Special to the Register
Three Eastern Kentucky University track and field student-athletes — Ann Eason, Ole Hesselbjerg and Thijs Nijhuis — earned U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic honors for the 2012-13 season.
To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team, a student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or better and met one of the following criteria: for the indoor season, finished the regular season ranked in the national top 96 in an individual event or ranked in the national top 48 (collective listing) in a relay event on the official NCAA POP list provided by TFRRS.org; for the outdoor season, participated in any round of the NCAA Division I Championships (including preliminary rounds).
The EKU men’s and women’s track and field teams were also named USTFCCCA All-Academic Teams by the organization. The EKU women’s team was one of 187 teams nationally and one of seven teams from the Ohio Valley Conference to earn All-Academic Team honors, while the EKU men’s team was one of 111 teams nationally and one of five from the OVC to receive the nod. A team must have maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better to receive the award.
Eason, an elementary education major from Lexington, was named the Female MVP of the OVC Indoor Championships this winter after winning three gold medals at the meet. She went on to earn second team All-America honors in the outdoor 5,000 meters after running the second-fastest time in school history in that event (16:06.11). Eason currently has a 3.95 cumulative GPA.
Hesselbjerg, a physics major from Charlottenlund, Denmark, was the lone Colonel to earn first team All-America honors this spring, finishing seventh in the finals of the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase at the NCAA Outdoor Championships with the second-fastest time in school history (8:42.70). He currently has a 3.35 cumulative GPA.
Nijhuis, a pre-med major from Sparkaer, Viborg, Denmark, earned honorable mention All-America honors after placing 21st in the men’s 10,000 meters at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. He ran a personal-best time of 29:42.01 in the 10,000 meters at the Penn Relays in late April. Nijhuis currently has a 3.64 cumulative GPA.