June 5, 2008

Five Bulldogs Earn ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Honors

June 5, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Five Yale student-athletes were honored with ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District selections in track & field/cross country Thursday. Arizona State (six) was the only school in the country with more honorees. A pair of men, senior Victor Cheng (Seattle, Wash.) and sophomore Chris Labosky (Tallmadge, Ohio), were named first team. Two women, seniors Elizabeth Calle (Danbury, Conn.) and Lindsay Donaldson (Lincoln, Mass.) were named first team as well, and senior Olakitan Awolesi (Getzville, N.Y.) was named second team. All four of Yale's first-team selections are now eligible for ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America honors, which will be announced later this month.

Awolesi, a biology major and four-time ECAC participant, was second team All-Ivy League indoors in the long jump (5.82 meters, fifth on Yale's all-time list). She won Yale's Calhoun Award, given to team's top sprinter or hurdler. Last year Awolesi was All-East in the triple jump (seventh, 12.09 meters) and second team All-Ivy outdoors in the long jump (5.90 meters, sixth on Yale's all-time list). She is third on Yale's all-time outdoor triple-jump list and ran on the school record-setting 4x100-meter relay (46.33) that placed second at Outdoor Heps in 2006, earning second team All-Ivy honors.

Calle, a biomedical engineering major and captain of the women's track and field team, is a two-time NCAA qualifier in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and is third on Yale's steeplechase record list. She is 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, is a six-time All-American (three times in cross country, three different events in track) and two-time ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American (First Team 2007, Second Team 2006). She has also earned three USTFCCCA All-Academic Honors in the last two years. Donaldson is 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.

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.

Yale's five total ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District selections 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.

ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District selections are made by College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). In Yale's district, District I (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Quebec), there were 11 first-team selections for the men. There were 10 first-team selections and 11 second-team selections for the women.

There are eight districts throughout the country, and the first team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District selections are now eligible to be selected ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America. The men's ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America team will be announced on June 23 and the women's will be announced on June 25.

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