzie have qualified for the NCAA Championship June 7-10 in Sacramento.
See mini-bios below for information on the five student-athletes.
SOUTH CAROLINA MEN'S DISTRICT ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICANS
Dan McKenzie, Jr., 3.93 GPA, Chemical Engineering Major (Salisbury, Md.) Helped guide men's team to fifth-place finish at 2006 SEC Indoor and Outdoor Championships ... 2006 NCAA regional qualifier in pole vault ... Three-time President's List and Dean's List selection.
Jason Richardson, Soph., 3.77 GPA, Sport and Entertainment Management - Honors College (Cedar Hill, Texas) Two-time All-America ... Won the 110m hurdles at the NCAA East Championship and ran anchor leg of the winning 4x400m relay ... Runner-up in the East Region in the 400m hurdles ... Runner-up in the 110 hurdles and the 400 hurdles at the 2006 SEC Outdoor Championships...Helped lead his team to fifth-place finish... Was second in the 110 at the SEC Indoor Championships, with the team finishing fifth at SECs and 33rd at NCAAs ... Penn Relays champion in the 110m hurdles ... President's List once ... Three-time Dean's List.
SOUTH CAROLINA WOMEN'S DISTRICT ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICANS
Natasha Hastings, Soph., 3.61 GPA,Exercise Science Major - Honor College (Rosedale, N.Y.) Five-time All-American ... 400m runner-up at the NCAA East Region meet ... On the winning 4x100m relay at the NCAA East Region meet .... Will run the 400m and with the 4x1 and 4x4 at the NCAA Championships ... Runner-up in the 400 meters at the 2006 SEC Outdoor Championships ... Ran a leg of the 2006 SEC Champion 4X100 relay team ... Also ran a leg on the bronze winning, 4X400 relay team at the 2006 Outdoor Championships ... Finished 8th in the 400m at the SEC Indoor Championships with team finishing 5th and 10th at NCAA indoor meet ...Was All-American with 4x400m relay at NCAA Indoors ... Dean's List, three-times.
Amberly Nesbitt, Soph., 3.67 GPA, Biology/Pre-med Major (Greenville, S.C.) 3-time All-American ... Ran personal bests in the 100m (2nd place) and 200m (5th place) at the NCAA East Region meet ... Will run the 100m and with the 4x100m relay at the NCAA Championship ... Ran leg of the 2006 SEC Champion 4X100 relay team ... Finished seventh in the 100 and 200 meters, running personal bests ... Helped lead team to third-place finish at 2006 SEC Outdoor Championships...Finished the SEC runner-up in the 60m and 5th in the 200m at the SEC Indoor Championships with team finishing 5th and 10th at NCAA indoor meet...All-American indoors in the 60m ... Dean's list three times.
Shalonda Solomon, Soph., 3.52 GPA, Nursing Major (Inglewood, Calif.) 2-time NCAA champion ... 7-time All-American .,. Won the 100m and 200m at the NCAA East Region meet, setting the school record in both .... Also on the winning 4x100m relay at the region meet ... Will compete in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay and 4x400m relay at the NCAA Championships ... Won the 200 meters at the 2006 SEC Outdoor Championships ... Won the Bronze in the 100m at the SEC meet ... Ran a leg on the 4X100 SEC Champion team ... 2006 SEC Indoor Runner of the Year...Won the 200m at NCAA Indoor Championships ... Team was 10th at NCAA indoor meet ... Was the runner-up in the 200m at the SEC Indoors, finishing fifth in the 60m.