Three Redbirds Named Valley Scholar-Athletes

Nov. 1, 2011

ST. LOUIS - Illinois State seniors John Navarro and Aisha Praught, and sophomore Kristen Zillmer were named to the 2011 Missouri Valley Conference Cross Country Scholar-Athlete teams, as announced by the conference office Tuesday. The Redbirds earned the honors after the 2011 State Farm Missouri Valley Cross Country Championships this past weekend in Terre Haute, Ind., at the LaVern Gibson Cross Country course.

Praught finished the 5K race in third-place (17:46.6), behind teammate Krista DeCeault, while Zillmer finished in 10th (18:22.9) , pacing the women's team to their first MVC championship in school history. Praught holds a 3.24 GPA as a geology major and Zillmer holds a 3.46 in the special education program. Along with their Scholar-Athlete honors, Praught and Zillmer also won All-Valley honors finishing in the top-10.

On the men's side, Navarro finished the men's 8K race in 25:56.5 for 19th place. The psychology major holds a 3.52 GPA.

MVC Scholar-Athlete honors require student-athletes to meet performance standards, as the top-10 finishers at the conference championships earn all-conference honors and are included on the Scholar-Athlete team, provided they meet the set criteria. Other athletes must finish among the first 20 runners at the conference championship and all must hold a 3.2 cumulative GPA and be a sophomore in athletic and academic standing.

The women's team currently ranks 10th in the USTFCCCA Midwest Region poll, a one spot improvement from last week, and will compete in the NCAA Midwest Regional, Saturday, Nov. 12 in DeKalb, Ill.

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