Yale Earns Multiple Academic Honors from USTFCCCA; Men's Track Has Top GPA in Country

Aug. 6, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Both Yale track & field teams were honored as 2008 All-Academic Track and Field Teams by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Wednesday, with the men's team tying for the highest grade point average in the country. Additionally, six Yale student-athletes -- Elizabeth Calle '08 (Danbury, Conn.), Victor Cheng `08 (Seattle, Wash.), Lindsay Donaldson '08 (Lincoln, Mass.), senior Jake Gallagher (Halifax, N.S.), junior Chris Labosky (Tallmadge, Ohio) and senior Jeffrey Lachman (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- earned individual selection to the USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field Team.

The Yale teams earned recognition by posting cumulative GPAs of 3.320 (men) and 3.380 (women). The men's team GPA tied with Lipscomb for best in the country among men's teams, while the women's GPA placed 16th among women's teams. A total of 48 Division I programs were honored as All-Academic Teams on the men's side, while there were 117 programs honored on the women's side.

In addition to the teams, a record total of 734 student-athletes (468 women, 266 men) earned recognition on the 2008 USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field Team. The USTFCCCA honors Division I individuals for their academic and athletic achievements during the indoor and outdoor track and field seasons. To qualify for the All-Academic Track and Field Team, the student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 and have met either the NCAA Division I Indoor automatic or provisional qualifying standard or the NCAA Division I Outdoor regional or national qualifying standard in her/his respective event.

Calle, a biomedical engineering major and former captain of the women's track and field team, was a two-time NCAA qualifier in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and is third on Yale's steeplechase record list. She was a four-time ECAC participant (twice in the steeplechase, once in the distance medley relay, once in the 4x800-meter relay), including All-East honors in the 4x800 in 2006. She also ran at NCAA Cross Country Regionals twice.

Cheng, a computer science major who won the Stack Award as Yale's MVP and was Academic All-Ivy League, qualified for NCAAs in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and 4x100-meter relay outdoors. He was All-East in the 55-meter dash indoors and the 100-meter dash outdoors, breaking school records in each of those events (6.31 in the 55, besting a 22-year old mark, and 10.58 in the 100). A two-time All-East selection in the 4x100-meter relay outdoors, Cheng is also a five-time first team All-Ivy honoree outdoors (100-meter dash and 200-meter dash 2008, 4x100-meter relay 2005, 2006, 2008) and became Yale's first Outdoor Heps double winner (individual events) in 37 years this past spring. He has four second team All-Ivy selections to his credit.

Donaldson, a history major who won the Stack Award as Yale's MVP and was named Academic All-Ivy League for the fifth time this spring, was a six-time All-American (three times in cross country, three different events in track) and three-time ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American (first team 2007 and 2008, second team 2006). She has earned four USTFCCCA All-Academic Honors in the last three years. Donaldson was a four-time NCAA participant in the outdoor 5,000-meter run (All-American in 2006) and has also been All-American in the 3,000-meter run (2005) and mile (2006) indoors. She was the Heps cross country champion in 2006 and the ECAC Indoor 3,000-meter champion in 2006-07. The school record holder in the indoor mile (4:43.56), she has two of the three fastest times ever run at cross country Heps. She was the cross country captain last fall.

Gallagher, an economics major, was Academic All-Ivy League in the fall of 2007. He is a three-time All-East selection in track, including back-to-back selections indoors in the distance medley relay (9:55.33 this year). He was also All-East in the 4x800 relay outdoors (7:34.06, fourth). Gallagher has run in three different events at outdoor IC4As (1,500-meter run twice, 5,000-meter run, 4x800-meter relay). A two-time Second Team All-Ivy pick in cross country, he has participated in the NCAA Cross Country Regionals twice. He ran 24:59.5 at cross country Heps in 2006, becoming the first Yale sophomore to break 25:00 at Van Cortlandt Park. Gallagher has been elected 2008 cross country captain by his teammates.

Labosky, an NCAA qualifier in the 800-meter run, was part of a school-record performance in the 4x800-meter relay (7:29.52) at indoor IC4As, breaking an 18-year old mark while finishing second and earning All-East honors. He was also was All-East outdoors in the 800-meter run, placing third (1:50.50) at IC4As, and second team All-Ivy in the 4x800-meter run indoors. Labosky posted the second-fastest time ever by a Yale freshman in the indoor mile (4:11.52) last year, qualifying for IC4As. He competed at the NCAA Northeast Regional in cross country last fall.

Lachman finished 21st at the NCAA Championships in the discus this past spring. He earned a spot in the Championships by placing fifth at the East Regional. Lachman is currently ranked No. 3 all-time for Yale in the discus; at Regionals, he threw the farthest of any Yale athlete since 1970 (53.15 meters). He was the Ivy League's Heps champion and earned All-East honors in the discus in 2007.

Yale's six All-Academic Team selections placed the Bulldogs second in the Ivy League in that category. The USTFCCA honors add to an already impressive list of accomplishments for the Bulldogs in the classroom. Yale's five ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District selections in 2008 tied with Kansas State, Minnesota, North Dakota and Washington State for second in the country behind Arizona State. No other Ivy League school had more than three.

report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity