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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Eight of Virginia’s track and field student-athletes have been named to the 2008 Division I All-Academic Track and Field team, as announced by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association (USTFCCCA). Junior Amy Bilmanis (Hughesville, Md.), senior Billie-Jo Grant (Arroyo Grande, Calif.), senior Katie Read (Arlington, Va.), sophomore Ayla Smith (Winchester, Va.) and senior Katie Tershel (Cannonsburg, Pa.) have been honored on the women’s squad, while senior Mike Hagos (Springfield, Va.), junior Andrew Jesien (Bethesda, Md.) and senior David Lewis (Centreville, Va.) were named to the men’s team. The Cavaliers’ women’s squad was also honored as one of the 2008 USTFCCCA Division I Women’s All-Academic Track and Field Teams.

The USTFCCCA honors Division I individuals for their academic and athletic achievements during the indoor and outdoor track and field seasons. A record total of 468 student-athletes representing 140 Division I institutions composed the women’s 2008 All-Academic team.

Virginia’s women’s team compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.11 to earn the honors of being named an All-Academic Track and Field Team. The selection of the All-Academic Indoor and Outdoor Scholar Teams of the Year award is based on a combination of academic and athletic achievements, with the top honor going to the team that had the combination of best overall finish at the Division I Indoor and/or Outdoor National Championships and cumulative GPA. Teams must carry a minimum 3.000 team cumulative GPA to be nominated.

Bilmanis, an NCAA regional qualifier in the discus for the Cavaliers, finished her season at the regional meet, throwing a season-best 49.16m. She currently holds fifth-place on Virginia’s all-time top-10 discus records, with her throw of 49.99m in 2006. Bilmanis finished second at the Lou Onesty meet and took eighth at the ACC Outdoor Championships this season.

Grant, an All-American and All-ACC performer this season, wrapped up the year at the U.S. Olympic Trials after garnering her third All-America honor in the discus. The senior placed eighth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships after winning the 2008 NCAA East Regional Championship in the discus. She has earned all-conference honors in each of her three seasons of competition for the Cavaliers and holds Virginia’s all-time record in the event with her throw of 56.06m.

Smith was an NCAA regional qualifier in the 400m hurdles. The sophomore won the long hurdles title at the ECAC Championships and at the 49ers Classic this season. With her fifth-place finish in 58.79 at the ACC Championships, she qualified for the regional meet.

Tershel qualified for the regional meet in each of the past two seasons in the triple jump. Her personal-best mark of 12.39m placed her fifth at the ACC Championships and eighth in Virginia’s all-time records.

Hagos’s personal-best finish in the 1,500m at the Carolina Cattle Farms Classic was enough for him to win the event and qualify him for the regional meet.

Jesien, the Cavaliers’ first competitor since 1985 to race in the finals of the 1,500m at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, was also the ACC Champion in the event. Jesien finished 13th at the national championships and wrapped up his season earning all-conference and all-region honors in the distance event.

Lewis was the ACC Champion in the decathlon this season. His personal-best score of 7105 points to win the conference title ranks him fourth in Virginia’s all-time records.

To individually qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Track and Field Team, a student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and have met either the NCAA Division I Indoor automatic or provisional qualifying standard or the NCAA Division I Outdoor regional or national qualifying standard in their respective event.

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