Scheetz Named Scholar Athlete of the Year

Contact: Justin Long

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NEW ORLEANS, LA – Amherst College’s Ben Scheetz ’12 (Lancaster, PA) has been named the 2011 Division III Indoor Track & Field Scholar Athlete of the Year, the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced today.

Scheetz also joins teammates John McGrail ’11, Andrew Reed ’12 and Matt Melton ’14 on the USTFCCCA All-Academic Track & Field Team. Representing Amherst’s women’s program on the All-Academic Team are Susie Wasserman ’11, Melissa Sullivan ’12, Eliza Schalch ’12 and Keri Lambert ’13.

To qualify for the All-Academic Team, student-athletes must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 and have met an NCAA automatic or provisional qualifying mark in an individual or relay event at some point in either indoor or outdoor seasons. Participation in an NCAA Championship also fulfills the athletic component of All-Academic qualification.

Majoring in physics with a 3.40 GPA, Scheetz is one of only four Division III track & field national champions to have made the All-Academic cut this year. Among his long list of accomplishments from 2011, Scheetz won the 800-meter run at the NCAA Indoor Championships and fell just short of a quest for the outdoor 800 title, setting several school records along the way.

This is not the first major award Scheetz has earned from the USTFCCCA this year, as he was named the national Indoor Track Athlete of the Year back in March and the New England Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year in May. He is the first Amherst student-athlete to be named Scholar Athlete of the Year since Elise Tropiano ’09 took home the honor in 2009.

Joining Scheetz on the 4x400 relay last year were Reed and Melton, who helped the Lord Jeffs place sixth in the event at the NCAA indoor championships and 11th at the outdoor meet. McGrail, meanwhile, wrapped up his track & field career as a standout distance runner, notably winning a NESCAC title in the 5,000-meter run during the 2011 outdoor season.

Highlighting the Amherst women on the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team is Sullivan, who placed eighth in the mile run at the NCAA indoor championships and finished ninth in the outdoor 1,500-meter run. Schalch and Wasserman qualified for All-Academic status with their performances in the indoor distance medley relay at the ECAC Championships, while Lambert secured a spot on the All-Academic Team with her showing in the steeplechase at the outdoor Open New England Championships.

Institutions given All-Academic Team status will be named on Tuesday, Aug. 9 (men) and Wednesday, Aug. 10 (women). More information can be found on the USTFCCCA website.