FAYETTEVILLE – Senior Penny Splichal of the University of Arkansas Lady Razorback track team was named third-team ESPN The Magazine academic all-America on Wednesday afternoon, capping off what was a tremendous five-year run for the Dickinson, N.D., native.
Saving some of her best moments for her final year, Splichal won both the Southeastern Conference’s 3,000 and 5,000-meter titles at the league championship in February, and then proceeded to the NCAA Championships where she would race against the nation’s best in both events. For her career, Splichal garnered three SEC Championships, five first-team all-SEC honors and two all-South Central Region awards in cross country. In the classroom, she was a perennial member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll and maintained a grade point average of 3.87 throughout her four years.
“I am really proud of Penny,” Arkansas head coach Lance Harter said. “She endured some tough times in the competition area during her career, but stuck through them all and never let that bother her in the classroom. She is just another example of what it means to be a student-athlete and more importantly, a Lady Razorback. I wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors.”
Splichal’s third-team academic all-America award is another in a streak of honors that now spans five consecutive seasons. She becomes the 14th Lady Razorback to be named an Academic all-American and takes the University’s 21st honor for a women’s track athlete. Since the millennium, Arkansas has earned 13 first, second or third-team academic all-America awards.
To be eligible for the ESPN Academic all-America team, student athletes must maintain a 3.20 GPA, be of sophomore or higher in academic standing and be a significant contributor to their team’s success. Student-athletes are first voted on by members of the College Sports Information Director’s of America (CoSIDA) for all-district honors and the first-team members from each of the eight districts are then placed on a national ballot for academic all-America consideration. The first-team members are then placed on a ballot and voted on for a second time by members of CoSIDA’s Academic all-America committee where three teams are formed based on votes received.
For more information about Lady Razorback track or about Arkansas women’s athletics, please go to www.ladybacks.com.