Women's track team earn All-Academic honors
Published: Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 12:08
IUP Head Coach Michelle Burgher has high expectations for the women's track team – on and off the track.
Those expectations were met in both phases last season as the team finished with high marks on the track and in the classroom.
The women's team earned NCAA all-academic honors from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCA) for its efforts in the classroom last season.
The high expectations will continue into 2011 for both the women's and the men's teams when the season starts later this semester, despite losing some big name athletes on both teams to graduation.
Replacing long and triple jump star Brianna Liebold and long jump standout Nafee Harris won't be easy, but Burgher likes what she has returning.
"We have some returners who have come into themselves," Burgher said.
One returner in particular is junior 400-meter hurdler Jared Long, who promises to have a solid season.
"This should be his breakout season," Burgher said.
"He has improved enough to be top two in the conference and a finalist for the NCAA's."
On the women's side, long jumper Laurie Ajavon promises to build off her success from last season, in which she finished second to Liebold in the conference.
"She should be able to step up and bring the title back home," Burgher said. "For the past two or three years IUP has dominated the long jump."
A strong incoming freshman class, led by top runner Kelly Davis from Altoona and some other big name recruits, has Burgher and her staff excited for the future.