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4 Flames Earn USTFCCCA All-Academic Honors
Liberty's Josh Edmonds, Elliot Galeone, Kolby Shepherd and Geren Woodbridge have been named to the 2011 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Men's All-Academic Track & Field Team. The Flames' quartet was honored on the basis of their performance on the track and inside the classroom.
To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic Track & Field Team, the student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 and have met either of the following athletic standards: for the indoor season, a student-athlete must have finished the regular season ranked in the national top 96 in an individual event or ranked in the national top 48 (collective listing) in a relay event on the official NCAA POP list provided by TFRRS.org; for the outdoor season, a student-athlete must have participated in any round of the NCAA Division I Championships (including preliminary rounds).
Edmonds is included on this squad for the first time, but was previously named to the USTFCCCA Men's All-Academic Cross Country Team in both 2008 and 2010. The redshirt senior distance standout worked toward a master's degree this year, after graduating with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice.
Edmonds had only an indoor season of eligibility remaining in 2011, but made it a successful one. He won his first career Big South individual title, capturing the 5K crown at the Big South Indoor Track & Field Championships. The following week, Edmonds clocked a personal-best 5K time of 14:12.61 for fourth place at the IC4A meet.
Edmonds was Liberty's representative on the Big South All-Academic Team for indoor track & field, marking the Empire State native's sixth Big South All-Academic notation in his career. He was also a part of the Big South Presidential Honor Roll for the fifth time.
Galeone is a part of the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team for the third consecutive year. A redshirt senior thrower, he graduated in May with a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. At the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships, the Maryland native made the Big South All-Academic Team.
For the second year in a row, Galeone threw the javelin at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, where he placed 17th. He was named Big South Men's Outstanding Field Performer after claiming both the men's discus and javelin titles at the Big South Outdoor Track & Field Championships. In the process, he pushed his own school javelin record out to 229-5. Galeone also fared well at the IC4A Outdoor Track & Field Championships, coming in fifth in the javelin and sixth in the discus.
Shepherd is now a two-time USTFCCCA All-Academic Team honoree, after making the squad as a freshman in 2008. The biblical studies major made a successful return to competition during the 2011 outdoor season, after redshirting the indoor campaign.
A redshirt junior, Shepherd became the first Liberty men's pole vaulter ever to qualify for the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. He was the Big South champion and the IC4A runner-up. On his birthday (April 9), Shepherd equaled a long-standing school record by pole vaulting 17-6.5 at the Texas Relays. During the outdoor campaign, Shepherd was a five-time Big South Men's Field Athlete of the Week.
Woodbridge makes his first appearance on the USTFCCCA All-Academic Team after a strong redshirt senior season. In May, the Keystone State native graduated with a bachelor's degree in kinesiology.
Woodbridge's most memorable performance in 2011 was his dramatic, come-from-behind victory in the IC4A decathlon competition. He also earned the Big South decathlon championship and became the Big South's first-ever three-time heptathlon titlist indoors. One of the conference's best pole vaulters, Woodbridge placed third in the event at the Big South Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships this year.