August 23, 2005

Men's & Women's Track & Field Programs Awarded Academic All-American

Aug. 23, 2005

Capping off what was an exciting and truly historical season for the Gauchos, the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced that both the men's and women's teams were named 2005 All-Academic teams along with four UCSB individuals. As a team, the Gauchos needed to maintain a 3.00 GPA to be honored while an individual not only had to have a 3.25 GPA but also be a NCAA Regional Qualifier in 2005.

The Women were one of fifty-one teams in NCAA Division I Track & Field to be honored with a GPA of 3.128. Of these teams only three others from the West Region ranked higher - Brigham Young University, Stanford University and Washington State. Both the Men's & Women's teams were the only UC programs to make the list.

The Men's team were one of twenty-one NCAA Division I squads to make the list with a team GPA of 3.003. The Gaucho men were the only Big West program to achieve this mark as well as one of only three teams from the West Region to be honored; the others from the West being Stanford University and Brigham Young University.

Individually, one male and three female Gauchos were named to the All-Academic team. For the women, the highest ranked of the three, Megan Lewis (So.) a 5000m Regional qualifier holds a GPA of 3.75 in Psychology. Lewis broke out in 2005 running a personal best of 16:49.75 for 5000m as well racing to the 10,000m Big West Championship title.

Cosette Smith (Sr.) maintained a 3.45 in her career at UCSB as a Psychology major, French minor and Exercise & Health Science minor. In '05 she qualified for Regionals in both the 1500m and 5000m. Choosing to race the 5K she would go onto to qualify for the NCAA Championships and race her way into the finals with the second fastest UCSB all-time mark of 16:18.75. Smith was a five-time All-Conference track athlete, winning the 10K in 2004 and the 5K in 2005.

Amy Haapanen (Jr.) was the third female for UCSB to be awarded with All-Academic in 2005. With a 3.33 GPA in Global Studies she also went on to qualify for Regionals in the Shot Put, Discus and Hammer Throw. Her Hammer performance in 2005 also qualified her for the NCAA National Championships as well as winning her the Big West title. Amy is the school record holder in all three throws, as well as the Big West Conference record holder in the Hammer at 196-01.75 feet.

On the men's side Sean Thomas-Bignami an NCAA Regional qualifier and Big West Champion in the Pole Vault, he has maintained a 3.78 GPA in Marine Biology. Thomas-Bignami had a personal best in 2005 vaulting 16'06.75.

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