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Hackett earns second-consecutive Southland Student-Athlete of the Year

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Junior Alexandria Hackett led a pack of nine Wildcats onto the Southland Conference's Cross Country and Track and Field All-Academic Team, which was announced Tuesday. The teams are determined by a vote of the league's head coaches, academic advisors and sports information directors.

Hackett earned the additional honor of being named the conference's Student-Athlete of the Year for a second time in 2015-16. The Cranston, R.I., native received the same title last fall following her championship cross country campaign.

Hackett's twin sister, Michaela, joined her on the All-Academic team along with distance teammates Diana Garca Muoz and Marina Guerrero, plus five members of the men's team: Keaton Hart, Jelani Rainey, Reid Rivers, Kai Schmidt and Luke Woods.

Woods, a senior multi-athlete from Houston, is a three-time Southland All-Academic honoree, while Hart, the Hackett twins, Garca Muoz and Rivers have all been tabbed to this squad twice. Seniors Guerrero and Rainey and sophomore Schmidt are first-time honorees.

Alexandria Hackett was the obvious choice for this award as she combined a record-breaking season with a near-perfect grade-point average (3.96) as a financial management major. She was named the league's Athlete of the Year for Outdoor Track and Field this spring after winning the 5,000 and 10,000-meter runs with conference championship record times of 16:47.89 and 34:47.79.

The College Sports Information Directors of America then voted her onto the Academic All-District 7 Team two weeks after the conference meet. Later this week Hackett hopes to join graduate Daniel Block and become the second Wildcat in as many years to be named Academic All-America when those teams are announced Friday.

The Wildcats finished fourth in the outdoor track and field championship standings on the men's and women's sides, totaling 79 and 101 points, respectively. In addition to Alexandria Hackett's twin victories, Michaela scored five points in the 1500m run and won bronze in the 5K (17:19.75), while Garca Muoz scored in the 800m and was runner-up in the 1500m (4:36.18).

Guerrero also scored in the 800m and claimed third-place honors in the steeplechase, finishing the course in 10:54.16.

On the men's side, Woods completed his distinguished career with a fourth-place showing in the decathlon, scoring 6,736 points, while Rainey, competing in his final collegiate meet, took third in the hammer throw with a launch of 56.41 meters (185 feet-01 inch).

Hart helped the Wildcats earn a point as part of their 4x100-meter relay, running the anchor leg, and Rivers – who owns a 3.96 CGPA as a vocational ministry major – placed 15th in the 1500m run.

Both track and field squads finished with cumulative team GPAs over 3.0 thanks to the classroom efforts of these Wildcats. The men posted a 3.02 GPA for the 2015-16 academic year and the women registered a 3.19 GPA.

The Wildcats have earned 22 All-Academic Track and Field / Cross Country Team citations during their three years in the Southland Conference. Only three men (Woods, Baptiste Kerjean and Erik Forrister) made this team during ACU's first year in the league, but 10 Wildcats (four men, six women) earned this honor in the spring of 2015.

-Information provided by ACU Athletics -

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