June 26, 2007
Champaign, Ill. - University of Illinois senior distance runner Jason Bill (Buda, Ill./Bureau Valley H.S.) was named to the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America men's track & field/cross country third team on Tuesday. Bill is one of only 45 athletes from around the country honored on the first, second and third teams.
Bill was named to the All-District team earlier in the month. The finalists from each of the eight regions are then placed on the Academic All-America ballot. Members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America committee voted on the final teams.
A community health major with a 3.78 grade-point average, Bill was honored in May as Illinois' Outstanding Male Senior Scholar-Athlete at the annual UI Scholar-Athlete Banquet. He is just the second Illinois men's track/cross country student-athlete to be named an Academic All-American, and is the first in 16 years, joining Aaron Mobarak who was a first team selection in 1991.
Bill recently wrapped-up a stellar career for the Orange and Blue. He was a three-time National meet qualifier in cross country, running at the 2002, 2004 and 2006 NCAA Championships. In track, he ran in the 10,000m at the 2004 NCAA Outdoor Championships, finishing 22nd overall, and was a two-time NCAA Mideast Regional qualifier in the 5,000m (2005 and 2007). Bill will leave Illinois as the fifth fastest performer in school history in both the 5,000m (14:01.08) and 10,000m (29:14.85) runs.
Bill is the second Illinois athlete this year to be named an ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American, joining Lori Bjork of women's basketball, who was also a third team selection. Illinois has now had 77 Academic All-Americans chosen by CoSIDA all-time.