3 Wildcats Earn Academic All-America Status

MANHATTAN, Kan. Three female Kansas State track and field student-athletes earned ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America honors on Thursday morning, in an announcement by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).


Earning first team honors were Laci Heller and Kaylene Wagner, while teammate Morgan Bonds garnered second team honors. K-State and Nebraska led all University Division schools with three selections apiece. This is the highest number of Academic All-America recipients for one gender in the school’s track and field history.


To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.20 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director. Since the program’s inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 14,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA covering all NCAA championship sports.


Heller is a two-time Academic All-America selection, as she earned a second team honor at the conclusion of the 2005-06 season. Heller, a feed science and management major, was one of four student-athletes among the first team to hold a 4.0 GPA.


The native of Meriden, Kan., competed in her third straight NCAA outdoor championship in the hammer throw and finished second in the Big 12 Outdoor Championships in the event.


Wagner carries a 3.87 GPA as a graduate student in kinesiology. The product of Goleta, Calif., earned All-America honors in the high jump during the indoor and outdoor campaigns.


Bonds earned her first career national academic honor with a 3.97 GPA in biology. The native of Hutchinson, Kan., won her second career Big 12 Indoor 600-yard run title this season and advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the second time in her career in the 800-meter run.