Junior Ellie Willging - 2016-17 CoSIDA Academic All-America® College Division Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country First Team
Junior Ellie Willging - 2016-17 CoSIDA Academic All-America® College Division Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country First Team
Women's Track & Field - Tue, Jun. 20, 2017

Austin, Texas – One of just 10 student-athletes nationally to earn a spot on the first team, Saint Xavier University junior standout Ellie Willging (Freeport, Ill./UIC/Freeport) illustrated that her talents are not just limited to distance running, but also to the classroom when she was named to the prestigious 2016-17 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America® College Division Women's Track & Field/Cross Country Team when the honors were released by the national organization Tuesday morning.  Willging is a political science/history major who helped both the SXU women's cross country and track teams have amazing seasons.  To be eligible for consideration for the Academic All-America® Team, student-athletes must possess at least a 3.30 cumulative GPA, be sophomore or higher academic status with one full year at nominating institution, have supporting athletic credentials and be named a first team member of the CoSIDA All-District Team.

"Ellie is so deserving of this recognition, because she is so focused on everything she puts her mind to and works extremely hard," said Saint Xavier University women's cross country and track & field coach Lisa Ebel.  "She had an impressive year and I'm thrilled that she is coming back to compete again for us next season.  I know how important academics are to her and her family, so I know that this type of award means the world to her."

Willging was the NAIA national champion in two different events this past season.  She won the 5K (5,000 meters) race at the 2017 NAIA Indoor Track & Field National Championships in Johnson City, Tenn., on March 4 with a school record time of 17:01.94.  It was the school's first national title for track & field.  Willging followed that stellar feat by winning the 10K (10,000 meters) race at the 2017 NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships in Gulf Shores, Ala., on May 25 with a time of 36:28.78.  She also earned NAIA All-American honors in both events and claimed second place overall and All-American recognition in the outdoor 5K race at the national meet with a time of 17:30.46.  In addition, Willging helped the SXU women's cross country team to a 17th place team finish at the 2016 NAIA Cross Country National Championships in Elsah, Ill., on November 19.  She finished 10th overall and earned All-American honors with a school record time of 17:32.  It was the highest individual finish by a Saint Xavier runner at the national meet in program history.     

The CoSIDA Academic All-America® Women's Track & Field/Cross Country Team honors student-athletes from all NAIA, Canadian and two-year institutions across North America.  The team recognizes 10 student-athletes on the first team and 10 student-athletes on the second team.

To view the official CoSIDA release online, please click HERE