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Liberty Trio Voted Academic All-District

June 4, 2009
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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(L-R): Seniors Rebekah Ricksecker, Phil Leineweber and Daniel Newell were all voted to the first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District roster.

(L-R): Seniors Rebekah Ricksecker, Phil Leineweber and Daniel Newell were all voted to the first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District roster.

Liberty seniors Phil Leineweber, Daniel Newell and Rebekah Ricksecker have all been tabbed first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District selections for track & field/cross country, it was announced today.

Leineweber (New Freedom, Pa.), Newell (Roanoke, Va.) and Ricksecker (Laurel, Del.) will now be considered for ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America honors. Those awards will be announced June 18-19.

The track & field/cross country Academic All-District rosters are the final ones to be announced for the 2008-09 academic year. Including Leineweber, Newell and Ricksecker, Liberty had a dozen student-athletes garner ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District recognition this year. The list includes Mike Gelatt (men's soccer), Colin Dugan (football), Ryan Greiser (football), Dan Pope (football), Kevin Richard (football), Megan Frazee (women's basketball), Moriah Frazee (women's basketball), Rachel Hammond (women's basketball) and Christian Smith (men's at large/wrestling).

Leineweber graduated with a 3.94 GPA in Biblical studies and is currently pursuing a master's degree in the same field of study, at the Liberty Theological Seminary. The sprinter was voted the Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year for men's outdoor track & field and has earned a trio of Big South Presidential Honor Roll appearances. He is an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District team member for the first time in his career.

Leineweber helped Liberty sweep the Big South indoor and outdoor team championships during his final season of competition, contributing a total of 25.25 points at the two meets. The Keystone State native helped the Flames put an exclamation point on their 12th consecutive indoor team title, anchoring Liberty's 4 x 400 relay quartet to a come-from-behind win. Leineweber was also the Big South 400-meter dash runner-up at the indoor championship. He won the 400-meter dash and posted three IC4A-qualifying times at the Liberty Collegiate Invitational, a performance which earned him the ECAC Division I Men's Track Athlete of the Week honor on April 8.

Newell completed his bachelor's degree in English with a 3.65 grade-point average and is now working toward a master's degree in English. He was recognized as the Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year for men's indoor track & field. The ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District honor was the first of Newell's career.

Newell is one of four Flames who will travel to Fayetteville, Ark., next week for the 2009 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The senior will contest the decathlon at the national meet, closing out a stellar senior campaign. Newell swept the Big South and IC4A decathlon titles for the second straight season, scoring a career-high 7,255 points at the Big South meet. During the indoor season, Newell posted the second-highest heptathlon score in Big South history, 5,346 points, to win the Liberty Open. As a result, he was named the Big South and ECAC Division I Men's Field Athlete of the Week on Jan. 28.

Ricksecker moved up to the first team, after garnering second-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District status in 2008. An elementary education major carrying a 3.97 GPA, Ricksecker has received several academic accolades during her career. She is a two-time U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-Academic Team selection (2008 track & field and 2008 cross country). The 2008 Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year for women's cross country, Ricksecker is a three-time Big South Presidential Honor Roll member.

Ricksecker was the Lady Flames' No. 1 cross country runner in 2008, before taking a redshirt during the 2009 indoor and outdoor track & field seasons. She will return for her final year of track eligibility in 2010. Ricksecker finished as the Big South cross country runner-up this past fall and earned all-region honors with her 11th-place finish at the NCAA Division I Southeast Regional Cross Country Championships. The senior was a three-time Big South Women's Runner of the Week (Sept. 10, Oct. 8 & Oct. 22) and clocked the second-fastest cross country 6K time (21:24.6) in program history.

Newell will open the decathlon at the 2009 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. Eastern. The four-day meet is being hosted by Arkansas at John McDonnell Field.

ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Men's Track & Field/Cross Country Teams

District 3 University Division
First Team

Brock Baker, North Carolina, Sr., 3/55/Biology/Romance Languages
Gonzalo Barroilhet, Florida State, So., 3.59/Management
Matt Boruff, Appalachian State, Jr., 3.68/Marketing/Management
John Egan, Georgia, Sr., 3.85/Telecommunication Arts/Sport Management
Javier Garcia-Tunon, Florida State, Sr., 4.00/Business Administration
Elliott Haynie, South Carolina, Jr., 3.46/Accounting
Darius Law, Charlotte, So., 4.00/Accounting
Phil Leineweber, Liberty, Sr., 3.94/Biblical Studies
Billy Mateker, Georgia Tech, Jr., 4.00/Materials Science Engineering
Curt McGill, South Carolina, Sr., 3.88/Exercise Science
Daniel Newell, Liberty, Sr., 3.65/English
Cam Shriver, William & Mary, Sr., 3.63/History
Mark Steeds, Georgia State, Sr., 3.34/Criminal Justice
Phillip Warsaw, Wake Forest, Sr., 3.89/Mathematical Economics

ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Women's Track & Field/Cross Country Teams

District 3 University Division

First Team
Marley Burns, Wake Forest, So., 4.00/Health and Exercise Science
Lamarra Currie, Charlotte, Sr., 4.00/Psychology
Evelien Dekkers, Florida, Jr., 3.82/Food Science/Human Nutrition
Gabby Gioia, North Carolina, So., 3.62/English/Pre-Medicine
Susan Kuijken, Florida State, Sr., 3.76/Psychology
Diana Norden, Campbell, Jr., 4.00/Business Administration
Rebekah Ricksecker, Liberty, Sr., 3.97/Elementary Education
Morgan Stengel, North Carolina, Sr., 3.95/Business Administration
Marcie Veitch, Coastal Carolina, Sr., 4.00/Biology
Lydia Willemse, Florida State, Sr., 3.58/Chemistry

Second Team
Alana Clooten, Georgia Tech, Sr., 3.64/Industrial Engineering
Betsy Graney, William & Mary, So., 3.88/Kinesiology
Natasha Harvey, Jacksonville, Sr., 3.58/Exercise Science
Bridget Lyons, Georgia, Jr., 3.84/Biology
Erica Penk, Georgia Tech, So., 3.89/Computational Media
Annalise Peters, Georgia, Jr., 3.95/International Affairs/Environmental Econ. Management
Callie Pottinger, North Carolina, Jr., 3.34/Journalism & Mass Communication
Star Sansone, Florida, Jr., 3.97/Accounting
Liane Weber, Clemson, Jr., 3.79/Health Science
Joanna Wright, Georgia Tech, So., 3.81/Biology