Dustin Nading Named Academic All-American Of The Year
Nading won the indoor national title in the mile, was the leadoff leg on WOU's national-champion distance medley relay and the national runner-up outdoors at 1,500 meters. Photo by Chris Oertell.
Nading won the indoor national title in the mile, was the leadoff leg on WOU's national-champion distance medley relay and the national runner-up outdoors at 1,500 meters. Photo by Chris Oertell.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

AUSTIN, Texas – A key part of Western Oregon’s success on the track and the reigning national champion indoors in the mile, junior Dustin Nading has earned one of college sport’s top prizes with his selection as the Google Cloud Division II Men’s Cross Country/Track & Field Academic All-American of the Year.

Nading headlines five selections for the GNAC to the Division II Academic All-America Cross Country/Track and Field Teams, which is selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). All three men’s selections are from Western Oregon. Senior David Ribich joins Nading on the first team while junior Tyler Jones earned second-team honors.

The conference is represented on the women’s Academic All-America First Team by Alaska Anchorage senior Caroline Kurgat and Western Washington senior Jasmine McMullin.

Nading was selected as the Academic All-American of the Year after a banner season on the track while maintaining a 3.88 cumulative grade point average in exercise science. He won the NCAA Division II national title in the indoor mile, pulling away over the final lap to finish in a time of 4:13.30. Nading also ran the opening leg as the Wolves defended their national title in the distance medley relay, which won in a time of 9:41.40.

During the outdoor season, Nading was runner-up to Ribich in the 1,500 meters at nationals and earned All-American honors with a time of 3:45.57 while finishing as the GNAC runner-up in both the 800 and 1,500 meters at the GNAC Championships. Nading also earned All-GNAC and All-West Region honors during the cross country season, placing 10th at the GNAC Championships and 13th at the NCAA West Regional.

Ribich, the GNAC Male Athlete of the Year, won three national championships and was a five-time All-American while completing his communication studies degree with a 3.51 GPA. Ribich opened the year by winning the GNAC and NCAA West Region cross country titles and placed 30th at the NCAA Championships to earn All-American honors. Ribich went on to win GNAC indoor titles at 800 meters and the mile, placed third in the 3,000 meters at the national meet and anchored the national-champion distance medley relay.

Outdoors, Ribich repeated as GNAC champion in the 800 meters and 1,500 meters and defended his national title in the 1,500 meters with a time of 3:45.54. During the course of the season, Ribich set NCAA Division II all-time records indoors in the 1,000 and 3,000 meters and the outdoor record in the 1,500 meters. He also became the 501st American athlete to run a sub-four-minute mile, accomplishing the feat during the indoor season. Ribich signed a professional contract with Brooks following the outdoor championships.

Jones rounds out the Western Oregon trio as one of 11 male student-athletes on the squad with a 4.00 GPA as a mathematics major. The junior placed 13th at the GNAC Cross Country Championships and then added a 36th-place finish at the NCAA West Regional. Jones placed fifth in the 3,000 meters at the GNAC Indoor Championships (8:39.49) and second in the 5,000 meters at the GNAC Outdoor Championships (14:50.08).

The Academic All-America award is another in the long list for Kurgat, who has compiled a 3.58 GPA while majoring in medical laboratory technology and nursing. Earlier this month, Kurgat was named both the GNAC Female Athlete of the Year and Co-Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was announced as the recipient of the Honda Division II Athlete of the Year award. Kurgat opened the season by winning the GNAC, West Region and NCAA Division II titles in the cross country, winning all three races by no less than 20 seconds.

During the outdoor season, Kurgat won both the 5,000 and 10,000 meters at the GNAC Championships and placed second in the 1,500 meters to earn Female Athlete of the Meet honors. She went on win two national titles, running 16:22.62 for 5,000 meters and 34:13.80 at 10,000 meters. Kurgat’s season-best of 32:33.24 for 10,000 meters is the second-fastest time in Division II history while her best of 15:41.21 in the 5,000 meters is third. In addition to the other accolades, Kurgat was named by Alaska Anchorage as its Bill McKay Athlete of the Year.

McMullin was one of seven female graduate student-athletes selected to the Academic All-America squad, compiling a 4.00 GPA while pursuing her master’s in elementary education. McMullin completed her college career by winning the GNAC Indoor Championships titles in both the long jump and triple jump. She leaped 18 feet, 9.75 inches in the long jump and set a GNAC record with a mark of 41 feet, 7.25 inches in the triple jump. The performances earned McMullin GNAC Female Field Athlete of the Meet honors while her triple jump performance was named the meet’s Female Performance of the Meet.

McMullin went on earn All-American honors in the triple jump, placing fourth in the event at the NCAA Indoor Championships.

Nominated by and voted upon by members of CoSIDA, the Google Cloud Academic All-America programs honor student-athletes who have excelled both on the field of play and in the classroom. To be eligible for selection, nominees must be a starter or important reserve on their team, be of sophomore standing or greater, be in at least their second year at the nominating institution and have a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or greater.