CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Three members of the Virginia men’s and women’s track and field and cross country teams have been named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District III First Team for the 2020-21 season, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced on Thursday. That trio includes Michaela Meyer (Southbury, Conn.), Derek Johnson (Leesburg, Va.) and Owayne Owens (Montego Bay, Jamaica).
Meyer, a graduate student in nursing, was previously announced as the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year for Women’s outdoor track and field and was an All-ACC Academic selection.
This year she became the first female competitor in the Virginia track and field program’s history to win an individual NCAA title when she took first place in the 800 meters. During the NCAA finals, Meyer ran a personal best time of 2:00.28 that broke her own UVA school record. It capped a collegiate season in which she also won the ACC title in the women’s 1500 meters and placed first in the 800 meters at the NCAA East. Meyer was fourth at the U.S. Olympic Trials, bettering her previous best time by lowering the school record to 1:58.55. That smashed the ACC record (1:59.63) for the event. She became only the fifth woman in collegiate history, regardless of competition date, to go sub 1:59 in the 800.
Johnson was also an All-ACC Academic selection for the outdoor season and previously was named the state’s top outdoor track performer. He ran personal-bests in the 3,000m steeplechase in five of six meets this spring, but really came on after a fourth-place finish at the ACC Championships. He bounced back from that performance to qualify for the NCAA semifinals, and then on to the national finals, beating all three men who finished ahead of him in the conference. Johnson ran a school-record 8:32.95 in the finals to earn first-team All-America honors thanks to a seventh-place finish. Two days later at the TrackTown Qualifier, he improved that mark down to 8:27.72 to make the Olympic Trials. His season came to an end in the Olympic Trials qualifying round, where he finished 15th overall in 8:32.97.
Earlier this year Owens was named the state’s male indoor field athlete of the year. During the indoor season he was named an indoor first-team All-American after placing sixth at the NCAA Championships in the triple jump. He won the ACC indoor triple jump title and also set the school record in the long jump during the season. Owens was a second-team All-American during the outdoor campaign after placing 15th in the triple jump. On the ACC level, he completed the sweep by winning the outdoor triple jump crown. Owens also picked up All-ACC Academic accolades for both the indoor and outdoor seasons.
All three Cavaliers advance to the final CoSIDA Academic All-America ballot. First, second and third team Academic All-America honorees will be announced in mid-August.
To be nominated for the CoSIDA Academic All-America team, a student-athlete must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.30 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) at his/her current institution. The cumulative grade-point average may NOT be rounded up to 3.30. Nominees must participate in 50 percent of the competitions that an institution schedules in either cross country, indoor track and field, or outdoor track and field.
No student-athlete is eligible until he/she has completed one full calendar year at his/her current institution and has reached sophomore athletic eligibility. Nominees in graduate school must have a cumulative GPA of 3.30 or above both as an undergrad and in grad school.