Praught Earns All-Academic Award
Aisha Praught
Aisha Praught

Feb. 9, 2012

NEW ORLEANS - Just days after earning Missouri Valley Conference Female Track Athlete of the Week, Illinois State senior Aisha Praught was named to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic team for 2011, as announced by the organization Thursday afternoon.

Praught is one of 104 women's cross country student-athletes from 67 different institutions across the nation receiving this award. To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team, each student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 and have either earned USTFCCCA All-America status or finished in the NCAA region's top 15 (or top 10 percent) in 2011.

Praught earned this award by finishing 13th at the NCAA Division I Midwest Cross Country Regional Championships this past fall. This was the best finish by a Redbird at the regional meet since Stacia Beste qualified for the national meet in 2001. Praught is just one of two Valley student-athletes honored with this award, the other being Aliphine Tuliamuk of Wichita State.

Head cross country coach Jeff Bovee knows how hard Praught has worked to get to this point in her career.

"This is the first time since I have been here that a member of our women's team has won this award," said Bovee. "It is hard for someone to perform at such a high level and maintain the same high level of performance in the classroom. Aisha has done a tremendous job balancing both aspects of being a student-athlete. This is a true honor for her."

Praught continues her season as part of the Redbird track & field team this weekend at the Big Meet on the campus of Grand Valley State in Allendale, Mich. The meet starts Friday with the multi-event invite at 10:50 a.m. EST. Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, TRC gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.