Nov. 23, 2011
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. – The Pac-12 Conference released its first batch of yearly cross country awards with Shelby Houlihan earning Second-Team All-Conference honors and 12 student-athletes earning All-Academic honors, as announced by conference commissioner Larry Scott on Tuesday afternoon.
Houlihan just missed earning a spot on the first team after posting an eighth-place finish at the Pac-12 Championships in Litchfield Park, Ariz., a month ago. Houlihan was the top freshman in the field at that event and repeated the feat at the 2011 NCAA West Regional Championships in Palo Alto, Calif., where she finished 12th overall.
The youngster out of Sioux City, Iowa, paced the team at every event she competed in this season, including the NCAA Championships on Monday where she finished in the top half of the field in 93rd-place overall.
The Sun Devil cross country program showed why it has always been regarded as one of the elite groups of student-athletes in the conference with the announcement of the All-Academic awards on Tuesday as well.
Happe, a junior who came on strong at the end of the season and paced the Sun Devils in three consecutive events (including earning All-Region honors at the West Regional) earned his second consecutive first-team honor after posting a 4.00 GPA in Finance.
It was also the second consecutive first-team accolade for Schnieders, a scorer at the conference championships and holding a 3.80 GPA in Accounting.
Baker-Slama, a redshirt freshman, was among the team’s top newcomers in 2011 and earned his first academic nod courtesy of a 4.00 GPA in Kinesiology.
Juniors Matt Boughton and Doug Smith earned Second-Team honors, both for the second time, with Boughton holding a 3.64 GPA while double-majoring in Finance and Spanish while Smith has a 3.55 GPA in marketing.
Seniors Cameron Liston and Daniel Lovell, as well as junior Darius Terry, all earned an Honorable Mention on the list – making it so that about eight of the team’s top 10 runners earn recognition on the yearly list.
On the women’s side, Natasa Vulic posted her second cross country All-Academic nod and first First-Team honor courtesy of her 4.00 GPA in both Mechanical Engineering and Sustainability.
The ASU men have now tallied 20 first-team All-Academic conference nods since 2002 while the women have posted 64 total All-Academic awards in that time.
The conference will release the yearly top athlete, top newcomer and top coach awards next week.