July 26, 2012
STORRS, Conn. – The University of Connecticut women’s track and field program has been selected as a 2012 Division I All-Academic by the USTFCCCA as announced by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Association on Thursday morning. In addition to earning team recognition, five Huskies were named to the 2012 USTFCCCA Division I All-Academic Team. Seniors Meghan Cunningham (Simsbury, Conn.) and Heather Wilson (Homer, N.Y.), juniors Ilva Bikanova (Madanos, Latvia) and Ana Groff (Orlando, Fla.) and sophomore Allison Lasnicki (Canastota, N.Y.) were honored for their academic excellence. Cunningham, Wilson and Bikanova each earn their second consecutive All-Academic nod.
A total of 171 institutions earned the distinction as a result of a cumulative team GPA of 3.00 or better. Among all conferences, the Big East led them all with 12 teams named as All-Academic. The MAC and Big Ten follow with nine. Additionally, the five UConn student-athletes are joined by 671 others which represent a total of 171 institutions.
“The acknowledgment of five student-athletes who exemplify such a high level of performance in the classroom and on the national level in track once again draws positive attention to our team mission,” stated Head Coach Bill Morgan. “Our professors, academic advisers and staff promote their initiatives and share in their success through a great sense of pride. It’s fair to say our women exemplify the identity of a true student-athlete. Again, a further applause to our university professors.”
Cunningham, who also played soccer at UConn, has been a mainstay for the Husky program her entire career at Connecticut as she has qualified multiple times for both BIG EAST and NCAA Championships. She was part of the 4x800 meter relay squad that finished fourth at the 2012 Indoor BIG EAST Championships and she reached the podium of the New England Championships with a third place finish in the 1,000 meter run her senior campaign. Cunningham, a Social Science of Sport major, qualified for the 2012 Outdoor NCAA Championship and was slated in the 28th seat for the 3,000m steeplechase but was forced to pull out of the race midway.
Wilson concluded her career at UConn as one of the most decorated athletes to be a part of the women’s track and field program. Wilson tallied an impressive five All-American titles as a Husky, four indoor accolades and one outdoor. Wilson, an Exercise Science major, reached the podium twice at the 2012 BIG EAST Indoor Championships with a silver medal in the mile and third as a member of the DMR. Wilson was dominant at her final indoor NCAA Championship grabbing two First Team All-America honors in the 800 and the DMR.During her senior outdoor season she won the gold in the 800m at the 2012 BIG EAST Outdoor Championships, placed first in the 1,500m run at the ECAC Championships and notched her first outdoor All-America honor with an 11th place finish in the 800m for a Second Team spot.
Bikanova, a Psychology and Neurobiology major, was crowned the 2012 BIG EAST Indoor high jump champion with her first place leap of 1.78 meters before going on to reach the podium at the ECAC Championships where she finished third. Her 5’11.5” jump at the Valentine Invite finished 16th in the nation for the 2012 indoor campaign.
In the indoor season, Groff earned the top seat of the 500m at the New England Championships and was also a member of the 4x400m team that finished third at the BIG EAST Indoor Championships. Groff, a biomedical engineering major, was part of the 4x800 meter relay squad which brought home the bronze at the 2012 BIG EAST Outdoor Championships. She also reached the first round of the 2012 outdoor NCAA Championship as the 21st seed in the 800 meter run.
Lasnicki, the youngest Husky honored, finished fourth in the 5,000 meter run at the ECAC Championships before heading into the 2012 outdoor NCAA Championship first round in the 31st seat for the 5,000. Lasnicki is pursuing a degree in biological sciences.
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).