Track Athletes Earn USTFCCCA Honors

Friday, July 27 2012


NEW ORLEANS – Four members of the Eastern Illinois track and field team have earned USTFCCCA All-Academic honors as handed out by the organization.  Megan GingerichJade RieboldAbigail Schmitz and Britney Whitehead were all recognized by the USTFCCCA.

To be eligible for the USTFCCCA All-Academic team an athlete must has compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 and have met either of the following standards: finished the indoor regular season ranked in the national top 96 in an individual event (top 48 for relay events) or participated in any round of the NCAA Division I outdoor championships.

Gingerich was an All-OVC performer in the 800m earning a trip to the NCAA Regional in the event.  At the event Gingerich placed 25th with a time of 2:08.71.  She finished her career at EIU holding the school record in the 800m.  During the season she earned All-OVC honors in both indoor track and cross country.

Riebold smashed both the school and OVC records in the indoor and outdoor pole vault during the season.  The transfer was the OVC Female Field Athlete of the Year in both seasons.  She earned All-American honors in both the indoor and outdoor pole vault.  She placed 14th at the indoor National Championships to earn second team All-American honors.  Her best indoor height was 13'11” at the NCAA Last Chance.  She placed 20th at the outdoor National Championships to earn honorable mention honors.  Her best outdoor height was 14'1.75”.

Schmitz ranked in the top 96 in the indoor pole vault as she competed in that event during the indoor and outdoor seasons.  Schmitz best outdoor height was 12'11.50” which ranks second on the EIU career list.  Her best indoor height for the season was 12'10.75” during a second place finish at the OVC Championships.

Whitehead became a standout for the Panthers in the steeplechase during the outdoor season winning the event at the OVC Championships.  Her best time on the season was 10:23.91 at the Drake Relays which set the EIU school record.  Whitehead placed 43rd at the NCAA Regional.

The OVC had nine total female athletes recognized on the USTFCCCA All-Academic team with two athletes from Eastern Kentucky, two from Jacksonville State and one from Southeast Missouri.  As a team EIU won its fourth straight OVC indoor and OVC outdoor track championships.