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Big Rapids, Mich. - Two members of the Ferris State University women's track and field/cross country program, senior Anna Rudd (Leslie) and junior Samantha Johnson (Troy), have capped off a stellar 2013-14 campaign by being recognized as Capital One Academic All-America honorees after both previously claimed All-America honors as competitors this past season.
For the second consecutive year, Rudd earned Academic All-America First Team laurels while Johnson was a third-team honoree this season. Ferris State was one of only 10 schools across the country to have multiple individuals receive Academic All-America honors.
The 2014 Capital One Academic All-America Teams recognize the nation's top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom. The teams are nominated and chosen by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.
Since the program's inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 14,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.
A total of 15 women's track and field/cross country competitors were honored on the All-America First Team in Division II with 15 more named to both the second and third-team squads.
This year marks the third consecutive year in which at least one member of the FSU women's track and field/cross country program has earned first-team Academic All-America status as former distance runners Tina Muir and Shelby Janutol were both recognized with the same honor in 2012 prior to Rudd claiming first-team status each of the last two years.
This spring, Rudd placed fifth overall in the 10,000 meters at the NCAA Division II National Outdoor Track & Field Championships as she clocked 35:31.33 in the event held at the Grand Valley State Track & Field Stadium in Allendale to wrap up her Bulldog career. The race was her first of two events in the national championships as she also placed 10th overall in the 5,000 meters on the final day.
Rudd was the GLIAC indoor champion in the 3,000 meters this season, while garnering All-GLIAC honors and being named to the United States Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Region and All-America teams for the second straight year.
Previously, she became the second-ever women's track and field national champion in school history by winning the 5,000 meters at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships and was also awarded the 2013-14 Bulldog of the Year Award for outstanding female athlete. She has claimed GLIAC All-Academic Excellence honors in the last three years in cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field.
This year, Rudd also placed seventh overall earlier in the 5K at the Division II National Indoor Championships held in March (14-15) in Winston-Salem, N.C. She clocked 17:14.19 in the 5K at the indoor nationals to earn All-America honors for the second-straight year in the event. Rudd also earned USTFCCCA All-Region accolades for the outdoor campaign and placed third overall in the 5,000 meters (17:08.22) at the 2014 GLIAC Outdoor Championships.
A GLIAC Commissioner's Award winner for Excellence last fall, Johnson was chosen as the 2013 USTFCCCA Midwest Region "Runner of the Year" and the 2013 GLIAC Cross Country "Athlete of the Year" for her efforts in cross country. She has been an all-conference pick multiple times and a multiple-time GLIAC All-Academic Team selection in her career.
This past season, Johnson won three cross country races, including the GLIAC and NCAA Midwest Regional titles while also winning the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Invitational. She qualified individually for the NCAA Division II Championships where she placed fifth in the country. The veteran four-year letterwinner has helped Ferris State to be ranked as one of the region's top 10 squads throughout her collegiate career and ranked nationally multiple times.
The Capital One Division II Academic All-America® program is being financially supported by the NCAA Division II national governance structure to assist CoSIDA with handling the awards fulfillment aspects for the 2013-14 D-II Academic All-America teams program.
The 15 members of the Capital One Academic All-America® Division II Women's Track & Field / Cross Country combined for a 3.89 G.P.A., including four student-athletes with a 4.0 G.P.A. In total, 13 members of the Capital One Academic All-America® Division II Women's Track & Field/Cross Country first, second and third teams had a 4.00 G.P.A., while the 45-member team had a combined 3.83 G.P.A.