Six Illini Earn USTFCCCA All-Academic Honors
July 24, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Six Illinois men's track and field athletes were named to the 2012 Division I All-Academic Track and Field team, announced on Tuesday by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Senior's Chris DeSilva, Graham Farnsworth, Kyle Engnell, Phil Pompei, Hunter Mickow, and freshman Brandon Stryganek were recognized for their academic and athletic achievements during the indoor and outdoor track and field seasons.
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 either finished the regular season ranked in the national top 96 in an individual event/top 48 in a relay event or participated in the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships (including preliminary rounds) in their respective event.
DeSilva, who finished a bachelor's degree in civil engineering this year, took home the accolade for the second time in his career. The St. Charles, Ill., native competed in the 3,000m steeplechase at the NCAA West Preliminary Round of Championship and finished 22nd overall. The senior also earned Academic All-Big Ten honors for the third consecutive year.
Farnsworth graduated with a degree in English. The recent graduate qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary Round of Championship in the 1,500m for the first time in his career. He also advanced to the finals of the 1,500m at the Big Ten Championships, while setting a new personal-best time in the preliminary round. The Wheaton, Ill., native also earned Academic All-Big Ten for the third year in a row.
Engnell, majoring in civil engineering, turned in a solid season, highlighted by setting the fifth fastest 3,000m steeplechase in school history at the Big Ten Championships. Engnell scored points at the conference meet for the fourth year in a row, placing eighth in the steeplechase this season. The Homer Glenn, Ill., native was also named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Week in April after he was the first collegian to cross the finish line in the 3,000m steeplechase, and was just two seconds off the Olympic 'B' standard.
Pompei, who finished with a broadcast journalism degree, set two times which rank in the top-10 of the Illinois record books. The recent grad ran the fourth fastest 5,000m indoor time at the Husky Invitational while recording the sixth fastest 3,000m indoor time at the Mark Colligan Memorial, finishing second. Pompei competed in the Big Ten Championships indoors and outdoors and was an Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
Mickow, an accountancy major, competed in the 10,000m at the NCAA West Preliminary Round of Championship and placed 30th. The Princeton, Ill., also scored points for the Orange and Blue at the Big Ten Championships, placing sixth in the 10,000m and setting a personal-best time. This marks Mickow's second All-Academic honor by USTFCCCA and has garnered Academic All-Big Ten accolade three times.
Stryangek was part of the 4x100m relay which advanced to the finals of the NCAA Championships and set the third-fastest time in school history. He also ran the second leg of the Big Ten champion 4x100m relay team. Indoors, the freshman scored points for the Orange and Blue at the Big Ten Championships in the 200m and 60m, finishing second and third, respectively.
A total of 431 student-athletes representing 148 institutions were named to the All-Academic Team. The Big Ten topped all conferences with 47 named to the list while the Big 12 ranked second with 45 accolades.