Light, Place named to Academic All-District Track/Cross Country team

Light, Place named to Academic All-District Track/Cross Country team

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Tech distance runners Keri Light and Stephanie Place have been named to the 2009 CoSIDA Academic All-District IV cross country/track & field team, sponsored by ESPN The Magazine. For Light, it is her second consecutive first-team selection, while Place was named second-team.

They are two of the five track athletes from the Ohio Valley Conference named to the teams, and bring Tech's total to eight who have received Academic All-District recognition in 2008-09.

Light now moves on to the national ballot for Academic All-America consideration. Academic All-District and Academic All-America teams are selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

A first-semester grad student from Kingsport, Tenn., Light posted a 3.94 GPA on her way to receiving her degree in psychology last December.

In the fall, Light earned her second consecutive all-OVC honor in cross country, finishing 12th overall at the OVC Championships. During the indoor track season, she was part of the school-record setting distance medley relay team which placed first, and she also advanced to the finals in the 800-meter run.

Light set a school record during the outdoor season, clocking a 4:38.75 in the 1,500-meter run at the Austin Peay Invitational, adding it to the 800-meter school record which she set as a sophomore. At the OVC Outdoor Championships, Light earned points in two races, and barely missed in another. She finished seventh in the 5,000-meter run in 18:12:14, earning two points in the team standings. Earlier in the day, she was sixth in the 1,500-meter run to earn three points, posting a time of 4:43.9. Light narrowly missed qualifying for the finals in the 800-meter run, placing ninth in 2:20.06.

Place, who was named an OVC Scholar-Athlete in 2008, receives Academic All-District recognition for the first time. She was the OVC Runner of the Year in cross country.

Every time Place ran a meet during the cross county season, she was named the OVC Runner of the Week, except for the final meet of the regular season -- in that race, she earned OVC Runner of the Year honors, the first Tech runner to capture that honor. Place finished her final season of cross country with the 11 fastest 5K times in school history.

During the indoor track season, she broke her own school record in winning the 3,000-meter run. She also led the team to first place in the distance medley relay with a school record performance. Shortly after running her leg of the DMR, she returned to the track to place second in the 5,000-meter run in 17:38, just two seconds behind the school record mark she established as a junior. In all, Place accounted for 28 of Tech's 37 points at the meet. An injury forced her to miss the outdoor season.

Earlier this year, Academic All-District honors went to Taylor Askew in football, Teresa Craig in soccer, Kathryn Lally and Taren Brown in soccer, Frank Davis in men's basketball and Lacie Coquerille in softball.

District 4 includes Division I universities in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama. Other OVC picks on the Academic All-District teams include Austin Peay junior Carrie Burggraf, Jacksonville State senior Lesley Binning and was Southeast Missouri State senior Amy Warren.