Neuenswander, Sherrill, Blanchard, Pease Named Academic All-America
June 23, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Four Hoosier women have been named Academic All-America in track and field, marking the first time in IU history that four athletes from the same sport have garnered the honor in the same season. The College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) has announced the 2011 Capital One Academic All-America women's track and field/cross country teams, with Vera Neuenswander on the first team, Faith Sherrill on the second team and Chelsea Blanchard and Sarah Pease garnering third team honors. Neuenswander is a repeat honoree, having earned third team honors in 2009.
Indiana now has nine Academic All-Americans all-time in women's track and field and 84 honorees all-time in all sports. Andy Bayer was announced as an honoree in men's track and field/cross country on Tuesday, giving the IU track and field program had a total of five honorees this year.
Indiana director of track and field and cross country Ron Helmer said that he likes the direction in which his program is headed.
"We have a great university that attracts outstanding student-athletes who are then supported by a genuinely committed administration and academic support staff," said Helmer. "When you put talented people with good work ethic into that environment, you see what can happen. These four are what being a student-athlete is all about. We're very happy that they are Hoosiers. Five Academic All-Americans in one year in one program is a great accomplishment, and it is a testament to our program, our athletic department, our academic support staff and our university."
Neuenswander graduated in 2010 with a degree in social studies education and is pursuing her masters in counseling. She has maintained a 4.0 GPA over her entire academic career. The senior was the Big Ten champion in the pole vault this year, tying the all-time Big Ten record in the process. She went on to take fourth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. She was named an Academic All-America after her NCAA runner-up finish in 2009. She took the 2010 season off to complete her student teaching.
Sherrill is an elementary education major and graduated this spring with a 3.59 GPA. She broke the all-time Big Ten outdoor and indoor records this season in the shot put. She leaves Indiana with four school records and has been twice named Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year. The five-time All-American finished fourth at both the indoor and outdoor NCAA Championships this season.
Pease graduated this spring with a degree in Human Biology and maintained a 3.68 grade point average. She leaves IU as a three-time All-American and was the Big Ten champion this season in the 3,000m steeplechase. The former walk-on owns the IU record in the steeplechase and was an All-Big Ten performer in cross country, as well.
Blanchard is a junior, majoring in Visual Arts Education with a 3.97 grade point average. The Ft. Wayne native has been a top-five contributor in cross country since her freshman year and is an All-Region honoree. She helped lead Indiana to the NCAA Championships in cross country in 2009. She ran IU's second-best all-time 5,000 meters this spring.
Next up for Indiana track and field are the USA Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon, on June 22-25. For complete coverage of all things IU track and field, stay tuned to IUHoosiers.com.
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