June 27, 2007
LOS ANGELES - Loyola Marymount junior Laura Mickelson is an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American in women's track/cross country, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced Wednesday. Mickelson becomes the eighth Lion in any sport to earn an academic All-American selection.
Mickelson and water polo player Stacia Peterson both earned academic All-America honors this year, giving LMU two selections in the same year for the second time in the history of the award. In 1973, baseball's Dean Jelmini and basketball's Steve Smith both earned the prestigious honor.
Nearly 35 years later, the list remains exclusive: Mickelson (women's cross country/track - 2007), Peterson (women's water polo - 2007), Jeff Kovar (men's soccer - 2002), Heather Hollis (softball - 1999), Sandor Demosthenes (baseball - 1996), Anthony Napolitano (baseball - 1994), Jelmini (baseball - 1973), and Smith (men's basketball - 1973).
Mickelson earned the second-team All-American status for her performances in the classroom, on the course, and on the track.
She advanced to the All-American pool after earning All-District first-team honors earlier this month. A fall NCAA National Cross Country Championship berth and spring NCAA West Track Regional appearance highlighted her athletic resume for the year.
Her athletic accomplishments come all while maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 3.95 in a double major of natural science and pre-physical therapy. She is also working toward a minor in business administration.
The El Segundo, Calif. native was named LMU Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the second straight season in April. She is also a two-time West Coast Conference All-Academic selection.
Competing year-round with both the LMU cross country and track programs, Mickelson accumulated numerous athletic honors. In the fall, she was crowned the WCC Cross Country Champion, winning the 6k title by well over a minute. She advanced through NCAA Regionals, earning All-Region honors by the USTFCCCA, and placed in the nation's top-50 at the NCAA National Championships in the 6k.
In the spring, Mickelson advanced to NCAA Regionals for the second-straight season, finishing in the top-15 in the 5000m.
CoSIDA selects Academic All-America teams in 12 programs: football, women's volleyball, men's soccer, women's soccer, men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball, softball, men's track & field/cross country, women's track & field/cross country, men's at-large and women's at-large. The selections are made from athletes who meet specific criteria, including a minimum 3.2 cumulative grade point average with sophomore standing and significant athletic contributions to their team.