MOUNT PLEASANT — Being a successful long-distance runner or 400m hurdler runner takes talent, focus and perseverance, all of which senior Holly Anderson and freshman Bridget Doughty displayed both on the track and in the classroom during the 2012 outdoor season.
As a result, both women were honored Wednesday with the Division I All-Academic Award from the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for the 2011-12 academic year.
In order to qualify for the award, student-athletes must have earned a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 and either finished the indoor season ranked in the top 96 in the country in an individual event or the top 48 in a relay, or competed in any round of the NCAA Division I Championships during the outdoor season.
The selections of Anderson, a health fitness major who has earned a 3.52 GPA, and Doughty, who has earned a 3.58, mark the fourth consecutive year in which at least one member of the women’s team has earned the award, and the sixth year in the past eight.
"The fact that Holly and Bridget earned this award speaks volumes about the tradition of excellence we've established in both academics and athletics," director of track and field and cross country Willie Randolph said. "It is a honor to have such great student-athletes to represent our program and our university."
Anderson is no stranger to academic awards, as she is a four-time Academic All-MAC selection. She earned the honor in cross country and both indoor and outdoor track during the 2011-12 academic year.
During the indoor season the Fruitport, Mich., native was named MAC Scholar-Athlete of the Week on Feb. 8, and earned the CMU State Farm Scholar-Athlete of the Week distinction on Feb. 6. She finished fourth in both the 3,000m and 5,000m runs, and seventh in the mile run at the MAC Indoor Track and Field Championships, and earlier in the season broke the indoor school record in the 5,000m run with a time of 16:49.93.
She continued her success into the outdoor season, breaking school record in the 10,000m run with a time of 34:45.7 early in the 2012 season, and scoring in two events at the MAC Championships, taking fifth in the 10,000m and sixth in the 5,000m. She qualified for the NCAA East Region Prelims in the 10,000m.
This is the first such honor for Doughty in her young career. The Bay Village, Ohio, native had a breakout season in the 400m hurdles, finishing third at the MAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships and qualifying for the NCAA Division I Championships East Preliminaries. At the MAC Championships she ran a career-best 59.92, and she finished 38th at the East Prelims in 1:00.92. Her time qualified her for the USA Junior Outdoor Championships, though she did not participate after a lengthy 2011-12 season, including both indoor and outdoor.
Team awards will be unveiled by the USTFCCCA Thursday.