Six Miners earn USTFCCCA All-Academic Honors
El Paso, TX — Combining their accomplishments in the classroom and in competition, six Miners earned spots on the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic team.
Earning honors for the women’s team were Janice Jackson, Jallycia Pearson, and Anna-Kay James. Selected from the men’s team were Anthony Rotich, A-Shawni Mitchell, and Sven Zellner.
To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field Team, the student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 and have met either of the following athletic standards: for the indoor season, a student-athlete must have 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, a student-athlete must have participated in any round of the NCAA Division I Championships (including preliminary rounds).
Earning her third USTFCCCA All-American honor, Jackson holds a 3.50 GPA in the university’s history graduate program. The senior is also a three-time member of C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll and was named to the 2014 Capital One All-Academic team.
On the track, the Jamaican native is the 2014 Conference USA Indoor Champion in the 60m hurdles and a member of the victorious 4x400m relay team. She earned her second All-American honors with a fifth-place finish in the 60h (8.05) at the NCAA Indoor Championships, setting the school record.
In her last outdoor season with the Miners, the All-American recorded the second-best time (13.05w) in 100m hurdles in C-USA and 11th-quickest nationally at Texas Relays. She also claimed the crown in the 100m dash (11.54) at the Don Kirby Tailwind, ranking first in C-USA and 55th nationally.
The C-USA Champion qualified for the NCAA Championships after posting the program's second-fastest time in the 100m hurdles (12.98) at the NCAA West Prelims.
The second Miner to earn a spot on the All-Academic team is Pearson. The three-time member of the C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll holds a 3.60 GPA in Kinesiology and is a 21st Century Scholar.
As the team’s only multi-event athlete, the El Paso native garnered gold in the pentathlon with a school record 3,805 points at the C-USA Indoor Championships. She went on to record the highest score in C-USA and 27th in the NCAA in the heptathlon with a personal-best 5,376 points earning her the second top spot in the program history. She is first athlete in program to qualify for the NCAA Championship in the heptathlon.
Wrapping up the women’s team is junior-transfer James with a 3.58 GPA as a pre-business major. The hurdler claimed the crown in the 100m hurdles at the UTEP Springtime Invitational with a personal-best 3.36 ranking her fourth in C-USA and 33rd nationally. She also helped the 4x400m relay team to a gold-medal finish at the Texas Relays with the fourth-best time in program history at 3:35.90, ranking first in C-USA and 38th in NCAA.
The newcomer went on to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships after registering a career-best time of 13.40 in the 100m hurdles at the NCAA West Prelims. James is also a recipient of 2013-14 C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal.
Garnering his second USTFCCCA All-American honor Rotich continues to stand out on the track and in the classroom. The All-American won 5,000m (14:32.46), mile (4:06.07) and 3,000m (8:17.79) at the 2014 C-USA Indoor Championships to earn C-USA Performer and High Scorer of the meet. Garnering 30 points he led the men’s team in claiming the 2014 C-USA Indoor title. The Bowerman Watchlist Semifinalist then went on to capture the national indoor title in the mile with a time of 4:02.54.
Continuing his success in the outdoor season, the C-USA Champion held the best time (8:30.54) in the nation in the steeplechase and was second in the 1,500m (3:39.16). The junior was a four-time C-USA Athlete of Week and named C-USA Male Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive time.
At the NCAA Outdoor Championships, the Kenyan native defended his title in the steeplechase (8:32.21) earning his third national championship and seventh All-American.
Sporting a 3.37 GPA in multi-disciplinary studies, Rotich is a two-time member of C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll and was named to the 2014 C-USA All-Academic team.
Also claiming his second USTFCCCA All-American honor was pre-engineering major, Mitchell. While boasting a 3.54 GPA the sprinter held a successful indoor season with a bronze-medal finish with a personal-best 1:20.88 in the 600m at the Lobo Invitational. He also posted the best C-USA indoor times for the 200m and 400m.
In the outdoor season the junior aided the 4x4 relay team notch two top-three performances including the second-best time (3:07.48) in the league and 38th in the nation at Drake Relays. He is also a two-time member of the C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor.
Sven Zeller also earned the high prestige sporting a 3.83 GPA as a pre-engineering major. The hurdler secured three crowns, three silver and two bronze medal-finishes this season including a second place finish of 8.07 in the 60m hurdles at the C-USA Indoor Championships. The sophomore went on to register the fifth-best time in C-USA and 71st fastest time in the nation (14:09) in the 110m hurdles to taste victory at the UTEP Invitational. He is also a recipient of 2013-14 C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Medal and C-USA Honor Roll.