July 25, 2013
CHICAGO - Nine members of the Loyola University Chicago track & field team were recognized as part of the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic Teams. Both the men's and women's sides were also recognized as teams.
Leading the way for the men's side was Declan Murray (Strongsville, Ohio/St. Ignatius) as he makes his third consecutive appearance on the All-Academic team. Murray, a psychology and economics double major, closed out his storied career by earning First Team All-America honors from the USTFCCCA after advancing to the 800m National Final in both the indoor and outdoor seasons. Mike Wetzel (Green Bay, Wis./Ashwaubenon), a history major, ran along with Murray in the men's 4x400m relay at the NCAA West Regional as the squad broke their own school record in the event by posting a time of 3:07.76.
Sam Penzenstadler (Oshkosh, Wis./West) wrapped up a fantastic sophomore campaign by making his first appearance at the NCAA West Regional. Penzenstadler, a mathematics major, qualified for the 800m and 1,500m runs. Paul Yovanic (Highland, Mich./Milford) rounds out the honors for the men's side. Yovanic, a fine arts major, took over the school record in the hammer throw during the outdoor season and sits second in the weight throw.
A pair of seniors, Gina Valgoi (Detroit, Mich./Regina) and Candice Carajohn (Seneca, Ill./Seneca), were both honored on the women's All-Academic team. An accounting major, Valgoi became Loyola's first female USTFCCCA All-American after qualifying for the 5,000m National Final at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships last March. Carajohn, a biology major, was recognized as the women's Individual Scoring Champion at the 2013 Horizon League Outdoor Track & Field Championships and qualified for the NCAA West Regional in three different events. Alyvia Clark (Circleville, Ohio/Logan Elm) was the lone junior recognized for the women's side. Clark, also an accounting major, qualified for the NCAA West Regional for the first time in her career in the 1,500m run.
Loyola's talented freshman duo of Amber Davis (Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights) and Rebecca Stearns (Darien, Ill./Downers Grove South) was also recognized. Davis, a computer science major, and Stearns, a psychology major, both qualified for the NCAA West Regional in the 800m run and were staples of the 4x400m relay team that set new school records during the indoor and outdoor campaigns.
To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team, a 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).