Courtesy: Spencer Farrin (Pullman, Wash.)
MOSCOW, Idaho – University of Idaho women’s cross country/track and field athlete Hannah Kiser was recognized on Thursday as a Capital One Academic All-America honoree for the first time in her career.
Kiser, a sophomore distance runner from Wenatchee, Wash., was named to the Academic All-America Second Team in her first year of eligibility for the honor. She has a 4.0 cumulative grade-point average as a double-major in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.
“This really means a lot to me,” Kiser said. “Before I was an athlete, I was always very academic-oriented and I think working hard in school transfers over to athletics, so being able to succeed at both is very, very important to me. I’m very honored to receive this award.”
Kiser is in Moscow this summer as an IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) fellow, taking part in undergraduate research in chemistry. She plans to attend pharmacy school and work in medical research after her time at Idaho.
She is the fifth Vandal track and field athlete to earn the honor since 2008 and the first since thrower James Rogan and fellow distance runner Allix Potratz-Lee were both Second Team honorees in 2010. Kiser was the only sophomore selected to either the men’s or women’s Academic All-America team in 2012.
“Hannah’s athletic accomplishments speak for themselves and these recent academic honors show how impressive she really is as a student-athlete,” Idaho director of track and field/cross country Wayne Phipps said on Thursday. “She strives for excellence in every way and it’s just amazing to see.”
The honor is Kiser earned Second-Team All-America honors from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) during the indoor season after finishing 13th in the 3000m at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Kiser also broke the Idaho school record and the Western Athletic Conference all-time and championship meet records in the 3000m, became the first Vandal woman to sweep the mile and 3000m titles at a single conference championship meet and helped Idaho’s distance medley relay take the WAC title in meet-record fashion.
In the 2011 cross country season, Kiser set school course records in nearly every outing and led Idaho to its second-consecutive WAC team title. She finished 18th at the NCAA West Region Championships to earn USTFCCCA All-Region honors and earn Idaho’s first NCAA Cross Country Championships bid since 2004.
She is a six-time WAC champion and an eight-time First-Team All-WAC honoree between cross country, indoor track and outdoor track. Kiser is undefeated in her track and field career against WAC competition and is just the second woman at Idaho history to be an NCAA qualifier in cross country and both indoor and outdoor track and field.
In addition to her athletic accolades, Kiser is also a five-time WAC All-Academic honoree and a 2012 USTFCCCA Division I All-Academic Team honoree for cross country. She was voted a Capital One First-Team Academic All-District honoree earlier in the year.
“Hannah is a shining example of what it means to be a student-athlete,” Idaho director of athletics Rob Spear said on Thursday. “Her athletic and academic accomplishments set a tremendous example for all of our student-athletes.”
Kiser is the second Vandal sophomore to earn Academic All-America status, as women’s basketball player Alyssa Charlston was chosen to the Academic All-America Third Team earlier this year. Vandal student-athletes have been honored 24 times as Academic All-Americans since 1970.
Academic All-Americans are selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Sports information directors in eight national districts vote on the All-District teams. First-Team All-District honorees advance to the national ballot. To be eligible for the honor, student-athletes must have reached sophomore status, both academically and athletically, and hold a minimum 3.30 cumulative GPA.