Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gopher Tracksters Earn Academic Honors

The collegiate track and field season may be over, but that doesn't mean members of the University of Minnesota track and field teams are done earning awards.

Gopher men and women who excel in the classroom as well as on the athletic fields have earned recognition this week.

NCAA Woman of the Year Nominee ... Heather Dorniden, who graduated in December after a stellar cross country and track career, has been named the Big Ten's representative for the prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year award.

The NCAA Woman of the Year Award "honors senior student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership."

Dorniden finished her Golden Gopher career as a nine-time All-American and as the most decorated runner in Minnesota women’s track history. She graduated with a degree in kinesiology and a 3.946 grade point average. Dorniden is the first Golden Gopher track/cross country athlete to compete in every NCAA Championships in a collegiate career.

Dorniden was a Minnesota recipient of the 2010 Big Ten Medal of Honor. Her many other accolades include Academic All-America honors, the 2009 President’s Student Leadership and Service Award, the 2009 University of Minnesota Alumni Association Student Leadership Award and an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.

Studt, Torchia Academic All-Americans ... The Gophers' Mike Torchia and Aaron Studt were named to the 2010 ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America squads. Torchia and Studt are the ninth and 10th Gophers, and first since 2006, to capture the prestigious honor which is co-sponsored by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

Torchia, a junior from Rochester is an Academic All-America Second Team honoree and competes on the Gophers’ cross country and track teams. He maintains a 3.946 cumulative grade point average and graduated with a biochemistry degree in May. Torchia will return to complete another degree next year.

Torchia earned NCAA All-Midwest Region honors in cross country in 2008 and helped Minnesota to a 15th-place showing in the NCAA Championships that season. He has competed in NCAA post-season action twice in the 5,000 meters on the track. Torchia scored in the event at both the 2010 indoor and outdoor Big Ten Championships, helping the Golden Gophers to team titles.

Studt was named to the Academic All-America Third Team. A senior from Ripon, Wisconsin, Studt carries a 3.30 grade point average in a business and marketing education major.

Studt is a four-time All-American in the throwing events. Studt has one more season of outdoor track eligibility and will compete for the Gophers in 2011. Studt has captured four Big Ten titles in the throwing events and has twice been honored as the Big Ten’s Field Event Athlete of the Championships.

He was also the 2009 Big Ten Field Event Athlete of the Year.

Catching Up with Ashley Nord ... The Gopher Sports Information Department recently published THIS interesting profile about Ashley Nord, the former U of M pole vaulter who is now a Rhodes Scholar in Oxford.

Nord is presently studying for a doctoral degree in Condensed Matter Physics. Nord is currently studying the physics of the bacterial flagellar motor—the motor on a bacterial cell that allows the cell to move.

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