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July 26, 2013

Women's track pulls in USTFCCCA academic honors

Junior Taelar Hillyer was one of five Augustana women's track & field athletes named to the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team for the 2013 season.

The Augustana women's track & field team, as well as five individuals, were honored for scholastic prowess by the United States Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association, it was announced the today. The Vikings were one of 148 teams in NCAA Division III that were named All-Academic teams after compiling a cumulative grade point average of 3.34 for the 2012-13 school year.

In addition to the team award, five individual athletes were named to the USTFCCCA All-Academic team for their combined efforts in competition and in the classroom. The Augustana individuals were senior Sarahbeth Jones (Warren Township HS, Wadsworth, Ill.), juniors Liana Beauchamp (Genoa-Kingston HS, Kingston, Ill.), Kierra Smith (Creston HS, Creston, Iowa) and Taelar Hillyer (Rock Island Alleman HS, Bettendorf, Iowa) and sophomore Jessica Bacon (Rock Island HS, Rock Island, Ill.).  

In order to qualify for the USTFCCA All-Academic Track & Field Team, the student-athlete must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 and either competed in the NCAA Indoor or Outdoor Championships or finished the season ranked in the top 35 in an individual event.  

Jones, who earned an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship in June of this year, was named the MVP of the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin after she won both the 5000 and the 10,000 in the conference outdoor meet. She placed ninth in the NCAA Division III 1500 and she graduated with six individual CCIW titles and owns or is part of 11 school records. She sports a grade point average of 3.60 in English and communications.  

Smith was an NCAA Division III All-American in the 400 hurdles with a seventh place finish in the national meet. She won both the 100 and 400 hurdles in the CCIW championships and set a school record in the 400 hurdles. She was a Capital One Academic All-District selection and has a grade point average of 3.56with majors in accounting and pre-law.   Beauchamp set a school record in the hammer throw, breaking her own record in the process. She also recorded the best throws on the team in the shot and discus as well as the hammer. She owns a 3.55 grade point average in pre-medicine.  

Hillyer was an NCAA Division III national meet qualifier in the pole vault and has the second highest jump on school history. Her grade point average is 3.31 with majors in English and education.  

Bacon was a finalist in the NCAA Division III 1500; finishing 10th and she shared team MVP honors with Smith and Jones. She also ran under the existing school records in the 1500 and 3000 during the year. She is a psychology major with a 3.71 grade point average.