St. Louis, Mo., June 21, 2017 – Six members of the Washington University in St. Louis track & field program were selected to the 2017 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-America teams, as announced Wednesday by CoSIDA.
Three individuals earned First Team CoSIDA Academic All-America status, while three members of the women's team were elected to the second team. Senior Rebecca Ridderhoff and junior Alison Lindsay earned first-team distinction on the women's side while Deko Ricketts also harnessed first-team accolades from the men's team. Seniors Kelli Hancock, Ashley Knudson and Daisy Ogede were selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team.
"What an amazing accomplishment and a real testament to each of them as a whole person," exclaimed head coach Jeff Stiles. "Their identity does not lie in being an athlete, but something much bigger and more important. The coaches and the university are fortunate to have such incredibly motivated scholar champions to work with."
This is the seventh-straight year that the WashU Women's Cross Country/Track & Field program has had an Academic All-America selection. The women increased their total to 26 Academic All-America recognitions all-time, which is the most of any sport at WashU.
The men have earned at least one honor for six-straight years, as Ricketts earned the prestigious honor for the second time, previously being named to the second team in 2015-16. The men have totaled 19 Academic All-America honors in program history, and upped the all-time WashU total to 156.
Ridderhoff, Hancock, Knudson and Ogede were the Bears 4x400m relay team that placed second to secure the decisive points for the 2017 NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field National Championship, bringing home the first national title in program history.
Rebecca Ridderhoff, 3.83 in Architecture and English Literature with a Writing Concentration
Ridderhoff, a first-team selection, led WashU track & field in the number of All-American honors on the season, totaling seven, including the outdoor 400m hurdles National Title. She ran to four All-American honors during the indoor season with a second place finish in the 4x400m-relay (3:49.36), and seventh place finishes in the 60 hurdles (9.01), 400m dash (56.49) and 200m dash (25.45). Ridderhoff followed the outstanding effort at indoor nationals with a sub-minute run in the 400m hurdles to capture first place with a time of 59.43, while also placing fourth in the 4x400m-relay (3:44.03) and sixth in the 100m hurdles (14.28). She also helped the Bears 4x400m-relay team run to a school record during prelims at the outdoor national championships, 3:42.60. Ridderhoff was named the University Athletic Association (UAA) Track Athlete of the week four times this academic year, including both indoor and outdoor recognition. She earned Academic all-UAA honors for both indoor and outdoor seasons.
Alison Lindsay, 3.96 GPA in Political Science
Lindsay, a first-team honoree, was also selected last season to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Third Team. She had an incredible junior campaign in which she garnered All-American honors during all three athletic seasons. Lindsay earned All-American honors in the fall with cross country placing 14th (21:01.6) while helping the team to runner-up status. During the winter campaign the Alexandria, Va.-native assisted the women's indoor track & field team to its first National Championship in school history as part of the winning distance medley relay team (11:48.43). Lindsay concluded the 2016-17 academic year by helping the Bears secure another banner, the first Outdoor Track & Field National Title in program history. She ran to a second place finish in the 3,000m steeplechase with a personal-best time of 10:28.52. In addition to her athletic accomplishments, Lindsay earned Academic all-UAA honors for all three seasons.
Deko Ricketts, 3.72 in Electrical Engineering
Ricketts, a first-team honoree, dominated the men's 800m run throughout the year in route to winning both the indoor and outdoor event National Titles. He routinely posted times that ranked in the top-5 of NCAA Division III throughout the 2017 seasons. At the indoor national championships, Ricketts used the final 150 meters to overcome the leader with a time of 1:51.07. In contrast, he protected the lead with 150 meters to go, edging out the competition with a photo finish time of 1:51.30 during the outdoor national championships. He posted an identical time to win the UAA outdoor 800m title. Ricketts was named UAA Track Athlete of the Week five times during his senior year and he earned Academic all-UAA honors for both the indoor and outdoor seasons.
Kelli Hancock, 3.67 GPA in Biomedical Engineering
Hancock, a second-team selection, concluded the year with four All-American honors including being a member of the National Champion distance medley relay team (11:48.43) during the Indoor National Championships. She also earned All-American honors in the 4x400m-relay with a second place finish at indoors (3:49.36) and fourth place finish at outdoors (3:44.03). Hancock ran to the third best time for an individual All-American honor during outdoors in the 400m hurdles (1:00.15), also earning the University Athletic Association (UAA) title in the event with a sub-minute time of 59.94. She also helped the Bears 4x400m-relay team run to a school record during prelims at the outdoor national championships, 3:42.60. Hancock was named the UAA Track Athlete of the Week on March 27 and earned Academic all-UAA honors during both the indoor and outdoor seasons.
Ashley Knudson, 3.80 GPA in Environmental Biology and Policy
Knudson, a second-team choice, added four All-American accomplishments to her career totals this year. She was also a part of the distance medley relay national champion team (11:48.43) during indoors, while earning multiple All-American honors in the 4x400m-relay – indoors (2nd – 3:49.36) and outdoors (4th – 3:44.03). Knudson earned individual All-American honors in the 800m run, placing fifth with a time of 2:09.84 and also earned the UAA title in the event. In addition, she helped the Bears 4x400m-relay team run to a school record during prelims at the outdoor national championships, 3:42.60. Knudson was named the UAA Track Athlete of the Week on May 8, and earned Academic all-UAA honors for both indoor and outdoor seasons.
Daisy Ogede, 3.69 GPA in Biology: Neuroscience
Ogede, a second-team selection for the second straight year, capped off an outstanding career with six All-American honors during the indoor and outdoor seasons. She was named both the indoor and outdoor Midwest Region Track Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), as well as UAA Most Outstanding Track Performer.
Ogede ran to three All-American honors during both the 2017 indoor and outdoor track national championships. During indoors she ran to a second place finish in the 60 (7.56), second in the 4x400m-relay (3:49.36) and third in the 200m dash (24.97). At the outdoor championships Ogede posted All-American finishes in the 100m dash (3rd – 11.73), 200m dash (4th – 24.17) and 100m hurdles (5th – 14.17). She also helped the Bears 4x400m-relay team run to a school record during prelims at the outdoor national championships, 3:42.60. Ogede was the recipient of five UAA Track Athlete of the Week honors this season, in addition to Academic all-UAA honors during both the indoor and outdoor seasons.