HPU’s O’Donoghue, Rickert named Academic All-America Track and Field

HIGH POINT, N.C. – High Point University track & field seniors Paul O’Donoghue and Christine Rickert have been named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America® third team, the Collegiate Sports Information Directors of America announced Friday.

O’Donoghue and Rickert are the first HPU track & field student-athletes from all eras of High Point Athletics (NAIA, Div. II, Div. I) to be named Academic All-America since the award’s inception in 1952. They are two of 13 HPU student-athletes to earn the honor over the past 64 years.

In addition to O’Donoghue and Rickert, men’s lacrosse senior Tyler Cook garnered Academic All-America second team accolades in May as part of the at-large category. HPU’s three Academic All-America selections are the most in the school’s single-year history.

The CoSIDA Academic All-America® program is the only official Academic All-America designation recognized by the NCAA. To be eligible for CoSIDA Academic All-District and All-America® consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 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.

“This is a truly elite honor for Chrissy and Paul and I am thrilled they have been recognized for their excellence in competition and in the classroom,” assistant athletic director for communications/CoSIDA Academic All-America® committee member Mark LaFrance said. “To be a part of this distinguished 13-member All-America group at HPU is a testament to their elite achievements at this institution.”

O’Donoghue recently wrapped up a stellar HPU career with an all-conference finish in the 800-meter run at the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championship. An impressive 12-time Big South all-conference selection, O’Donoghue set a pair of new school records during the 2016 indoor season. He became the new 1000m record holder (2:26.81) and also was a part of the DMR team at Penn State that broke the program best time (10:01.35).

He captured the Big South 800m title during the 2015 Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championship and has finished runner-up on two occasions. He is a 10-time individual event champion during his career.

A three-time Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year and three-time Big South Presidential Honor Roll selection, O’Donoghue graduated in May with a 3.9 cumulative GPA and a degree in mathematics.

Rickert completed an elite track & field career for the Panthers in an elite way this June. One of the most decorated athletes in the school’s Div. I history, Rickert garnered second team All-America honors in 2016 after placing 12th in the javelin at the NCAA Championships in Eugene. She qualified for the event after garnering a third-place finish and earning all-region accolades at the NCAA preliminary in Jacksonville.

A three-time Big South javelin champion, Rickert claimed the league crown in May, set a new meet record (50.18m, 164-7) and became just the second javelin thrower in league history to win three-straight conference crowns. She broke her own league record at April’s VertKlasse Meeting with a mark of 52.47m (172-2) and won three javelin crowns during her senior campaign.

She was named the Big South Field Athlete of the Year in 2014 and is a six-time Big South Field Athlete of the Week. A four-time NCAA preliminary qualifier, Rickert was a three-time HPU team captain.

She is ranked in the top-24 in the United States as her HPU career comes to an end and will participate in the upcoming U.S. Olympic Trials in July for a chance to qualify for the Rio Summer Games.

An outstanding student, Rickert graduated summa cum laude in May with a 3.94 GPA and a triple major in international relations, political science and Spanish. A two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District selection, she was named the Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year in May and is a three-time Big South All-Academic Team selection.

Men’s Track & Field/Cross Country CoSIDA Academic All-America® Teams
First Team
Jonathan Addison, NC State
Stefan Brits, Florida State
Ryan Crouser, Texas
Levi Gipson, Nebraska
Martin Hehir, Syracuse
Caleb Hoover, Northern Arizona
Evan Karakolis, Rice
Jan-Louw Kotze, South Alabama
Jarrion Lawson, Arkansas
Marshall Moyer, Bradley
Andrew Pisechko, Arkansas
Sam Prakel, Oregon
Cody Rush, Nebraska
Luca Wieland, Minnesota
Alex Young, Southeastern Louisiana

Second Team
Colin Bennie, Syracuse
Justin Brinkley, Stanford
Cameron Brown, Tennessee
Brandon Doughty, Oklahoma
Jimmy Evers, North Dakota
Mason Ferlic, Michigan
Christian Heymsfield, Arkansas
Hunter Johnson, Dayton
Kyle Landon, Southern Illinois
Sam Mattis, Penn
Sean McGorty, Stanford
Ben Saarel, Colorado
Taylor Smith, Air Force
Paul Stuart, Chattanooga
Adrian Valles, Cincinnati

Third Team
Connor Branick, South Dakota State
Rob Denault, Villanova
Justin Estala, Oral Roberts
Willy Fink, Eastern Michigan
Luke Guigliano, Bucknell
Luis Hanssler, Memphis
J.D. LaFayette, Illinois
Albert Maeder, Central Arkansas
Paul O’Donoghue, High Point University
Tim Rackers, Tulsa
Caleb Rhynard, Michigan State
David Scouten, Liberty
Brian Waterfield, William & Mary
Harrison Williams, Stanford
Devin Wright, Utah State

Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country CoSIDA Academic All-America® Teams
First Team
Chelsea Blaase, Tennessee
Alicia Clark, Vermont
Sophie Connor, New Mexico
Laura Rose Donegan, New Hampshire
Taylor Ellis-Watson, Arkansas
Erin Finn, Michigan
Claudia Garcia Jou, Akron
Alex Gholston, Alabama
Christina Hillman, Iowa State
Leontia Kallenou, Georgia
Keturah Orji, Georgia
Robin Reynolds, Florida
Molly Seidel, Notre Dame
Kelly Williams, West Virginia
Alice Wright, New Mexico

Second Team
Quanesha Burks, Alabama
Kree Clark, Jacksonville
Catherine Cloetta, Wyoming
Sydney Clute, Indiana
Katrina Coogan, Georgetown
Emily de La Bruyere, Princeton
Cornelia Griesche, Mississippi State
Kyra Jefferson, Florida
Karis Jochen, Texas A&M
Jess Lehman, Minnesota
Ingeborg Loevnes, Oklahoma State
Sarah McMahon, Bradley
Cindy Ofili, Michigan
Erika Rucker, South Carolina
Dani Winters, Kansas State

Third Team
Elena Barham, Northwestern
Alex Beckman, Minnesota
Korie Bennett, Western Carolina
Sarah Collins, Providence
Elise Cranny, Stanford
Paige Kouba, Harvard
Joanna McKoy, South Alabama
Jessica Mildes, Gonzaga
Baylee Mires, Washington
Jennifer Nakamura, George Mason
Christine Rickert, High Point University
Jaide Stepter, USC
Erin Teschuk, North Dakota State
Kristyn Williams, Stanford
Hannah Wittman, Belmont

All-Time High Point University CoSIDA Academic All-Americans®
1978 – Jim Mugele, Baseball (Second Team)
1984 – William Sass, At-Large/Golf (Third Team)
1984 – Teresa Sweatman, At-Large/Tennis (Second Team)
1985 – Robert Rapp, At-Large/Soccer (Third Team)
1991 – Andrew Lisk, Baseball (Third Team)
2004 – Thomas Soberg, At-Large/Tennis (Second Team)
2006 – Chris Archer, Soccer (Second Team)
2006 – Leslie Cook, Basketball (First Team)
2010 – Shawn Sloan, Soccer (Third Team)
2012 – Shawn Sloan, Soccer (First Team)
2012 – Becca Hemby, Soccer (Second Team)
2013 – Becca Hemby, Soccer (Second Team)
2016 – Tyler Cook, At-Large/Lacrosse (Second Team)
2016 – Paul O’Donoghue, Track & Field/XC (Third Team)
2016 – Christine Rickert, Track & Field/XC (Third Team)